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ERIC Number: EJ804734
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-1545-4517
Democracy and Dissensus: Constructing Conflict in Music Education
Schmidt, Patrick K.
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v7 n1 p10-28 Jan 2008
In this essay, the author commends Paul Woodford for bringing music education into the political area and sees his contribution as important for the field's maturity and ongoing health. This essay seeks to expand Woodford's notion of democracy beyond the ideals of public intelligence or abstract reason so as to to highlight and engage with difficulty and conflict, also inherent in democratic action. He is quick to remind everybody that "everyday life" questions of democracy in music education are bound to manifestations of inequality and marginalization. Here, the author warns of the dangers of the unproblematic acceptance of democratic thinking and practices in the field where what is "rational" or commonsense may be, in fact, permutations of what is misguided or even ignorant. Moving beyond notions of rationality, order and consensus, the author proposes everybody to seriously consider disorder and dissensus as vital components of their democratic thinking and exchanges. He is wary of the self deceptions commonly found in music education, particularly in relation to what is prescribed or "certain", and encourages teachers to consider the problematic notions of the "other" in music practice: what music can be and is for those outside institutionalized methodological or value systems. (Contains 7 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: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A