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Publication Detail
Early career challenges in secondary school music teaching
The article reports an Economic and Social Research Council-funded study of the early career experiences of secondary school music teachers in England, set within a wider national picture of decreasing age-related pupil engagement with school music, career perceptions of music teaching, variable patterns of teacher recruitment and possible mismatches between the musical biographies of young people and intending music teachers. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from a short-term longitudinal survey (first questionnaire: n = 74, second questionnaire: n = 29), supplemented by case studies (n = 6) and open-ended, written questions (n = 20). Analyses suggest that only a half of the newly qualified participants chose to teach full-time in a mainstream, state-funded school music classroom. Of these, the majority were faced with a range of early career challenges stemming from curricular, extra-curricular and non-curricular school expectations. These included the need to balance their existing musical performer identity with that of being a new teacher.
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