Introducing the Higher Education Initial Teacher Education (HEITE) Group

The group of Initial Teacher Educators have recently found a new home at the ISM.

Collectively, we are keen to be part of this uniquely placed organisation. Their diverse membership spans wide representation from across UK music education, including musicians and educators working in a wide variety of settings, schools, hubs, music services, higher education institutions, conservatoires and other organisations and businesses involved in music education. We chose to re-assemble here because we know that the ISM is in a great position to help the Higher Education Initial Teacher Education’s work develop and flourish, recognising and valuing the extensive reach of our work to enhance music education and learning in a range of settings. The ISM’s track record also shows that they comprehend and are willing to challenge and support many of the issues in music education, and that they are well respected and positively impactful on a local and national level.

Over the next few months, many of our Higher Education Initial Teacher Education members will be sharing aspects of their varied and impactful work; work in which a high quality, challenging, enjoyable and broad view music and arts education is at the core. There is much more to music education than ‘playing an instrument and learning to sing’; thankfully this is recognised in the National Curriculum and promoted throughout our work.

It’s not all about initial teacher education though. Collectively and individually, the HEITE members are involved in music education in a myriad of ways - locally, nationally and internationally. We strongly promote the integral relationship between research and applied work; without this level of criticality, learning and learners lose out. This critical perspective permeates the work we do, whether it is engaged in the professional development early career or established teachers, music education and community based organisations on a local level or national level or working with organisations here and abroad undertaking commissioned research, evaluation and consultancy. Our HEITE members are frequently invited to contribute to work at governmental level nationally and internationally. This same level of criticality goes through our own work and HE courses; the system of ‘external examination’ means that many of use work as ‘critical friends’ for courses and education at other institutions, helping us to continually reflect and develop in fast-changing times.

ITE thrives on well-developed partnerships between schools and universities. This is not new; it has always been the case. ITE providers are effectively ‘hubs’ in their own right; developing long-term relationships with teachers, schools and mentors in our own local geographical areas and beyond. It is through these historical relationships that many of us are ‘plugged in’ to key roles within music education hubs, music services and national programmes.

Through the ISM's blog series, we look forward to sharing some of this work and these ideas over the coming months. This is not supposed to be one-way traffic though – we are keen for you to engage with the topics and debates, sharing your own experiences and helping us all to continually reflect and develop in our own individual and collective communities of practice.

Author: Higher Education Initial Teacher Education (HEITE) Group