1st Edition

Knowledge and Music Education A Social Realist Account

By Graham J. McPhail Copyright 2023
    256 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Knowledge and Music Education: A Social Realist Account explores current challenges for music education in relation to wider philosophical and political debates, and seeks to find a way forward for the field by rethinking the nature and value of epistemic knowledge in the wake of postmodern critiques. Focusing on secondary school music, and considering changes in approaches to teaching over time, this book seeks to understand the forces at play that enhance or undermine music’s contribution to a socially just curriculum for all. The author argues that the unique nature of disciplinary-derived knowledge provides students with essential cognitive development, and must be integrated with the turn to more inclusive, student-centred, and culturally responsive teaching. Connecting theoretical issues with concrete curriculum design, the book considers how we can give music students the benefits of specialised subject knowledge without returning to a traditional past.

    Part 1 – Theoretical Matters
    Chapter 1 - Knowledge and its discontents
    Chapter 2 - A theory of knowledge for education
    Chapter 3 - A discipline in search of an episteme
    Chapter 4 - The discipline recontextualised – The Middle Ages to the early twentieth century
    Chapter 5 - The discipline recontextualized – Into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
    Chapter 6 - A subject in search of an episteme
    Part 2 – Into the Classroom
    Chapter 7 - Recontextualising the horizontal part one: A justification and an example of concepts at work in the classroom
    Chapter 8 - Recontextualising the horizontal part two: ‘Thingification’ as the portal to the esoteric
    Chapter 9 - Making the tacit visible and audible
    Chapter 10 - Curriculum coherence: Connecting knowledge-that with know-how-to for deep learning
    Chapter 11 - From design to delivery: A mixed modalities approach to pedagogy
    Chapter 12 - From design to delivery: Into the classroom
    Chapter 13 - Concepts in ensemble contexts
    Part 3 – Looking to the Future
    Chapter 14 - Crossing the stylistic divide
    Chapter 15 - Music education for the future


    Graham J. McPhail taught secondary school music in Auckland, New Zealand, for 22 years and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Music Education at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, the University of Auckland, where he runs the programme of pre-service secondary music teachers. His research work is centred on the role of knowledge in curriculum and he was lead editor for New Zealand’s first volume on secondary school music education, Educational Change and the Secondary School Music Curriculum in Aotearoa New Zealand, published by Routledge in 2018.