October, 1987

David Willoughby

The second of two CMS Study Groups met in Denver in September. Its charge was to examine two interrelated topics: the preparation of college music teachers and the quality of music teaching in higher education. The first Study Group met in April, focusing on the content of the undergraduate music curriculum, particularly the musical education of the general college student and the general education of the music major.

The issues generated at Study Group II focused on the responsibilities and initiatives of institutions, administrators, faculty, and students—individually and corporately. Issues centered around the following four topics:

Pre-service—College teachers are prepared primarily in doctoral programs, although it was acknowledged that master-level programs do prepare college teachers, particularly for community and junior colleges and to some degree in performance.

Acknowledging that most doctoral students are preparing to be, or will be, college teachers, supervised clinical experience in college teaching should be part of every doctoral student's residency, with expectations of both student and supervisor clearly articulated.

A structured study of college teaching, as in a course or seminar, should be part of all doctoral programs. Faculty from the various music disciplines could cooperatively explore various teaching and learning issues.

In-service—Institutions can organize seminars, retreats, or workshops on teaching, taking advantage of educational resources within and outside of music, and they can encourage junior faculty to visit classes of experienced, successful teachers, perhaps to the extent of organizing an ongoing mentor program.

Individuals can be encouraged to set personal objectives for improved teaching on an annual basis. Faculty can find ways of sharing assessments of the teaching effectiveness of their advanced graduate students, thus examining their own teaching philosophy and style. Faculty typically have to submit course syllabi, but it may be productive to discuss the content and student expectations with at least one other faculty colleague.

Standards for Admission and Graduation—Admission procedures for doctoral programs can include documentation of demonstrated teaching competence or potential through interviews, references, videotapes, or live demonstrations.

An in process" assessment of teaching potential can be made of the doctoral student's performance in the clinical experience and the structured component on college teaching.

As part of the final assessment at the end of course work, the student can demonstrate teaching ability to the fullest extent possible given the diversity of teaching situations they are likely to engage in. Such teaching could be done by means of conducting a rehearsal, teaching a studio lesson, or teaching a class.

Institutional Environment—The environment in which a faculty works that is conducive to continual improvement of teaching will include clear statements of institutional expectations and appropriate evaluation procedures that value teaching effectiveness; incentives through financial support, awards, and released time; a support network including the mentor program, adequate secretarial and technical services in support of teaching, and quality classroomand studio equipment.

The organization of both Study Groups was in response to a variety of recent reports by various national education organizations and agencies that have focused on the quality and effectiveness of teaching in higher education. CMS will publish its own reports on the issues generated by these Study Groups as a means of stimulating further dialog. The writer of the report of the first Study Group is Frank Tirro from Yale University; Richmond Browne of the University of Michigan is writing the second report.

Study Group II was ably chaired by Jacquelyn Boswell from Arizona State University. Other participants, in addition to Boswell and Browne, were Robert Glidden, Florida State University; James A, Standifer, University of Michigan; Gretchen F. Wheelock, Eastman School of Music; Robert Garfias, University of California at Irvine; Bennett Reimer, Northwestern University; and Lois Svard, Bucknell University.