The purpose of this study was to examine music teachers\u27 professional growth during teacher assisting and student teaching semesters and to begin tracking longitudinal progress of identity formation into the first few years of teaching. Additionally the researchers examined the effect of reflective practice on pre-service music teachers\u27 thoughts about their place within the profession of music education. Because this is a longitudinal study, the researchers will present a summary of findings from the first year of data collection. Participants in the study were 17 undergraduate pre-service music teachers at a mid-size liberal arts university in the mid-west. All participants were enrolled in teacher assisting in the Fall semester which involves half days of practicum experience in an assigned school music program as well as student teaching in the Winter semester which involves full day practicum experience in a different school music placement. Participants completed weekly reflections on a discussion board during both teacher assisting and student teaching semesters. The discussion board format allowed students to reflect not only on their own experiences, but to dialogue with each other and reflect on others\u27 experiences. This research presentation will focus on the preliminary results of the study as well as plans to track longitudinal progress of the participants. The researchers will share how the results have improved our understanding of undergraduate pre-service music teachers\u27 professional growth and will offer suggestions for how undergraduate instruction and mentoring may be facilitated to help pre-service music teachers develop a professional self-image
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