Experiential learning as a form of assessment in pre-service music teacher education: a review of the literature

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In a chaotic and turbulent global environment Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses have a particular responsibility to develop ITE music teachers’ skills and knowledge to support a positive transition into the teaching profession. Experiential learning has been identified as an approach to music education that can effectively support this process through a practical implementation of authentic and real-life teaching and learning experiences.
Experiential learning theory has its origins in the first half of the twentieth century when human learning and development theories were being constructed by Dewey, Lewin, Piaget, Jung and Friere. In higher education the theory can provide a more personalised experience for students as it leverages the positive impact of teaching and learning via different formats such as project work, campus-based activities or integrated university and community approaches.
Experiential learning as a form of assessment offers students and their teachers/lecturers an opportunity to reflect in a meaningful way about what they have learned and how it has impacted on their thinking.
The researchers suggest that ITE programs need to consider how assessment can facilitate experiential learning to establish clear links between theory and practice, while also addressing the diverse assessment purposes of higher education. As expert music educators, we have experience in the provision of successful experiential learning as assessment interventions in our ITE music methods classes. For this current music education project the researchers reviewed the literature systematically and synthesised the findings from intersecting areas of assessment, experiential learning and ITE. This paper highlights the gap in scholarly knowledge to frame future research and make recommendations on ways in which innovative forms of assessment can inform pedagogy and curriculum in teacher education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAustralian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education Annual Conference 2021 - Virtual/Online, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 30 Oct 202131 Oct 2021
Conference number: 43rd


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education Annual Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleANZARME 2021
Internet address


  • Music Education
  • Initial Teacher Education
  • Experiential learning
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Literature review

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