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Standards of Music Education and the Easily Administered Child/Citizen: The Alchemy of Pedagogy and Social Inclusion/Exclusion Thomas S. Popkewitz and Ruth Gustafson University of Wisconsin-Madison Educational standards are forsome a corrective device to promote the twin goals of excellence and equity by making explicit the performance outcomes ofschooling. For others, performance standards do not do what they say and install the wrong goals for teaching. But various sides in the debate assume that school subjects teach the subjects and what is needed are more effective and efficient classroom practices. Our approach is different. We consider the standards of school subjects as related to the conditions of state governing. School subjects inscribe principles that administer the conduct ofthe child who is to grow into the "reasonable citizen." The Standards Movement is more than what is publicly discussed. Pedagogy embodies particular ways ofthinking or a system ofreason in which pedagogy orders who we are, who we should become, and who are not qualifiedto become that "we." If we think of modern schooling as an inscription device in the fonning of the citizen through the development ofthe child, the crux of the debate is not whether to have standards. It is how particular standards are inscribed through pedagogicalpractices. Ifwe treat school subjects as analogous to a uniform system of taxes, the developmentofuniformmeasurements, andurban planning in the modem state, our concern is with the boundaries created about the rules and standards of reason and the reasonable person. Pedagogygoverns inadoublesense: schoolmusic embodies representations that constitute the objects that children act on as real, and it generates principles to orderand patrol the borders that qualify and disqualify individuals for participation . The standards that govern music education can be thought about as an alchemy.1 The field of music is transported and translated into school subjects andpedagogical content. As the sorcerer ofthe middle ages sought to turn lead into gold, a specializedpedagogyplaces children in a new set ofrelations that is no longerthe academic field of music. Why is the alchemy important? First, the alchemy ofschool subjects is a particular system of reason that fabricates the kinds of people administered in schooling. Second, the alchemy reconfigures the sensitivities and awarenesses of the field of music to make the child's "soul" the site of administration. That soul in music and other school subjects is talked about today as personaldevelopment, self-reflection,personality, and character. Third, school subjects are sites in which the relations between the state, society, community, and individuality are worked and reworked to produce the borders ofinclusion and exclusion. The first section of this paper considers school subjects as a practice of governing that administersprinciples (orstandards ifwecanplay with that word) about who we are and should be. The second section considers psychology as the translation device that transports academic disciplines into school subjects. It may seem odd at firstglancebutthesamepsychologicaltransportation systems exist across school subjects. The historical intervention of the transportation system , we argue in the third section, has little to do with understanding music or science, but with governing the soul. In that section we examine the different cultural practices that overlap to┬ęPhilosophy ofMusic Education Review 10, no. 2 (Fall, 2002): 80-91. Thomas S. Popkewitz/Ruth Gustafson 81 generate principles that orderthe nature ofmusic, the child/childhood, teaching, and reflection and subjectivity in music education. The discussion is not about the internal structure or the goodness ofmusic education but the particular frames of reference that form the evidence and possibilities of reform in school subjects. We take up the task ofinquiry into the alchemy of music as part of a broader project to show the contingency ofthe arrangement that we live by showing how thought has played a part in holding those arrangements together and to contestthe strategiesthatgovernthehumanpossibilities . The Art ofGoverning: Standards as Mapping Who We are/to Become Themodern state governs through developing a precise system of classifications and the correct sorting devices to chart a course ofaction that will change society for the better and which will prevent any futurejoining ofthe ranks ofthe poorly performing. To govern is to develop systems ofclassification that calculate and make legiblepeople fortheadministrationofthe society and the citizen. Mass schooling is a central institution in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-3412
Print ISSN
1063-5734
Pages
pp. 80-91
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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