High-quality music teacher professional development: A review of the literature


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Most published journal articles describing professional development (PD) initiatives for K-12 music teachers have not explicitly alluded to the ‘features of high-quality PD', a solid theoretical framework arisen in content areas with more tradition in PD research (e.g. mathematics and science education). The goal of this review was to examine the music-specific PD literature using this framework. We reviewed seven mainstream music education journals from 1990 to 2015, identifying 17 articles reporting on a total of 24 PD initiatives (e.g. workshops, courses, programmes, school-based PD). Results show interesting differences in the extent to which the various features considered (i.e. content focus, active learning opportunities, collective participation, duration, and coherence) are exhibited in these music-specific initiatives. This analysis is relevant for music education theory, policy, and practice, as it suggests concrete ways of improving the quality of the PD offered to school music teachers. Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-469
JournalMusic Education Research
Issue number4
Early online dateNov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Bautista, A., Yau, X., & Wong, J. (2017). High-quality music teacher professional development: A review of the literature. Music Education Research, 19(4), 455-469. doi: 10.1080/14613808.2016.1249357


  • Teacher professional development
  • K-12 music teachers
  • Features of highquality PD
  • Teacher learning
  • Educational change

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