Online Professional Development in Preschool Settings: Music Education Training for Early Childhood Generalists

Dr. Terri Lenzo
Research Track
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The title of this study is Online Professional Development in Preschool Settings: Music Education Training for Early Childhood Generalists. An online format showed promise for ameliorating specific training barriers faced by this population such as time and financial commitments, self-efficacy for leading musical activities, and cultural misconceptions regarding musical development and music teaching. The purpose of this research was to investigate the effectiveness of an online training program for increasing preschool generalist self-efficacy for leading musical activities. Principles of social learning theory (Bandura, 1977, 1986) provided the framework for the program design: symbolic modeling, conveying the practical nature of the information, and verbal persuasion. Three research questions were investigated: (1) What beliefs do preschool generalists hold about teaching music to young children? (2) What relationships exist between teacher beliefs, personal musical experiences, and self-efficacy for music teaching? (3) How will beliefs and self-efficacy for teaching music change after participation in online training? Participants (n = 26) were preschool teachers from all six regions of the United States who were working in child care or independent settings. Data were collected via Qualtrics online survey service and analyzed with IBM SPSS. Post-training increases in self-efficacy were significant for leading 14 distinct singing, instrumental, and movement activities and for overall self-efficacy for leading musical activities (p = .005). Significant results were also obtained for teaching musical concepts, facilitating creativity, and refuting beliefs about inherited musical talent. Salient relationships between previous musical experiences, beliefs about musical development, and self-efficacy were revealed. Given an appropriate design, results support use of an online delivery method for the music education training of preschool generalists with implications for training music specialists. Relationships between musical experiences, beliefs, and self-efficacy point to the design of a bioecological theory of music education based on the model of Bronfenbrenner (2005). References Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Bronfenbrenner, U. (Ed.) (2005). Making human beings human: Bioecological perspectives on human development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Dr. Terri Brown Lenzo is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Ohio Northern University. She earned a B.M. Degree in Music Education from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, an M.F.A Degree in Clarinet Performance from The University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in Music Education from Kent State University. She has taught infants through adults as a band director, private clarinet teacher, and general music teacher, with additional experiences in musical entrepreneurship. Research interests include early childhood music education, music education history, and sociology of music education.