Judith Donaldson

Doctor of Philosophy, (Education)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Education


Thesis Title
Between Two Worlds: Tensions of Practice Encountered by Secondary School Music Teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand

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Ms Donaldson examined issues encountered in the daily working lives of secondary school teachers who are responsible for music in their school. She used data from semistructured interviews with 19 participants, including current and former music teaching practitioners and music advisors in New Zealand. Major tensions were found to arise from the boundary positions that teachers occupied at the interface of two worlds (the inner world of music and the outer world of the school) and from the complex demands of working in the three different areas (classroom teaching, extracurricular, and itinerant music). The study developed from Ms Donaldson’s personal experience as a secondary Head of Music and addressed a major gap in the research literature about the work of secondary school music teachers. In a climate of significant change the results have practical and theoretical implications for policy makers, school leaders, teachers, and researchers.

Professor John O'Neill
Associate Professor Sally Hansen

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