Introducing experience-centred approaches in music teacher education—Opportunities for pedagogic metamorphosis

Research paper by Eva Vass, Gabriella Deszpot

Indexed on: 15 Nov '16Published on: 08 Nov '16Published in: Thinking Skills and Creativity


Education experts emphasise the growing pedagogic urgency to cultivate exploratory, creative habits of mind. As contemporary scientific inquiry has revealed, a major obstacle in this process is the predominant view of creativity as powered by the intellect. We addressed this concern by looking at embodied forms of creative connectivity. Our study focused on the Kokas pedagogy: an experiential extension of the Kodaly principle of music education. We explored the adaptability and the transformative potentials of this pedagogy in the context of music teacher education. Based on the qualitative analysis of the first student cohorts’ reflective essays (13 altogether), we studied students’ sense making of the otherness of the pedagogy. In particular, we looked at the key tensions students documented, and investigated students’ reflective construction of their own responses to these. In doing so, we hoped to capture the choreography of students’ meaning making of their experiences. Furthermore, we looked at the transformational power of students’ immersion in the pedagogy: the extent to which it inspired them towards a fundamental change in perspectives, inciting a pedagogic metamorphosis. Our analysis revealed that the challenges reported by students were often overcome through participatory, creative experiences of being and becoming. Thus, the inherent features of the pedagogy offered the tools to respond to the transformational opportunities it presented. Going beyond the context of music education, our study shows the significance of experiential, embodied connectivity between teachers and students in paving the way towards the transformation of the personal, professional and institutional habits of mind.

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