MER: Unit 2: What's the Problem? - Maker-Centered Music

MER: Unit 2: What's the Problem? - Maker-Centered Music

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For Unit 2 (November 13-26) of our Introduction to Music Education Research course, we designed an introduction to a music education research study we might want to conduct. This developed out of the process outlined in The Craft of Research, an excellent book on conducting and writing about research. Where the texts from Unit 1 (A Rulebook for Arguments and Zen in the Art of Writing) laid out structures for supporting a conclusion and provided inspiration for writing in an engaging way, The Craft of Research guides the reader through the process of selecting a research topic, developing research questions, discovering sources to help answer those questions, and much more. Unit 2 only covers the first six chapters of the text, as we are only proposing a study, not actually conducting research.

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MER: Unit 1: Argument

MER: Unit 1: Argument

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For my Fall II 2018 course in my doctoral program, I am taking Introduction to Music Education Research. For our first unit, we looked at the structure of good argument. Specifically, we were asked to read two books (A Rulebook for Arguments and Zen and the Art of Writing) and two journal articles (Performance Stress and the Very Young Musician and “Knowing Their World”: Urban Choral Music Educators’ Knowledge of Context). Our assignment over this two week period was to analyze the “Knowing Their World” article in the context of the rules put forth in A Rulebook for Arguments. The online modules provided a sample analysis of the Performance Stress article, and our professor paired us up to exchange rough drafts of our analyses. Here is the prompt:

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Introduction to Music Education Research

Introduction to Music Education Research

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Yesterday (Tuesday, October 30), was the first day of my second doctoral course, Introduction to Music Education Research. Unlike my previous course, Foundations of Music Education I: Philosophy and History, this course is structured in three broad units that each have a project to complete by a certain deadline. FME1 had a set of readings and discussions due each week with Live Classrooms and papers sprinkled throughout the term. This blog post will serve as an overview of the course.

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FME1: Week 6: Ethics and Music Education

FME1: Week 6: Ethics and Music Education

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When I first read the title for this week, I thought we would be continuing down the path of Week 4 and Week 5 with social justice issues. Instead, we looked more at the “why” of music education. Why do we teach the things we do? Why do we teach in the ways that we do? How might the what and how we teach be excluding other students? There were points raised in some of our early readings this week (Jorgensen and Mantie & Tucker) that really resonated with me, but left me with some unresolved internal conflicts about my own philosophies of music education. Both of Regelski’s articles helped to clarify some of my thinking around those points, which you can read about below.

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FME1: Week 5: Music Education Topics that Need our Attention Now!

FME1: Week 5: Music Education Topics that Need our Attention Now!

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An alternate title for this week’s content could have been: Music Education and Social Justice: Equity and Diversity, as one of our modules was titled. Our readings centered around the intersection of music education and topics of social justice like sexual orientation and women in music. A particular quote from our professor really resonated with me, “Perhaps the fundamental question you must ask yourself is if the teaching of music is about music or about people.” I’ve had colleagues share similar sentiments about the extramusical effects of music education: teaching students “how to human.”

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FME1: Week 4: Music Education and Social Justice: Equity and Diversity

FME1: Week 4: Music Education and Social Justice: Equity and Diversity

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This past week was tough, not only because we had family here for part of it and I got sick, but because of the reading. We were asked to read Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities and find two additional articles about music education that follow the same line of inquiry as Kozol. I read a dissertation on the California Music Project Teacher Training Program and an article from School Band & Orchestra about Dealing with Inequality in Your District. Most of this post will be focused on the content of those readings with a little bit of the weekly discussion at the end.

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FME1: Week 3: What is Music?/Ways of Viewing the World

FME1: Week 3: What is Music?/Ways of Viewing the World

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This week focused on reading about the two overarching philosophies for music education: aesthetic and praxial. We had a few introductory articles and then read the main chapters from the seminal works on the two philosophies. McCarthy and Goble’s article, Music Education Philosophy: Changing Times from the Music Educators Journal (2002, Volume 89, Issue 1), provided a great overview, definition, and history of the two philosophies. The two seminal works were Experiencing Art (Chapter 6 of Bennet Reimer’s A Philosophy of Music Education) and Toward a New Philosophy (Chapter 2 of David Elliott’s Music Matters: A New Philosophy of Music Education). Reimer’s philosophy of music education represents the aesthetic and Elliott’s philosophy represents the praxial.

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FME1: Week 2: What is Philosophy? What is History? What is Research?

FME1: Week 2: What is Philosophy? What is History? What is Research?

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This past week our topic was: What is Philosophy? What is History? What is Research?. I learned quite a bit from the online modules about the “tools” of being a philosopher, using different techniques to think and analyze. These modules drew from the works of George Knight (viewing philosophy as the intersection of content, attitudes, and activities), R.J. Hollingdale (philosophy is inquiry into logic, ontology, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics), and Fosl & Baggini (different tools to use in philosophy). Another piece that I learned is the following paragraph from one of our modules:

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