“Music Teacher Education for the Future”

The project “Music Teacher Education for the Future” will critically explore general teacher education (GTE) music programs in Norway. The basic assumptions underlying the project is that music teacher education must relate to societal needs and challenges, and that educational approaches must cater for versatile musicianship, learning styles, and critical reflection. The project aims to challenge status quo, as well as to develop innovative and collaborative practices that can foster pre-service music teachers’ critical and democratic capacities, as well as future music teacher agency. The project is organized into three work packages (WPs): 

(1) Mapping the current situation within music teacher education;

(2) Developing spaces for critical reflexivity and agency within the education;

(3) Developing collaborative, innovative and interactive music education practices within schools

The research design will draw upon action research, and theoretical perspectives combine insights from critical (music)pedagogy, educational philosophy, cultural studies, and public pedagogy. The results will be combined into a comprehensive overview of music teacher education. Other research outcomes will be curriculum development, new assessment methods and exploratory teaching approaches. Outcomes will be communicated to academic and non-academic audiences.

The project group includes the following researchers from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences: Professor Catharina Christophersen (project leader), professor Viv Ellis, associate professor Silje Valde Onsrud, professor Kari Holdhus, Postdoc candidate Tine Grieg Viig and Ph.D. candidate Eyolf Nysæther. Three researchers from Oslo Metropolitan University (Jan Sverre Knudsen, Hanne Rinholm and Bendik Fredriksen), as well as guest researchers (Ailbhe Kenny, Judy Lewis, Jon Helge Sætre and Heidi Partti) are also involved.

Please find more information about the project at the FUTURED webpage.

 

 

 

Social justice seminar coming up

The open research group seminar “Social justice, arts education and community arts” is coming up, and Catharina Christophersen and Judy Lewis are offering a few reflections on the topic of social justice in music education.

As the field of social justice has grown, music education scholars have questioned the manner in which social justice is conceptualized, theorized and represented. Social justice is a relational concept that is inseparable from related concepts like democracy, equity and fairness or lack thereof, thus naturally also linking the concept of justice to injustice. Democracy is thus a core value of social justice, and must be conceived of “not as ethos, but as experience” (Gould 2007, p. 238). When perceiving social justice from the perspective of experience, the meaning  will inevitably fluctuate depending on context.

The concept of social justice is fluid, contextual and situated. Social justice “resists generalization; meaning, it doesn’t necessarily ‘travel’ well. One person’s or interest group’s social justice may easily become another’s injustice” (Bowman 2007, p. 4). Naming is therefore essential in any social justice enterprise, since concepts like “justice” and “diversity” are euphemisms that may cover up the real issues at stake in certain situations .  Hence, the mere concept of social justice may camouflage the complexity, diversity, and nuances of social justice. The call for social justice in education rests upon the imperative to recognize and acknowledge injustice, an “imperative to care” (Shieh and Allsup 2012, p. 48), that is to “perceive and act, and not look away” (ibid.) . However well-intended, un-reflected urges to correct injustice and to “do something” may very well end up as charity, tokenism or exoticism disguised as acts of social justice (Bradley 2007). Further, scholars and educators need to critically reflect on their own positionality and their own implicatedness in injust practices. Such criticality and reflexivity are vital both in order to recognize possible and actual manifestations of “othering” as well as provide spaces in which silenced voices could be heard.

Catharina Christophersen

Catharina Christophersen is professor of music education and principal investigator of the research project “Music Teacher Education for the Future” (FUTURED 2019-2022). She holds a PhD in music education from the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. She has a background as a generalist music teacher in primary schools and has previously also taught in municipal schools of music and performing arts. She teaches and supervises music education students on undergraduate and graduate level. She has presented in international conferences and has published in international journals, volumes and books. Her research interests include music in schools, teacher education, creative partnerships, and popular music education.

Selected publications:

Havre, S., Väkevä, L., Christophersen, C. & Haugland, E. (2019). Playing to learn or learning to play? Playing Rocksmith to learn electric guitar and bass in Nordic music teacher education. British Journal of Music Education 36(1), pp. 21-32.

Christophersen, C. & Kenny, A.(eds) (2018). Musician-Teacher Collaborations: Altering the Chord. New York: Routledge.

Christophersen, C. (2017). Challenging music teacher education in Norway: Popular music and music teacher education. In Nielsen,S. G. & Varkøy, Ø: (eds). Educational Research in Music: Perspectives from Didaktik, Sociology and Philosophy. Oslo: Norwegian Academy of Music (pp.

Christophersen, C. & Gullberg, A.K (2017). Popular Music Education, Participation and Democracy: Some Nordic Perspectives. In G. D. Smith, Z. Moir, M. Brennan, P. Kirkman, & S. Rambarran, The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Music Education (pp. 425-438). Abingdon: Routledge.

Ferm Almqvist, C. & Christophersen, C. (2017). Inclusive arts education in two Scandinavian primary schools: a phenomenological case study. International Journal of Inclusive Education 21(5), pp. 463-474.