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Democracy and Music Education

Liberalism, Ethics, and the Politics of Practice

Paul G. Woodford

Publication Year: 2005

On the basis of Dewey's principles, Paul G. Woodford explores the social foundation of current music education practices in the context of democratic values of freedom, creativity, and contribution to society. He then critiques the means by which this ideal is learned by teachers and taught to students. Woodford concludes with recommendations for acknowledging democratic and non-democratic values in music teaching, teacher training, and performance, and suggests steps toward a "liberal" music education.

Counterpoints: Music and Education -- Estelle R. Jorgensen, editor

Published by: Indiana University Press

Democracy and Music Education: Liberalism, Ethics, and the Politics of Practice

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Front Matter

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xvii

Dewey’s remarks were particularly aimed at the school, as it was through its agency that future social progress could most readily be obtained. Of late there has been a renewal of interest in Dewey’s philosophy, as philosophers such as Richard Rorty and Richard Shusterman have gone beyond analytic philosophy in search of models providing greater insight into larger social, ...

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1. Intelligence in the World: John Dewey’s Moral Project

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pp. 1-15

The school placed the accomplishments and dreams of previous generations at the disposal of future generations so that society could re-create itself while realizing its collective potential. It provided the means for society to simultaneously preserve, transform, and transcend tradition. This aim, however, could only be achieved if students were free to develop their individuality and native intelligence ...

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2. Intelligence in the Musical World: Defining Liberalism Differently

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pp. 16-37

A liberal education is supposed to contribute to that end, that is, to prepare future citizens “to function in a democratic culture beyond the specific frame of any profession or specialized knowledge.”1 Music education philosopher David Elliott, though, doubts that a liberal education is appropriate for all children or even “sufficient for future academics.”2 The future happiness of children, he says, depends on their ability to pursue the life values of self-growth ...

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3. Living in a Postmusical Age: Reclaiming the Concept of Abstract Reason

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pp. 38-56

In Postmodern Theologies: The Challenge of Religious Diversity, Terrence Tilley writes that the present era is stamped with a peculiar prefix. We live in a post-age, with contemporary theorists variously proclaiming it to be postmodern, poststructural, postmoral, postauthorial, postliberal, etc.1 Many music education philosophers and theorists believe that we live in a postmusical world in which music as a conceptual paradigm or ...

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4. Music Education and the Culture Wars

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pp. 57-75

Previously, I discussed the nature and value of a liberal music education and how the future health of the profession depends on music teachers becoming more intellectually and politically involved in the profession and its problems and in the wider public sphere. I also addressed the nature of abstract reason and intellectual conversations as means ...

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5. Toward Reclaiming the Public Musical Sphere

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pp. 76-85

Music teachers are probably uniquely positioned to help break down or bridge institutional, social, and cultural barriers to the free exchange and cross-fertilization of ideas in the public sphere through their use of an increasing diversity of music in the classroom. One would think that the growth of interest in musical multiculturalism made possible by ...

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6. Music Education as an Occasion for Intelligence

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pp. 86-104

In previous chapters, I explained how music education should be reconceived as a study in social intelligence in which consideration is given not just to the pursuit of musical knowledge and skills but also to inculcating in children and music education majors moral imagination and those kinds of personal skills, dispositions, virtues, and attributes needed ...


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pp. 105-140


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pp. 141-154


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pp. 155-160

E-ISBN-13: 9780253110473
E-ISBN-10: 0253110475
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253345165

Page Count: 184
Publication Year: 2005