Professional Development Quality in U.S. Music Education: An Analysis of the 2011–2012 Schools and Staffing Survey

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The purpose of this study was to compare differences in the quality of professional development between U.S. music educators and teachers of other disciplines. Data were drawn from the 2011–2012 Schools and Staffing Survey. Factors such as types of professional development, quantity of activities, and levels of satisfaction were analyzed through a series of multiple regressions to determine the relationships between professional development quality for teachers of music and non-music disciplines. Results indicated that music educators were significantly less likely to collaborate with other educators on issues of instruction and engaged in significantly less technology-related professional activity; however, music educators reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction with content-specific professional activity and engaged in significantly more content-specific activity than some higher-stakes disciplines. In light of educational policies and trends, the common assumption that music educators are generally less supported within their schools does not hold true. Implications of this study include the need for music educators to participate in more collaborative forms of professional development. This study also suggests that all educators should receive more time spent in professional learning congruent to the level of engagement espoused by research literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-189
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Schools and Staffing Survey
  • content-specific
  • educational policy
  • inservice learning
  • professional development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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