Depth, provenance and critical engagement in the year 7 classroom

In this secondary school year 7 pupils are learning to sing O Waly Waly. The teacher has selected O Waly, Waly ‘simply because it is a beautiful song’ and is intent on teaching the class to make a beautiful sound. I’m interested to know whether the singing is accompanied or unaccompanied. The teacher adds: ‘I …

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Depth, provenance and critical engagement in music education

In a previous blog I thought it likely that year 7 pupils would be singing in their music lessons at this time of the term – an obvious point of continuity and progression with their primary school experience. In this secondary school year 7 pupils are learning to sing O Waly Waly. The teacher has …

Continue reading Depth, provenance and critical engagement in music education

Ofsted’s dubious provenance?

The recently published Ofsted report ‘Music in schools: what hubs must do’ has understandably caused great irritation and confusion. (See http://engagedlearning.co.uk/?p=2136 #mufuchat for a view on Ofsted’s undue influence and dubious legitimacy.) The report speaks a different language from the previous ‘Wider, still and wider’ report. The former set out a view of what musical …

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What is knowledge rich? From forms of knowledge to social practices

‘… we must shift from seeing education as primarily concerned with knowledge to seeing it as primarily concerned with social practices’. (Hirst, 1993) This was Paul Hirst’s conclusion arrived at after a lifetime’s dedication to philosophical enquiry into the nature of knowledge and the curriculum. I thought that it might be a good way to …

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What is knowledge rich? Part 9: and the weight of musical scholarship

I find myself returning to the question: what is music? What kind of thing is it? What conception of music do we hold? One answer might be that music is whatever we want it to be. But this radical subjectivism is unlikely to help in finding a basis for a music education sponsored by the …

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What is knowledge rich? Part 4: cultural capital

‘… we must shift from seeing education as primarily concerned with knowledge to seeing it as primarily concerned with social practices’. (Hirst, 1993) In parts 1, 2 and 3 I have worked from Hirst’s conclusion about knowledge and the curriculum. I have explored the idea of music as a significant social cultural practice and how …

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What is knowledge rich? Part 2: social practices

‘… we must shift from seeing education as primarily concerned with knowledge to seeing it as primarily concerned with social practices’. (Hirst, 1993) In Part 1 I began my enquiry into the current interest in knowledge-led and knowledge-rich curriculum and the case of music education by returning to the thesis of Paul Hirst first set …

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What is knowledge rich? Part I: From forms of knowledge to social practices

‘… we must shift from seeing education as primarily concerned with knowledge to seeing it as primarily concerned with social practices’. (Hirst, 1993) This was Paul Hirst’s conclusion arrived at after a lifetime’s dedication to philosophical enquiry into the nature of knowledge and the curriculum. I thought that it might be a good way to …

Continue reading What is knowledge rich? Part I: From forms of knowledge to social practices