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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Technical, practical and praxial: Understanding music teaching in Botswana
by Chadwick, Sheelagh M., Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008, 362; 3337727
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this research was to understand how written government curricula for music is interpreted by music teachers, in particular how indigenous music from Botswana is approached, as well as the extent to which teachers bring their own musical experiences and knowledge to the classroom. I also wanted to find out what teachers' views on music teaching were, what they thought good music teaching was and whether this could happen in their classrooms.

Shirley Grundy's writing on curriculum based on Habermas' technical, practical and emancipatory interests (1972), as well as postcolonial theory, have proven important lenses through which to analyze and interpret the observational and interview data generated.

There were two main participants in the study, music teachers in Botswana's Junior Secondary schools, one in an urban area and one in a village. In addition, there were three other music teachers who agreed to be interviewed and observed and the Music representatives for both the Examinations and Curriculum departments.

Data was generated through observation of 3 months of teaching in both classrooms where one group was followed for a term's work complemented by in-depth semi-structured interviews with both teachers. Additional data was generated through interviews and document analysis. The typed field notes, transcribed interviews, and curriculum documents were then coded, and analyzed for significant themes.

My interpretation of the data is that most Music teaching I observed would best be described as technical, meaning that it is concerned with factual information delivered through teacher-centered pedagogy and assessed by student reproduction of information through written testing. However there were some examples of the practical paradigm when teaching focused on music and student's understandings. There was little evidence of the emancipatory view of knowledge but the teachers did speak freely about their views for where Music education should go and how it might get there and they were fairly critical of some aspects of their current professional situation.

I concluded that dramatic changes to teacher education and Music education in particular are necessary if Music teaching is to become the rewarding, stimulating, and enjoyable experience the teachers and students crave. This would involve re-conceiving education and teacher education with an emphasis on developing teacher judgment and critical capacity over reproduction of factual knowledge.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Harwood, Eve
School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 69/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Botswana, Botswana (or Africa), Curriculum theory, Music education, Postcolonial
Publication Number: 3337727
ISBN: 978-0-549-91215-6
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