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Title: Music education in English schooling : reviewing teachers' perceptions and practice based responses to KS4 music reform
Author: Edwards, Matthew
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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Framed from the teacher's perspective, this study investigates the impact of the 2010-2015 coalition government's education reforms on music in English schooling, and how the reformed specifications affected participants practice. As the research explores both larger trends and individual perceptions it utilised both quantitative and qualitative methods. Original and secondary quantitatively analysed surveys, including responses from over a hundred music teachers, underpinned the design of the qualitative component of this study. Interviews and observations with seven music teachers from four participant schools were conducted. This was analysed using a broadly phenomenological approach. Each school was treated as an individual case. Widespread initial concerns about the reformed KS4 music specifications, evident in the quantitative analyses, were less apparent in qualitative responses. However, participants described concerns regarding the narrow conception of musicality advocated in the reforms and the place of music in schooling as a result of the impact of the English Baccalaureate. Findings revealed significant changes in music education provision resulting from education reform, budget cuts, closure and reconfiguration of music services. Whilst these have caused concern, this study suggests that such changes have exacerbated extant problems related to the role, character and conception of music in schools, which predate these recent reforms. The identity, and associated enacted role, of the music teacher emerged as a significant factor. The exploration of the influence of a music teacher's identity on their perception of the reforms, and the resulting practice-based response, developed during the study as significant similarities in the upbringing, and prior experiences of participant music teachers, were found. A dominantly Western Classical Tradition education appears to have reproduced teachers in a similar mould. This research suggests firstly that the reforms have not stopped, but rather diverted the musical practices and pedagogical approaches that were more common in the music classroom, into extra-curricular spaces and/or beyond the school walls. Secondly, that a music teacher's practice is shaped less by curriculum or specification, and more by their own identity, values and experiences. This finding suggests that further research, focusing upon how different experiences for teachers might affect identity formation, might offer insight into fostering a broader realisation of music in schools.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools