Online Communication as a Mode of Professional Development Among Student Teachers in Music Education
Thursday, March 10 10:45 AM-11:15 AM Location: Kingsley
Presider: Thomas Winkler, University of Luebeck, IMIS, Germany
Abstract: Historically, most schools employ only one music teacher per specialty; therefore, student teachers in music education work in relative isolation during their student teaching experience. One of the ways to address the absence of more traditional professional development opportunities for student teachers in music is to make online forums available to them. This study examined how 15 student teachers engage in an online community of practice dedicated to them and how this, in turn, impacted their student teaching experience. The data yielded five major findings including: the benefits of a professional working relationship with one’s cooperating teacher; using a specific online forum in different ways and for different reasons; the benefits of asynchronous online communication for this community; the experience of giving and seeking advice; and each participant’s specific needs being illustrative of the individual’s use of the online forum and its impact on him/her as a student teacher.