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OUR PUBLICATIONS > Authentic arts-based learning in teacher education: a musical theatre experience

CCE Research

Authentic arts-based learning in teacher education: a musical theatre experience


October 29, 2010

Author: Holly Ogden, Christopher DeLuca and Michelle Searle

Institution: Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Full reference: Ogden, H., DeLuca, C. and Searle, M. (2010) ‘Authentic arts-based learning in teacher education: a musical theatre experience‘, Teaching Education, 21: 4, 367 — 383

Summary of key findings

This study documents and analyzes a project to engage teacher candidates in a musical theatre production during pre-service teacher education. The project was motivated by concerns over disengagement of students during the on-campus period of training, which the authors attribute to a perceived disconnect between educational theory and practice. It set out to bring together the fields of teacher education, authentic learning, and arts-based learning to offer a meaningful learning experience during this period.

The study’s findings were that participation created a sense of community and belonging amongst the students, as well as developing skills necessary to carry forward art-based learning activities into their teaching careers. The experience led to students feeling more connected and engaged within their pre-service program.

Research Questions & Methodology

The research used a two-staged qualitative methodology to document and analyze the experiences of 30 teacher candidates, who participated as actors and crew in the musical. Data were collected through a post-production questionnaire and then through three post-production focus groups. Responses from the questionnaire served to guide the development of focus group questions and discussion. Key themes for the report were generated by a cross-coding process.

Go to the journal article.