Musical Identity, creativity and pedagogy: a narrative inquiry into secondary music student teachers’ perception of their own creativity and its impact on their developing classroom practice within a changing educational landscape in Wales.
thesisposted on 01.12.2020, 09:43 by Vivienne John
A narrative inquiry approach was adopted to explore the self-perceptions of the role that creativity played in the musical and emerging pedagogical identities of secondary student music teachers who undertook their PGCE in secondary music in a university in Wales in 2017-18. They studied during a period of significant philosophical and pedagogical change in the country’s educational provision, which, as it unfolds, will require all teachers’ professional learning to embrace and adopt a range of creative capacities. Adopting Lucas, Claxton and Spencer’s creative dispositions (2013) as a guiding theoretical model and the Bourdieusian concepts of field, habitus, doxa and capital as a method of interpretation, there are a number of findings that emerge. Whilst as musicians, discipline and persistence tend to be the dominant capacities in the classical musician habitus, student teachers from classical backgrounds can transform into creative pedagogues without being impeded by the creative limitations that reside in their musical field. However, the ‘conditions of living’ (Reay, 1995, p.357 in Wright, 2015, p.79) they experience are crucial in student teachers’ pedagogic transformation, particularly the relationship they develop with their mentor. When experienced most positively, the creative capacities of imagination, collaboration and inquisitiveness can become their dominant capacities in their creative pedagogic selves. Indeed, pedagogic creative experiences can alter their perceptions of their creative musical habitual behaviours. However, for non-classical musicians who innately demonstrate imaginative, inquisitive and collaborative creative musical capacities, learning to teach seems to impact significantly on their pedagogic identity, particularly where an underlying performativity culture exists in school, combined with a sensitivity towards a hierarchical relationship with their mentor that is alien to the type of relationships they have in their musical fields. This influences a shift from seeking creative capital so admired in their musical field to a desire to accrue ‘professional’ capital in their pedagogic domain, with discipline and persistence becoming sought-after capacities. Moreover, the regression they experience in their creative capacities as pedagogues seems to negatively affect their creative behaviours as musicians also. However, the majority of student music teachers, no matter which musical field they affiliate, seem relatively undaunted and excited by the creative opportunities offered in the new Curriculum for Wales, which is welcome news for the future Welsh educational work-force.