Across most undergraduate music teacher education programs in the U.S., preservice music teachers are required to fulfill a cumulative fieldwork experience. A variety of titles are used to describe this real-world teaching experience and similar attributes are shared, including: a college supervisor who observes classroom teaching across a four-month academic calendar: an assigned cooperating teacher from a K-12 music classroom mentors the preservice music teacher throughout its entirety; and a corresponding seminar class meets regularly throughout the semester to support critical reflection and professional development in preparation for job placement. Scholars have argued that field-experiences offer real-world teaching experiences and provide valuable learning opportunities for students in authentic music teaching contexts. In the early nineteenth century, John Dewey (1859-1952) identified challenges associated with classroom instruction isolated from real-world learning experiences. His philosophy of education and experience sought to revolutionize education, where learning is: individualized, autonomous, directly connected to real-world learning experiences, socially constructed, built on students’ previous experiences, and embedded in reflective practices. In this paper, I argue that Dewey’s philosophy of experience and education provides a philosophical foundation for re-conceptualizing music teacher education, where preservice music teachers develop an individualized curriculum around their previous teaching experiences, a teacher identity relevant to their personal interests, professional teaching knowledge and skills embedded in authentic teaching contexts, assessments significant to their individual needs, and a close mentorship with music teacher educators who support their professional development. Implications for the field of music education are presented in conclusion.
"Dewey’s Experience and Education: Applications to Fieldwork Experiences in
Music Teacher Education,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 32, Article 7.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol32/iss1/7