Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music
No En

Educating Generalist Music Teachers

A mixed methods study of content, discourses and recontextualising in teacher education music courses.

The project sets out to investigate the subject of music in undergraduate generalist teacher education programmes in Norway.


The overall aim is to describe the actual content of the music classes in generalist teacher education (GTE) and the teacher educators involved in the teaching of these music courses. Through this we can hopefully gain a greater understanding of how (and if) music courses are preparing student teachers for the task of teaching music in compulsory schooling (Grunnskolen, age 6 to 16).

Further, by viewing the above from the viewpoint of the sociology of education, I aim to contribute to the understanding of how the agents, structures and discourses of the social field of teacher education are regulating and recontextualising music as part of generalist teacher education.

Theory and method

Theoretically, GTE is seen as a social and discursive field, in which agents, structures and forms of knowledge structures play vital parts (Bourdieu, 1984, 1990; Bernstein, 2000). Bourdieu’s notions of the game and illusio, and Bernstein’s notion of the recontextualising field and hierarchical and horizontal knowledge structures are central analytical tools. A second perspective, which is both theoretically and empirically grounded, is the distinction between two main bodies of educational content in teacher education: a) content focusing the subject matter of music, and b) content focusing how to make the subject matter meaningful and understandable to others (Shulman, 1986, 1987; Klafki, 1956/2000; Alexander, 2001). These perspectives steer the gaze of the study, and inform the construction of research instruments.

The study employs a mixed methods design, and main research methods are a national survey and a series of qualitative interviews. Respondents (population) are academic staff members at generalist teacher education institutions, teaching music (or music related courses) to one or more generalist student teachers in the period between August 2010 and February 2013.

Ph.D. Dissertation

The dissertation is available from NMH Brage:
Preparing generalist student teachers to teach music. A mixed-methods study of teacher educators and educational content in generalist teacher education music courses.