Music teachers' perceptions of creativity in the context of twenty-first century Chinese education: a qualitative study on the influence of experience and policy on primary school music and piano teachers

Ge, Xiaowen (2024) Music teachers' perceptions of creativity in the context of twenty-first century Chinese education: a qualitative study on the influence of experience and policy on primary school music and piano teachers. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study investigates Chinese music teachers' perceptions of creativity and the factors that influence their perceptions in the context of music education in China in the twenty-first century. Since the beginning of the 21st century, schools and instrumental music education have been encouraged to pay attention to students' creativity (Pang & Plucker, 2012). In response to the national demand for cultural innovation and creative talents, the New Curriculum Standards (Ministry of Education [MoE], 2011, 2022) encourage teachers to use innovative methods and materials and to foster students' creativity. The study was conducted using a qualitative, interpretive approach. Data was collected by non-participant observation, semi-structured interviews, critical incident charting, and the researcher's diary. Three rounds of nonparticipant observations and semi-structured interviews were used to investigate the perceptions of two teacher groups: three primary school music teachers and three private piano teachers of primary-aged children. Critical incident charting was used to record the teacher's experiences, while the researcher's diary was used to record other details during fieldwork and the researcher's post-fieldwork reflections. The data were analysed using inductive and deductive thematic analysis.

The findings illustrate the perceptions of the teachers in three themes: their two complementary definitions of creativity, their understanding of the seven stages of creativity development in music education, and the challenges that they encountered in teaching. Both the school music teachers and the piano teachers suggested in their comments that creativity among pupils can be developed gradually over an extended period of music learning. Following data analysis an original seven-stage spectrum of musical learning is considered, although the teachers did not specify how long each stage lasted. Further analysis and discussion revealed that both groups of music teachers held similar views on the significance of developing students' aesthetic skills. They also interpreted how they balanced encouraging pupils' creative thinking with developing their aesthetic skills. The findings also consider the influence of two factors on teachers' perceptions: their past and present experiences and examination and curriculum requirements. Both groups of teachers believed that their individual musical training had shaped and built their perceptions. School music teachers had been attempting to adapt their teaching strategies and classroom activities to the revised curriculum standards and textbooks.

Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed in the conclusions. These include that Chinese music teacher educators and policymakers consider teachers' challenges in implementing the new policy requirements. In addition, some findings of this study, including the spectrum of teachers' views on the progressive development of creativity in music education, suggest ideas for further research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa)
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Odena, Professor Oscar and Livingston, Professor Kay
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84351
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2024 14:56
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 14:57
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84351

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