NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ804664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1545-4517
Music Education and Deliberative Democracy
Bladh, Stephan; Heimonen, Marja
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v6 n1 p1-20 Apr 2007
In this paper, the authors discuss the influence of democracy and law on music education in Sweden and Finland, and the potential for music education as training in democracy. The latter consideration can be instructive regardless of the nation, or its laws and paradigms of music education. The theoretical background is based on Jurgen Habermas' ideas on communicative action and deliberative democracy. The authors stress the importance of communicative processes of music education and deliberative democracy (or deliberative politics), which refers to processes of argumentation in which all arguments are considered and the best ones succeed. Habermas emphasizes the right of everyone to take part in creating norms and values in society. This is possible in "practical discourse" through which joint action can be achieved without force or manipulation. It is not only cognitive meanings but also ethical norms and artistic values that are created through this process. The perspective of deliberative democracy is applied to music education in Sweden and Finland. The authors begin by examining the goals and aims described in the educational legislation and curricula governing compulsory education (i.e. in comprehensive and upper-secondary schools). One of the basic terms and educational aims of schooling is communication. However, the authors' interest is not confined to "compulsory" music education, and they also examine the educational legislation and curricula governing "voluntary" music education offered by music and arts schools. The authors conclude by suggesting that compulsory and voluntary music education should be brought closer together--ideologically and organizationally--under the umbrella of educating in music, art, and deliberative democracy. The music teacher's role would thus be broadened and strengthened in the school organization and in the curricula. By emphasizing the process of open communication--verbal and musical--rather than dictating what is "right" or "wrong," music teachers can advance music, music learning, and deliberative democracy. (Contains 50 notes.)
MayDay Group. Brandon University School of Music, 270 18th Street, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6A9, Canada. Tel: 204-571-8990; Fax: 204-727-7318; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland; Sweden