Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood Education

First Advisor

Julie Rainer Dangel, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Teri Holbrook, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Laura Meyers, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

David E. Myers, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Michelle Zoss, Ph.D.


Drawing on portraiture methods, this case study is an exploration of the experiences of pre-service teachers who participated in a music-integrated literacy methods course during their first semester in an elementary teacher preparation program. The study is a response to previous researchers’ findings that arts-integrated university courses hold the most impact on the teaching practices of pre-service teachers when included early in their preparation programs and that pre-service teachers are more hesitant about music integration than the integration of other art forms. Data collected over the course of one semester included course assignments, reflective journals, a survey designed to measure teacher attitudes toward the use of the arts in teaching, observations of teaching practices in the field, audio-recorded debriefing sessions after each teaching observation, and audio-recorded semi-structured interviews. Six participants were observed in their field placements and six participants were interviewed; two participants were included in both the observation and interview groups. Data analysis included the use of In Vivo and axial coding as well as Impressionistic Records. Four major themes regarding pre-service teachers’ experiences in a music-integrated literacy methods course were identified: (a) pre-service teachers’ thinking as learners in a music-integrated literacy methods course doesn’t transfer to their teaching practices, (b) previous training in music impacts how pre-service teachers envision their future arts-integrated teaching, (c) pre-service teachers’ actual practice doesn’t mirror their envisioned practice, and (d) pre-service teachers desire more supportive field experiences that allow freedom to integrate the arts and place less emphasis on testing mandates. Further, pre-service teachers who have experienced a music-integrated literacy methods course see music as an effective tool for teaching literacy concepts to their students. This study provides an in-depth understanding of pre-service teachers’ experiences in a music-integrated literacy methods course and highlights their voices as heard in the data.