In Search of Signature Pedagogies for Teacher Education: The Critical Case of Kodály-Inspired Music Teacher Education

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The purposes of this study are to identify the features of Kodály-inspired music teacher education programs that either confirm or refute the notion that signature pedagogies (Shulman, 2005 a, b, c) are present in this form of teacher education and to identify whether and how philosophical, pedagogical, and institutional influences support such pedagogies. Signature pedagogies are shared modes of teaching that are distinct to a specific profession. These pedagogies, based in the cognitive, practical, and normative apprenticeships of professional preparation, dominate the preparation programs of a profession, both within and across institutions.

This study employs a collective case study design to examine Kodály-inspired teacher education programs, specifically those endorsed by the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). This study serves as a critical test of the applicability of the construct of signature pedagogies to teacher education. Because these programs purport to hold shared philosophical and pedagogical ideals and are governed by an endorsing body (OAKE), signature pedagogies ought to be present in these programs if they are present in any teacher education programs. Embedded in this collective case are: (1) a history of Kodály-inspired pedagogy and its adoption and adaptation in the U.S., (2) case studies of two prominent and influential OAKE-endorsed Kodály-inspired teacher education programs, and (3) case studies of four to five faculty in each of these programs. Data sources include primary and secondary texts and documents, observations of the various events and activities that occur as a part of Kodály-inspired teacher education programs, and focus group and individual interviews with program faculty and students.

This study finds that the two case sites possess four signature pedagogies: (1) demonstration teaching, (2) master class teaching, (3) discovery learning, and (4) the music literature collection and retrieval system. These pedagogies appear to be inextricably tethered to the contexts, professional body (OAKE), and work of Kodály-inspired music educators though multiple complex linkages. The study closes by assessing the applicability and usefulness of the construct for the discourses and study of teacher education and by offering revisions to the construct that may help to improve the construct's usefulness in future research.