Volume 21 Number 32 November 5, 2020

Musical Self-portraits and Representations of Non/Conformity: In the Music Classroom with Preservice Generalist Teachers

Terry G. Sefton
University of Windsor, Canada

Danielle Sirek
University of Windsor, Canada

Citation: Sefton, T. G., Sirek, D. (2020). Musical self-portraits and representations of non/conformity: In the music classroom with preservice generalist teachers. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 21(32). http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea21n32


Self-portraits are a genre of art, but also constitute artefacts of identity. This research explores student-created musical self-portraits produced by more than 150 generalist teacher education students (preservice teachers) in Ontario, Canada over a period of three years. The self-portraits were completed and submitted as an assignment at the beginning of the term in a compulsory music education class. This paper examines the material practice, influences, and symbols that students used. Most of the self-portraits conformed to the idea of ‘the good teacher’, while only a few represented identities that lay outside social norms. The findings contribute to an understanding of how students may groom their self-image and construct a public identity to fit the institutional and cultural ethos of preservice teacher education programs.

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