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The gendering of secondary music education: curriculum, pedagogy and the classroom experience

Green, Anna Theresa (2014) The gendering of secondary music education: curriculum, pedagogy and the classroom experience. PhD thesis, UCL Institute of Education.

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This thesis explores the extent to which curriculum content and pedagogy in current secondary music education can be understood as gendered. The study is situated primarily within a qualitative paradigm whilst also possessing some quantitative aspects. It consists of a mixed-methods investigation into the practices and beliefs of music teachers and their pupils via a) a survey across 78 co-educational, non-selective and non-denominational English secondary schools; and b) detailed case-studies of three purposively selected music departments of contrasting complexions. The research springs from, replicates and extends that conducted for L. Green’s early study (1993) concerning gender and music and its findings are examined in the light of a range of historical and theoretical concepts that underpin this domain including Green (1997), O’Neill (1997), Paechter, (2000, 2009), Harrison (2009), Legg (2010), Abramo (2011), Armstrong (2011) and Bjork (2011). Throughout the thesis I compare and contrast three data sets (L. Green’s survey, the modern-day survey and the present case studies) in order to explore similarities and differences between the thoughts and behaviours of both past and current respondents. In addition I aim to extend existing theoretical paradigms by identifying how particular aspects of curriculum and pedagogy can be defined as feminine-gendered’ or ‘masculine-gendered’, (regardless of the sex of the teacher) through the development of a framework of descriptive criteria. In particular I review data emanating from the case studies in the light of this, examining how gendered practices and approaches affect pupils’ responses. Despite evidence of change concerning gendered participation in school music nowadays (such as boys’ improved involvement in 14+ examinations) I show how wide-ranging, complex and deeply-embedded historical constructs continue to govern the dynamics of the music classroom. These reveal themselves, both overtly and covertly, via the expression of a broad range of beliefs and behaviours which usefully elucidate and illuminate the concepts expressed throughout this study.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Music, education, gender, curriculum, pedagogy, KS3, KS4
Subjects: Departments > Culture, Communication and Media
Depositing User: Mr Julian Zerfahs
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2015 10:10
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2015 10:10
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