Music in primary schools and social inclusion of immigrant pupils in Norway

This PhD project is a critical investigation of participatory music making as an arena for inclusion and community building in primary schools with intensive language classes for newly arrived immigrant pupils, exploring dynamics of inclusion and exclusion.

Norway has recently experienced a relatively large influx of immigrants that has led to rapid changes in its formerly fairly homogeneous society and school system. The national curriculum states that music as a school subject plays a central role in adapted teaching in an inclusive school, and that in a multicultural society music education has the potential to contribute to pupils’ positive identity formation through encouraging a sense of belonging to their own cultures and cultural heritage, as well as tolerance and respect for other people’s cultures.

To collect data, an ethnographic case study of music lessons and music activities in an urban primary school with an intensive language class is carried out, including:

  • Non-participant observation
  • Interviews with pupils, teachers and head
  • Field notes and researcher reflexive log
  • Pilot project participatory music workshops

The theoretical starting points of the study are:

  • Intercultural education (Portera, 2010)
  • Socialisation into educational settings that allows ‘newcomers’ to be active subjects in their new surroundings (Biesta, 2015)
  • Potential communities of musical practice (Kenny, 2016) in schools with intensive language classes
  • Building community through musical participation (Turino, 2008)
  • Musical action as a performative, social phenomenon (Bowman, 2007)
  • Inclusion and exclusion processes for minority language students in Norwegian schools (Hilt, 2016; Jortveit, 2014)

PhD-project leader: Felicity Burbridge Rinde

Project period: 2017 – 2021

The Polyphony of Musician-Teacher Partnership: Towards Real Dialogues?

Kari Holdhus has published a new article in Thinking Skills and Creativity volum 31, 2019. The article is entitled The Polyphony of Musician–Teacher Partnerships: Towards Real Dialogues?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871187118302347

This article aims to explore and discuss how, on many levels and in many ways, polyphonic dialogues can fluctuate among participants in a multidisciplinary didactic art project implemented in schools, namely, School and Concert – From Transmission to Dialogue (DiSko). DiSko is an innovation project that aims to try different ways to address the significant lack of school ownership to professional visiting concerts in Norwegian schools.

The project method, educational design research, is a combination of approaches that are usually applied to well-known research-based problems. Empirically, researchers and partici- pants carry out successive iterations of experiential case interventions based on ongoing analysis. A central aim of the method is to suggest concrete research-based solutions or new ways of addressing a problem, which is instrumental outside specific case contexts.

Dialogue is a major epistemological grounding for DiSko and its descriptive cases, and throughout the article, the project design and activities are viewed in terms of Bakhtin’s concepts chronotope, carnival and polyphony. Through discussions about aspects of the methodology as well as by providing an empirical case example, this article describes how elements of educational design research may be composed in order to maintain an epistemology of dialogue and polyphony.

When Students Teach Creativities: Exploring Student Reports on Creative Teaching

“When Students Teach Creativities: Exploring Student Reports on Creative Teaching” is an article written by Kari Holdhus and published in Qualitative Inquiry in 2018.

In this article, Kari Holdhus shares a journey of research on student teacher reports regarding creativity pedagogies. The empirical material comprises student reports on teaching for creativity. The text draws on the literatures of creativities, creativity pedagogies, and professional improvisation, inspired by a backdrop of literature on narrativity and narrative writing. The text aims to discuss how creativity pedagogies can take place in different practical surroundings and to provide an example of how teaching in higher education can both contribute to research and be research-based. The following research question is asked: What characterizes student teachers’ reports on designs and choices when facilitating creative learning processes, and which interpretations and reflections do these reports evoke within their teacher? In comparing student papers, Holdhus has conceptualized their common features into the following concepts: context, skills, design, and trust. Within the text, each of these concepts is addressed through example narratives extracted from the student reports. Holdhus concludes that a combination of aspects from each of the four concepts can be said to construct a liminal room of immersion.

See the whole article here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1077800418801377

DiSko

DiSko is an innovation project intending to innovate school concert practices produced  and implemented nationally by Arts for Young Audiences Norway (AYAN) and regional partners in Norway. The project will innovate an established practice through research based innovation procedures in order to respond to challenges connected to school ownership and school integration. This research-based innovation work  will be carried out over four years with a selection of schools and groups of musicians and producers from NCA within a budget of 7.4 mill NOK. The DiSko project will develop and try out alternative concert forms, which to a greater degree can be experienced and shared by pupils, teachers as well as musicians. Our research questions are:

  • How can dialogue based concert practices be produced in order to be integrated as meaningful and professional elements in school´s everyday life?
  • How can schools facilitate such integration in their work with teaching, learning and Bildung?

DiSko´s point of departure is that shared ownership emerges through equity-based relations, and our practical innovation processes will be grounded in this belief.  From the practical iterations of concert productions, researchers will develop analysis and research reports, and parallel to the concert production activities, a continuous implementation and discussion will take place. An interactive website will be a central component in the communication between researchers, musicians, teachers and users, other interested persons and organizations.

Funding:  Norwegian Research council (NFR)

Project owner: Arts for Young Audiences Norway (AYAN)

Research partner: CASE center, at Stord/Haugesund University College

Principal investigator:Professor Magne Espeland

“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.