Collaborative Action for Change
Selected Proceedings from the 2007 Symposium on Music Teacher Education
By (author) Margaret Schmidt
Publication date:15 December 2009
Length of book:320 pages
Collaborative Action for Change presents new directions in the preparation and lifelong professional development of music educators. The book's chapters are based on some of the most effective presentations from the 2007 Symposium on Music Teacher Education. The Symposium focused on examples of successful partnerships and collaborations between music teacher educators, classroom teachers, school and district administrators, and other individuals and organizations. Two invited keynote addresses, given by Marilyn Cochran-Smith (Boston College) and Don Gibson (Florida State University), raise important questions for music teacher educators to consider in shaping and assessing preservice teachers' learning experiences and curricula. Three chapters encourage expansion of college curricula to facilitate genuine interaction among preservice teachers, teacher educators, and the musics and cultures of their own and their students' worlds. Beginning teachers' socialization and skill development is explored by three authors. Examples of two effective university-school partnerships, as well as a collaborative effort among university faculty, discuss the challenges and rewards encountered in pursuing such cooperative ventures. Also included are descriptions of two different mentoring programs for novice and experienced music teachers, and suggestions for better preparing future music teacher educators. Together, the book's authors present concrete visions of music educators engaged in music teaching and learning, growing from discussions in classes, over coffee, and/or (often tedious) meetings, and taking individual and collective action for change in music teacher education.
Visionary educators realize that the preservice teachers we are grooming now must be prepared for tomorrow's schools. Technology is changing the way people communicate at an alarming speed and teaching strategies must accommodate and embrace those changesin order to arm new music educators with the skills they will need to succeed in future elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. Consequently, the leadership of MENC's Society for Music Teacher Education has forged ahead to provide cutting edge information for teachers and students. A quick review of the titles in these proceedings demonstrates that the 2007 SMTE Symposium presenters were looking into the twenty-first century and beyond the walls of established classrooms and ensembles familiar to most of us. Teachers who intend to step out of their comfort zone and broaden their perspectives will want to explore the concepts, ideas and recommendations in Collaborative Action for Change. I am grateful for the innovative guidance SMTEprovides for us all as we venture into uncharted territory in music education.