Democracy and Music Education

Democracy and Music Education

Liberalism, Ethics, and the Politics of Practice
Woodford, Paul G.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 12/28/2004
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21739-4
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On the basis of Dewey’s principles, Paul G. Woodford explores the social foundation of current music education practices in the context of democratic values of freedom, creativity, and contribution to society. He then critiques the means by which this ideal is learned by teachers and taught to students. Woodford concludes with recommendations for acknowledging democratic and non-democratic values in music teaching, teacher training, and performance, and suggests steps toward a "liberal" music education.

Counterpoints: Music and Education—Estelle R. Jorgensen, editor

Author Bio

Paul G. Woodford is Associate Professor of Music Education at the School of Music, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. He has published a history of music in Newfoundland, two music collections, and a book of essays.


Certainly one of the best items published in our field in a while. Whether one reads Lee Shulman's The Wisdom of Practice (2004)Nel Noddings' Happiness and Education (2003), John Goodlad's Romances with Schools (2004) or Carl Bereiter's Education and Mind in the Knowledge Age (2002) one learns that the fundamental principle in education is that schooling must be compatible with the best democratic ideals. Only Paul Woodford has seized upon this requisite and applied it to the structure of music education.

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Table of Contents

1. Intelligence in the World: John Dewey's Moral Project
2. Intelligence in the Musical World: Defining Liberalism Differently
3. Living in a Postmusical Age: Reclaiming the Concept of Abstract Reason
4. Music Education and the Culture Wars
5. Toward Reclaiming the Public Musical Sphere
6. Music Education as an Occasion for Intelligence