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Unit 3 E-module: Reflective Practice &

CERTIFICATE
Professional Development in Music Education

F O R M U S I C E D U C A T O R S


Introduction to Unit 3:

This unit will explore the concepts of reflective practice and professional
development and how these relate to the Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators.

Through this unit you will learn:
o That reflective practice is central to the Trinity CME
o What is meant by reflective practice
o Why reflective practice is important
o How to become a reflective practitioner
o The importance of professional development


Section 1: Reflective Practice and the Trinity CME

In our version of the Trinity CME, Reflective Practice isn’t just the subject of a
module, it is the philosophy which underpins the entire programme. Your
relationship with your mentor will give you the opportunity to reflect on your
learning needs, your music education practice, and the needs of your students, so
that every task you undertake on the programme will improve and enhance
learning outcomes for the children and young people that you teach.

This process starts with a needs analysis process during which you reflect on
your prior learning and knowledge to ascertain where you are now in your
practice. With the help of your mentor you will use this process to create the
Professional Action Plan that will guide your progress through the programme.
You and your mentor will reflect on and review this document at regular
intervals throughout the programme to decide what learning you should
undertake next, until all the units have been completed.

In creating evidence for your portfolio by completing the e-module tasks, there
will be an element of reflection to every item that you submit. This may be
annotating a lesson plan stating which aspects went well and which were less
successful, or a more extended piece of reflective writing discussing your
thoughts on, for example, an element of pedagogy, or an unexpected incident in
your classroom.

The process of reflection is so important, that if you are unable to meet an
assessment criterion - for example if something goes wrong in a lesson
observation and you aren’t able to demonstrate it sufficiently – in some cases
you are able to submit a reflective statement detailing what you would do
differently next time to meet the criterion, and this can stand as evidence
instead.



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Unit 3 E-module: Reflective Practice &
CERTIFICATE
Professional Development in Music Education

F O R M U S I C E D U C A T O R S


Section 2: Reflective Practice – What is it and Why do we do it?

Work through the following interactive online article about reflective practice:

https://www.cambridge-community.org.uk/professional-
development/gswrp/index.html


Task 1: Evidence your understanding

1. Write a short article or record a podcast or video blog explaining the
different models of reflective practice as outlined in the article above.
2. Complete the Personal Action Plan document at each stage of your CME
journey, and upload it at the end of your time on the programme.
3. After your mentor has completed your Lesson Observation (live or video),
complete the reflection section of this document and include it in your
portfolio.

Upload these pieces of evidence to your portfolio against assessment criteria
3.1.1, 3.1.3, 3.1.4, 3.4.1, 3.4.2, 3.5.1, 3.5.2, 3.5.3, and 3.6.1(a).


Section 3: Professional Development in Music Education

What is professional development?

Professional development is the means by which you maintain your skills and
knowledge relating to your professional role once your initial training is
completed. By undertaking the Trinity CME you have already made a significant
commitment to your own professional development. At the end of your time on
the programme your mentor will ask you to fill in the final section of your PAP
detailing what kind of professional development opportunities you feel you need
to take next. Through this process we encourage you to engage in ‘continuing
professional development’, ensuring that you are always learning and
developing as a practitioner throughout your career.

Professional development is particularly important in education because
theories, practices and resources are constantly changing. In the music education
sector there has for example been a recent shift towards teaching instruments in
whole classes and/or large groups. Those teachers who only had experience of
teaching individual lessons had to undertake professional development to learn
how to manage larger groups, and how to structure and differentiate their
learning. For classroom based practitioners, the national curriculum for music
changed in September 2014, to include the requirement to teach staff notation at
KS2 level. For those primary teachers who did not already read music,
professional development was required to gain the skills needed to teach this
part of the curriculum.

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Unit 3 E-module: Reflective Practice &
CERTIFICATE
Professional Development in Music Education

F O R M U S I C E D U C A T O R S



Selecting appropriate forms of professional development

People often think of professional development as going on a course or attending
an INSET session provided by their employer, but there are many different types
of professional development. Reading a textbook, undertaking internet research,
observing other teachers, having discussions with colleagues, engaging in
Twitter chats, and trying different ideas out in the classroom are all valid forms
of professional development. Sometimes, music educators neglect their
professional development due to perceived barriers such as cost, time and loss of
income, but selecting one of these alternative forms of professional development
can overcome these barriers.

When selecting professional development options, music educators should
always consider the potential impact on their teaching. It can be very interesting
to attend courses exploring new resources or approaches, but for maximum
effect, professional development options should be selected based on issues and
ideas arising from reflective practice.


Task 2: Evidence your Understanding

1. Annotate the spider diagram above to identify the types of professional
development you might undertake to address a change in each of the areas
listed, and where you might access these (e.g. a subject association such as

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Unit 3 E-module: Reflective Practice &
CERTIFICATE
Professional Development in Music Education

F O R M U S I C E D U C A T O R S

Music Mark, an umbrella body such as the Teacher Development Trust, or


through other means). Consider the potential barriers to undertaking the
type of professional development you have chosen, and suggest an
alternative form of professional development that would overcome these.
2. As you approach the end of your time on the CME programme, reflect on the
elements of your practice that you would like to improve or strengthen, and
record these in section 4 of your personal action plan.

Upload these pieces of evidence to your portfolio against assessment criteria
3.3.2, 3.3.3, 3.3.4, 3.6.1(b)


Section 4: The Landscape of Music Education

Ofsted have repeatedly flagged as a concern the ‘professional isolation’ of music
teachers (‘Making More of Music: An evaluation of Music in Schools 2005-08,’
Ofsted 2009; ‘Music in Schools: Wider still and Wider,’ Ofsted 2012; ‘Music in
Schools: What hubs must do,’ Ofsted 2013). For both school-based and
peripatetic staff, and especially for private teachers, working alone and
unsupported is the default, with only relatively rare opportunities to collaborate
and consult with other teachers.

However, just because we may be isolated from the work of other music
educators, this does not mean that our pupils are. A private piano student will be
having curriculum music lessons at school, a secondary music pupil may be
playing their violin in a county orchestra, a primary school child in a First Access
class may also be having singing lessons. It is important as music educators that
we take account of these connections so that we can give our pupils a more
joined-up music education.

Making these connections can also give us ideas for career progression. Finding
out about the other music education individuals and organisations in our local
area can help us to reflect on the skills we might like to develop, and also help us
to access professional development in order to achieve this. In England, a
particularly good mechanism for this would be to find out about the work of your
local Music Education Hub. http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/music-
education/music-education-hubs


Task 3: Evidence your understanding

Employed Music Educators:
1. Request a copy of your organisation’s staffing structure and annotate this to
show where your current role lies and which role(s) you might progress to if
you stay within this organisation. Also note what type of professional
development you might need to undertake in order to progress your career
in this way.

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Unit 3 E-module: Reflective Practice &
CERTIFICATE
Professional Development in Music Education

F O R M U S I C E D U C A T O R S

Self-Employed Music Educators:


1. Research the music education organisations in your local area. What career
paths might be open to you through these organisations, and what
professional development would you need to undertake in order to progress
your career in this way?

Upload these pieces of evidence to your portfolio against assessment criteria
3.2.1 & 3.2.2.


Task 4: Reflect on your understanding

Consider all you have learned about reflective practice and professional
development. As a music educator how can a commitment to reflective practice
and continuing professional development improve your performance?

Submit your reflective thoughts in written, audio or video form alongside the
rest of the tasks from Unit 3.

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