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Constructing Music Education in the UK

  • Module code: MU7005
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module examines the diversity of practice associated with school-based music provision in the UK maintained sector and associated research. Current positions concerning universal entitlement to the subject will be explored and traced back to influential antecedents.  Students will formulate a critical response to course themes by designing a short investigation exploring the complex transactional character of pedagogy which typifies music lessons across the UK. It will be located in a school if possible, supported by CRB checking (and if necessary, ethics clearance),  or alternatively, will be based on student peer teaching. Outcomes will be interrogated with the aid of tools commonly applied to intersubjective contexts, such as activity system modelling, identity profiling or documentation of transactional process.

Aims

  • To examine the roles of national and local bodies responsible for music provision in the UK maintained sector and the position of schools, communities and professional organisations within regulatory frameworks.
  • To trace the evolution of value systems underpinning aesthetic education today, and explore the influence of this discourse on schools and music classroom culture.
  • To explore the complex transactional character of school-based music pedagogy, the diversity of practice engendered and some of the consequences for research.
  • To enable students to interrogate course themes by designing and conducting a short, music-specific investigation into an aspect of pedagogic practice they have studied.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • understand and deconstruct in writing the relationship between national regulation of the statutory curriculum in the UK and devolution of power to schools to cultivate a distinctive musical identity;
  • synthesise and respond critically to discourse in music education emanating from the academy, the classroom and other key agencies such as local music services or OFSTED;
  • design and implement, as a member of  group, an investigation into the practical, transactional character of classroom music pedagogy;
  • model/analyse their findings convincingly and evidence a supporting discussion securely.

Curriculum content

  • Music education in the UK: relationships between national and local contexts.
  • Non-statutory indicators of strategic government planning, eg. The National Plan for Music, the Henley Report, Widening Opportunities, Sing-Up.
  • Expressions of entitlement: pupils as perfomer-participants, innovators, interlocutors and critics; their right to a holistic music education.
  • Defining good classroom practice: analysis of nationally-approved open-view resources.
  • The school and music room as communities of practice: creating distinctive cultures within a framework of compliance.
  • The evolution of complex transactional pedagogy in the UK, before and after the Education Reform Act, and implications for aesthetic education and music.
  • Children's music-making as a locus for research.
  • Deployment of activity system, transactional or other modellings in music education research.
  • Designing an investigation: assigning participant roles; selecting research tools and resources; the function of participant-observer in promoting criticality.

Teaching and learning strategy

The first half of the module will have a strong bearing on assignment 1, the context paper, comprising lectures, short class tasks/discussions and practical modelling of classroom-style activities. To support this work and plan ahead for semester 2, students will rehearse weekly with the department's gamelan or djembe ensemble to familiarise themselves with pedagogic practices commonly encountered in UK classrooms. Tutorials for the context paper will start towards the end of semester 1.

Half way through the year the emphasis of taught classes will shift to assignment 2. In addition to attending lectures, students will, in groups, respond to one or more context paper themes by designing a short investigation/project which illuminates a position or policy they have examined. The function of the investigation/project is to inform a piece of discursive coursework, the Reflective Project paper.  4 evenly-spaced tutorials for this assignment will be offered.

Pedagogic practices encountered in gamelan/djembe ensembles will be applied to project planning where appropriate. The project will normally take place outside the University (eg. in a school) around the middle of semester 2 supported  by preliminary visits. It will usually entail creating and delivering a short scheme of work for the classroom. It may also involve observing and analysing school-based activities delivered by experienced teachers and/or interviewing serving staff. In order to prepare adequately, students must rehearse activities in advance and invite staff to selected sessions.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching 1. Timetabled weekly lectures. 2. Supporting tutorials, group and individual. 33 7
Guided independent study Group-based activity: to design and implement delivery and documentation of a short investigation / school project Individual: to complete contextual research and three written papers. 40 220
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

  • Each student will write a context paper of 2,000 words (weighted 40%) to demonstrate understanding of selected course themes.
  • Reflective Project paper of 2,500 words plus appendices (weighted 60%).  In this discursive paper, students will test context paper themes against outcomes of a short, school-based music/performing arts project which they plan and deliver in teams. 

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) understand and deconstruct in writing the relationship between national regulation of the curriculum in the UK and powers of implementation devolved to schools, including cultivation of a distinctive musical identity; Context paper
2) synthesise and respond critically to discourse in music education emanating from the academy, the classroom and other key agencies, such as local music services or OFSTED; Context Paper and Reflective Project Paper
3) design and implement, as a member of group, an investigation into the practical, transactional character of classroom music pedagogy; Reflective Project paper
4) model/analyse their findings convincingly and evidence a supporting discussion securely. Reflective Project paper

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework Context Paper 40
Coursework Reflective Project Paper 60
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Adams, P., McQueen, H., and Hallam, S., (2010) ‘Contextualising Music Education in the UK' in Music Education in the 21st Century in the United Kingdom. London: Institute of Education.

Davidson, J., McPherson, G., and Faulkner, R., (2012) Music in our Lives: re-thinking musical ability, development and identity. Oxford: OUP.

Finney, J., (2011) Music Education in England: the Child-Centered Progressive Tradition.  Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing.

Hargreaves D., and North A,. (2008) ‘Musical Development and Education' in The Social and Applied Psychology of Music.  Oxford: OUP, pp.313-355.

Hirst, P., (1993) ‘The Foundations of the National Curriculum: Why subjects?' in O'Hear, P., and White, J., (eds.) Assessing the National Curriculum. London: Paul Chapman Publishing, pp.31-37.

McPherson, G., (ed.) (2006) The Child as Musician. Oxford: OUP.

Philpott, C., (2012) ‘The Justification for Music in the Curriculum' in Philpott, C., and Spruce, G., (eds.) Debates in Music Education. London: Routledge.

Bibliography recommended reading

Barrett, M., and Stauffer, S., (2009) Narrative Enquiry into Music Education: Troubling Uncertainty. Berlin and New York: Springer Science + Business Media

Cole, M., et al. (eds.) (1978)  Vygotsky, L., Mind in Society. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Fautley, M., (2010) Assessment in Music Education. Oxford: OUP

Harrison, C., and Finney (eds.) (2010) Whose Music Education is it? The role of the student voice. Solihull: NAME  Publications.

OFSTED (2012) Music in Schools: Wider and Still Wider. Available at: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/music-schools-wider-still-and-wider.

Palmer, J., (ed.) (2001) Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education – from Piaget to the present. London: Routledge.

Plummeridge, C., (2001) ‘Justification for Music Education',in Philpott C., and Plummeridge C., (eds.) Issues in Music Teaching. London: Routledge, pp.21-31.

Reid, L.A., (1969) ‘Education and Aesthetic Meaning', in The British Journal of Aesthetics, 9:3: pp.271-284.

-              (1980) ‘Art: Knowledge-that and Knowing-this', in The British Journal of Aesthetics, 20:4pp.329-339.

Pitts, S., (2012) Chances and Choices: Exploring the Impact of Music Education. Oxford:OUP

Woodford, P., (2012) ‘Music Education and Social Justice' in  Philpott, C., and Spruce, G., (eds.)  Debates in Music Education. London:Routledge.

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