The construction of school curriculum and music education

Dundas, Katherine (1997) The construction of school curriculum and music education. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The Newfoundland and Labrador Government is currently in the process of implementing a comprehensive plan for the restructuring of the province's educational system. This study is an investigation into the influences of educational reform policies on the construction of school curriculum in Newfoundland and Labrador. Specifically, it investigates the role of music education in the reorganized school system. – To examine and help further our understandings of the role of arts education in school curriculum, this study uses specific sites and examples from music education. It has attempted to achieve three things: -- 1. To create a sense of the reality of music education in terms of current policy and practice in the Newfoundland and Labrador education system -- 2. To create a sense of the intent and mind-set behind policies and practices associated with current educational reform -- 3. To create a sense of the reality of arts and music education as interpreted by various stakeholders within the educational system. -- Critical theory has provided a method of analysis into the issue of curriculum construction and the role of music education in the Newfoundland and Labrador education system. It has raised many questions regarding the complex issue of reform currently underway in the education system of this province. The use of critical theory in this investigation and analysis is important to the process of understanding the Newfoundland and Labrador education system. Specifically, it challenges accepted definitions and searches for new meanings into the issue of prioritizing curriculum. -- This study uses seven elements drawn from Harvey (1990) as a basis for critical analysis. These elements include abstract generalization, totality, essence, praxis, ideology, structure, and history. -- The research has revealed that as part of current educational reform, the shift in the province's educational paradigm to a focus on ''returning to the basics" in the school system puts the future of music and arts education at risk. The need to consider very carefully the ideologies behind current policies and terms such as "basic" and "quality" education, to whom and for whom, has emerged from this investigation. -- The future of music and arts courses in current educational reform is vague at best. After many years of significant progress in the area of music education programs in Newfoundland and Labrador, a decrease in value or importance represents a significant loss to the educational process. With the institution of more effective communication and consulting processes, better alignment between stated perceptions and values with practice, and the general support of all stakeholders in the education system, music and arts education can remain an integral component of school curriculum and continue to be a significant contributor to current educational reform.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10447
Item ID: 10447
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 211-213.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Education--Newfoundland and Labrador--Curricula; Educational change--Newfoundland and Labrador; Music--Instruction and study--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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