Academic journal article Contributions to Music Education

Factors Influencing Outstanding Band Students' Choice of Music Education as a Career

Academic journal article Contributions to Music Education

Factors Influencing Outstanding Band Students' Choice of Music Education as a Career

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to investigate factors influencing the career choice of outstanding band students. Chi-square analysis revealed significantly fewer females than expected selected music education as a career. Significant differences in high school GPA between the two academic major groups (music education and other major) were determined by an ANOVA test, with higher mean GPAs belonging to the group that did not major in music education. A MANOVA test exposed significant differences in career choice attitudes between the two academic majors. Significant attitude differences were found by ANOVA test in the areas of parental influence, teacher influence, ego satisfaction, confidence in talent, interest, and economic considerations, A discriminant analysis was performed to determine which attitudes could best predict an outstanding band student's selection of academic major (music education or other). The discriminant analysis indicated six variables (attitudes) that correctly classified 82.9% of the originally grouped cases.

A recent LexisNexis(TM) search for "teacher shortage" produced numerous articles that describe the difficulties school districts face as they search for teachers to fill vacant classroom positions (Bartindale, 2005; Cronin, 2005; Dresang, 2005; Matus, 2005; Planas, 2005). The National Education Association (2003) attributes this growing number of unfilled vacancies to increased teacher retirements, growing enrollments, and class size reduction efforts. The National Center for Education Statistics (2001) confirms there is a demographic shift in the age of teachers, which is leading to an increased number of teacher retirements. Statistics show the percentage of teachers 45 years of age or older increased from 26 percent in 1975 to 43% in 1993. In a more recent study, Provasnik and Dorfman (2005) reported the percentage of teachers 45 years of age or older had risen to 47% by the 1999-2000 school year. In addition, teacher mobility has been identified as another contributing factor in the developing shortage of teachers (Huckeby, 1989; Ingersoll, 1997). This shortage is exacerbated by an expected increase in the number of students attending both public and private schools (National Center for Education Statistics, 1999). The combination of these circumstances will result in the need to hire 2.4 million teachers in the next 11 years (National Center for Education Statistics, 1999).

The challenges of filling vacant teaching positions have led many school districts to hire teachers without traditional certification. Ingersoll (1997) reported these empty positions are usually filled in one of three ways: principals will (a) hire less qualified teachers without certification, (b) assign teachers trained in another discipline, or (c) hire substitute teachers. An investigation into alternative certification in Texas revealed that mathematics, physical education, Spanish and music were the disciplines with the most requests for alternative certification (Kettler, 2000). These alternate methods meet immediate personnel needs but create other long-term concerns. Of the teachers who enter the profession through alternative methods, only 34% continue to be engaged in education three years after they began teaching. Overall, 30% of teachers leave the profession after entry. This high attrition intensifies the need to hire a large number of unprepared teachers into the profession (Darling-Hammond, 2000). The national No Child Left Behind legislation, passed in 2002, addressed this concern for teacher preparedness. The legislation required that all public elementary and secondary school teachers who teach a core academic subject hold full state certification, have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, and demonstrate subject matter competency in each of the academic subjects the teacher teaches by the 2005-2006 school year (United States Department of Education, 2003). While this legislation set a standard for improving the classroom credentials of teachers it also created a need for more teachers who meet the highly qualified threshold. …

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