Tensions and perplexities within teacher education and P–12 schools for music teachers with visual impairments

Elizabeth Cassidy Parker, Tami J Draves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We have written this article seeking to connect societal perceptions of disability with P–12 schools and higher education institutions toward the goal of greater understanding and equitable employment opportunities for music teachers with disabilities, specifically teacher candidates with visual impairment. In our investigation, we examine the following questions: (a) How have special education programs within P–12 schools, universities, and schools of music reflected societal perceptions of persons with disabilities and how do those in turn influence perceptions of teacher candidates? (b) How have the essential functions of teaching been articulated by accreditation programs and what tensions arise when music teachers with visual impairments are considered for employment? and (c) What are potential ways forward for P–12 education, teacher education programs, and schools of music? To disrupt binaries between able and disabled in schools, we recommend embracing a broader, interdependent view of music education, one that is defined by and includes all teaching professionals and school communities. Additionally, we support recruitment of teacher candidates with disabilities to music education programs and consistent advocacy through matriculation and job placement to encourage entry into P–12 schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalArts Education Policy Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Essential functions
  • students with disabilities
  • teacher education
  • teachers with disabilities
  • visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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