Self-directed Learning in Music Teacher Education: Perspectives from Pre-service Music Teachers in South Korea


  • Jihae Shin Ewha Womans University



learner-centred, self-directed learning, teacher education, action research, music teacher education


This aim of this study is to investigate the perspectives of Korean pre-service music teachers on self-directed thesis seminar conducted in the graduate teacher education program. This research focused on 1) the attitude of pre-service music teachers towards self-directed thesis seminar and 2) the impact of self-directed thesis seminar on the progress of the pre-service music teachers’ performance. Ten pre-service music teachers participated in the researcher’s thesis seminar. The results demonstrated that most of the participants were anxious and insecure in managing the various educational resources as well as monitoring the progress of their study. However, the self-directed thesis seminar has indirectly provided the participants with a new learning environment to manage their own goals, initiate their own learning, and responsible for their own progress and outcomes. The findings also showed that collaborative learning is essential as an instructional approach in self-directed learning to enable the participants to share their views from different perspectives and develop critical thinking.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Jihae Shin, Ewha Womans University

Jihae Shin is an assistant professor in a graduate school of education at Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea, where she teaches music education courses. She earned her master’s degree at the Ohio State University and doctoral degree at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA. Her research interests focus on teacher education, professional development, string music education, and music teaching and learning.


Al-karasneh, S. M. (2014). Reflective journal writing as a tool to teach aspects of social studies. European Journal of Education, 49(3), 395-407.

Beitler, M. A. (1998). Mid-career adults in self-directed graduate programs. In H.B. Long & Associates (Eds.), Developing paradigms for self-directed learning (pp.179-193). College of Education, University of Oklahoma.

Bernard, H. R., & Ryan, G. W. (2010). Analyzing qualitative data: Systematic approaches. SAGE Publications.

Brookfield, S. D. (2009). Self-directed learning. In R. Maclean & M. Wilson (Eds.), International handbook of education for the changing world of work (pp. 2615-2617). Springer.

Bull, B. D. (2017). Adventures in self-directed learning: A guide for nurturing learner agency and ownership. Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Bullock, S. M. (2013). Using digital technologies to support self-directed learning for pre-service teacher education. The Curriculum Journal, 24(1), 103-120.

Candy, P. C. (1991). Self-direction for lifelong learning. Jossey-Bass.

Conway, C. M., Eros, J., Pellegrino, K., & West, C. (2010). The role of graduate and undergraduate interactions in the development of pre-service music teachers and music teacher educators: A self-study in music teacher education. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 183, 49-64.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. Collier Macmillan.

Garrison, D. R. (1997). Self-directed learning: Toward a comprehensive model. Adult Education Quarterly, 48(1), 18-33.

Goker, S. D. (2016). Use of reflective journals in development of teachers’ leadership and teaching skills. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 4(12A), 63-70.

Goodloe, J.-E. (2015). Promoting critical thinking and reflection in a capstone course for adult learners [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Walden University, Minneapolis.

Greveson, G. C., & Spencer, J. A. (2005). Self-directed learning-the importance of concepts and contexts. Medical Education, 39(4), 348-349.

Haidari, S. M., Yelken, T. Y., & Akay, C. (2019). Technology-enhanced self-directed language learning behaviors of EFL student teachers. Contemporary Educational Technology, 10(3), 229-245.

Harris, R. (2000). An action research project to improve the quality of A Level history writing. Prospero, 6(3&4), 65-79.

Hursen, C. (2016). The impact of curriculum developed in line with authentic learning on the teacher candidates’ success, attitude and self-directed learning skills. Asia Pacific Education Review, 17(1), 73-86.

Jin, D.-L. (2015). A study on the development and application of program utilizing e-portfolios for the improvement of self-directed learning within underachieving undergraduate students [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.

Kim, J. Y. (2016). Group work oral participation: Examining Korean students’ adjustment process in a US university. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 56(3), 400-423.

Knowles, M. S. (1975). Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers. Association Press.

Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2015). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (Vol. 8). Routledge.

Lai, C., Gardner, D., & Law, E. (2013). New to facilitating self-directed learning: The changing perceptions of teachers. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 7(3), 281-294.

Levett-Jones, T. L. (2005). Self-directed learning: Implications and limitations for undergraduate nursing education. Nurse Education Today, 25, 363-368.

LeCompte, M. D., & Preissle, J. (1993). Ethnography and qualitative design in educational research (2nd ed.). Academic Press, INC.

Lee, J., & Park, D. (2014). Do American and Korean education systems converge? Tracking school reform policies and outcomes in Korea and the USA. Asia Pacific Education Review, 15(3), 391-399.

Louws, M. L., Meirink, J. A., Veen, K. V., & Driel, J. H. V. (2017). Teachers’ self-directed learning and teaching practice: What, how, and why teachers want to know. Teaching and Teacher Education, 66, 171-183.

Loyens, S. M. M., Magda, J., & Rikers, R. M. J. P. (2008). Self-directed learning in problem-based learning and its relationships with self-regulated learning. Educational Psychology Review, 20(4), 411-427.

Merriam, S. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Mertler, C. A. (2016). Action research: Improving schools and empowering educators (5th ed.). SAGE Publications.

Parsons, M., & Stephenson, M. (2005). Developing reflective practice in student teachers: Collaboration and critical partnerships. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 11(1), 95-116.

Rana, S., Ardichvili, A., & Polesello, D. (2016). Promoting self-directed learning in a learning organization: Tools and practices. European Journal of Training and Development, 40(7), 470-489.

Seo, M. S. (2010). Strategic changes of preschool teachers’ structuring of knowledge in self-directed learning. Journal of Early Childhood Education, 30(2), 357-380.

Shin, J. (2018). Using interactions among in-service music teachers in a graduate programme for teacher support. Music Education Research, 20(1), 114-125.

Shurr, J., Hirth, M., Jasper, A., McCollow, M., & Heroux, J. (2014). Another tool in the belt: Self-directed professional learning for teachers of students with moderate and severe disabilities. Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services, 33(1), 17-38.

Silen, C., & Uhlin, L. (2008). Self-directed learning-a learning issue for students and faculty! Teaching in Higher Education, 13(4), 461-475.

Simms, M. (2013). A teacher-educator uses action research to develop culturally conscious curriculum planners. Democracy & Education, 21(2), 1-10.

Slavit, D., & McDuffie, A. R. (2013). Self-directed teacher learning in collaborative contexts. School Science and Mathematics, 113(2), 94-105.

Tillema, H. H. (2000). Belief change towards self-directed learning in student teachers: immersion in practice or reflection on action. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16(5-6), 575-59.

Tomal, D. R. (2010). Action research for educators (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Tracy, S. J. (2010). Qualitative quality: Eight “Big-Tent” criteria for excellent qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 16, 837–851.

Trust, T., & Horrocks, B. (2017). ‘I never feel alone in my classroom’: Teacher professional growth within a blended community of practice. Professional Development in Education, 43(4), 645-665.

Van Garderen, D., Hanuscin, D., Thomas, C. N., Stormont, M., & Lee, E. J. (2016). Self-directed learning to improve science content knowledge for teachers. Intervention in School & Clinic, 52(4), 236-242.

Van Wyk, M. M. (2017). An e-portfolio as empowering tool to enhance students’ self-directed learning in a teacher education course: A case of a South African university. South African Journal of Higher Education, 31(3), 274-291.

Williams, B. (2004). Self-direction in a problem based learning programme. Nurse Education Today, 24(4), 277-285.

Zepeda, S. J. (2013). Professional development: What works (2nd ed.). Routledge.




How to Cite

Shin, J. (2020). Self-directed Learning in Music Teacher Education: Perspectives from Pre-service Music Teachers in South Korea. Malaysian Journal of Music, 9, 29–41.