Contribution from the CCC-Group at the Norwegian Network Conference for Music Teacher Education

At the Norwegian Network Conference for Music Teacher Education 22.-23. October 2018 at North University in Bodø, 3 memebers from the CCC research group contributed to the topic Inclusive Music Education.

Judy Lewis was the keynote speaker with the talk The act of listening: What  twenty 10-year olds taught me about social justice.

Felicity Burbridge Rinde presented the paper Music in Primary School and Inclusion of Immigrant Students.

Silje Valde Onsrud was chairing and moderating different sections, in addition to introducing the main topic for the conference, and presenting a paper about heteronormativity as a challenge for musical expressions in school.

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.

Social justice, arts education and community arts

The research group Culture – Criticism – Community invites to an open research seminar: “Social justice, arts education and community arts”
Friday October 19th, 09:00-12:00, room C114 (auditorium 5).

0900-0910: Introduction (Silje Valde Onsrud)
0910-1000: The art of listening: What 20 ten-year-olds taught me about social justice (Judy Lewis)

(Short break)

1010-1100: Contextualizing social justice
– Experience of (in)justice and an imperative to care: Contextualizing social justice within arts education (Judy Lewis and Catharina Christophersen)
– Exploring social justice through artistic research (Tine Grieg Viig)
– Making music and research with children in asylum seeker centres (Ailbhe Kenny)
– How heteronormativity can limit students’ musical expressions (Silje Valde
Onsrud)
– Preservice music teachers as agents of change (Catharina Christophersen)

(Short break)

1115-1130: Comment from a perspective of Lived Democracy (Kjellrun Hiis Hauge)
1130-1200: Discussion

Silje Valde Onsrud

Silje Valde Onsrud is associate professor in music education in the Department of Arts Education at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, campus Bergen. She holds a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Bergen. She teaches and supervises in the music education program and in the Ph.D. program Studies in Bildung and Pedagogical Practices at the Faculty of Education, Arts and Sports, campus Bergen. Her research interests include gender issues and social justice in musical practices and musical content, like song repertoir. She is specialized in gender theory, qualitative research, ethnographic fieldwork, discourse analysis, and narrative inquiry.

Selected publications:

Onsrud, Silje Valde 2017. “And the melody still lingers on”: Om danningspotensiale i ein discolåt. Nordic Network for Music Education Research, Yearbook 18 Oslo: NMH-publication

Onsrud, Silje Valde 2015. Gender Performativity through Musicking: Examples from a Norwegian Classroom Study. Nordic Network for Music Education Research, Yearbook 16 Oslo: NMH-publication

Judy Lewis

Judy Lewis (ph.d) is assistant professor of Music Teaching & Learning, and director of the new K-12 Contemporary Teaching Practice Master’s degree program at the University of South California – Thornton School of Music. Her main research interests lie in the areas of critical pedagogy in music  education, popular music listening and composing, and social justice in music education.