The reflective practices of early and late career music educators
The purpose of this collective case study was to explore the self-initiated reflective practices of early and late career inservice music teachers in a variety of educational settings. This research was guided by the following questions: (a) How do music teachers in a variety of settings and career stages describe the reasons they engage in reflective practice? (b) How do early and late career music teachers describe their reflective practices and strategies? (c) What are the foci described in the reflective practices of early and late career music educators? The analysis generated categories of dispositions to improve teaching and student learning, reflective strategies and resources, and focus of reflection. The primary findings from this study suggest that music teacher participants understood the value and need to reflect for their own growth and development as teachers and for student learning. Participants articulated that they used similar processes and strategies in their reflective practices. The teachers in this study gravitated toward reflecting on student-related concerns and instruction and developed networks of reflective support. Expanding time and collaborative resources for reflection, developing guided frameworks for reflection, and supporting implementable reflective strategies to broaden thinking about practice may enhance the reflective initiatives of both early and late career music educators.