The February issue of Choral Journal is online and features an article titled “COVID and the Choral Educator: Preparedness, Perceptions, Attitudes, and a Way Forward” by Scott Rieker and Irene Apanovitch-Leites. You can read it in its entirety online at acda.org/choraljournal. Following is a portion from the introduction.
Until recently, integrating technology into choral education has been—at best—supplemental to day-to-day instruction. Due to the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the spring semester of 2020, however, choral education had to move from its traditional, in-person modality, to a form of information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled distance learning. To fully understand the impact of moving from in-person to online instruction in a choral setting, we must consider teachers’ feelings of preparedness before the pandemic, the adaptations teachers made during the pandemic, and any shifts in perceptions and attitude regarding their experience. Using the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK, later TPACK) framework for professional development as a theoretical lens, this mixed-methods study aimed to answer the following research questions:
(1) Given the sudden shift to online learning in the spring semester of 2020, to what extent do choral music educators feel their past training has prepared them for teaching in a post-COVID-19 environment?
(2) In the online or blended instructional environment of COVID-19-impacted education, what skills, abilities, and resources did choral educators employ, and how were these acquired?
(3) How did the experience of instruction during COVID-19 shift the perceptions and attitudes of choral music educators?
(4) What conclusions can be drawn from the data about the professional development needed for choral music educators in online or blended instructional environments?
The purpose of this study was to provide a snapshot of choral educators’ attitudes and perceptions at this moment in history, reveal the extent to which music educators feel their current training can serve them in a post-COVID teaching environment, and inform future professional development and teacher training programs on what is needed to prepare educators to adapt, should another pandemic occur. Existing research on the intersection of technology and music education is already fairly extensive.
Consequently, for this study, we limited our review of literature to three main topics: the roles technology plays and could play in choral music education, the impact of digital literacy—of both students and teachers—on effective implementation of technology, and on avenues to professional development that are authentic and effective for choral music educators. Obviously, inquiry into any sort of technology is fast-moving, and we hope our study will be a meaningful contribution. A list of the resources we drew upon is provided at the conclusion of the article.
To better understand the impact of moving from in-person to online instruction in a choral setting, our study sought to explore teachers’ feelings of preparedness before the pandemic, the adaptations teachers made during the pandemic, and any shifts in perceptions and attitude regarding their experience through the use of a robust and wide-ranging survey.
View this full article (and more!) in the February 2021 issue of Choral Journal, available online at acda.org