Culturally Diverse Music Education in North American K-12 Classrooms: The Role of Teacher Attitudes and Attributes in Facilitating Engaged Practices

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Schippers, Huib

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Cain, Melissa

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Although a substantial volume of advocacy, policy, and research over the past five decades supports cultural diversity in music education, the occurrence of its practice in school programs remains strikingly infrequent. While it is clear that many music teachers are convinced of the importance of broadening their programs culturally, major barriers appear to exist in its translation into classroom practice, in teacher attitudes and attributes, and the degree of engagement. This research examines contemporary realities of cultural diversity in music education over the past five decades. It identifies common objectives in the field along with descriptions of teacher practice toward reaching these aims. Its principal focus is on teacher attitudes and attributes and how these relate to teaching methods for specific aims, and which are considered key to engaged diverse music learning experiences both in traditional settings and in changing forms and recontextualized environments. The research comprises of surveys, interviews, and observations of music teachers and students in classes involved in diverse music. Because my own practice has included cultural diversity for three decades, I have included an examination of this through critical reflection and video footage of my lessons. In addition, my years of experience as a clinician and consultant in the field, together with the substantial body of literature on the subject, provide the material for triangulating perceptions of overall aims, and the attitudes and attributes associated with these aims that ultimately lead to engaged practice.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Queensland Conservatorium

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Cultural diversity in music education

Music teachers

Music practice

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