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The voices of Cypriot music education : a sociology of music education

By Antonia Forari


Monitoring the processes through which upper secondary music education in Cyprus is\ud constructed calls for articulation of the meanings of four groups of key actors. These actors\ud are involved in music education's journey from education policy contexts to curriculum\ud contexts. They include, firstly, the policymakers of the Cyprus Ministry of Education, who\ud form policy and present this as curriculum ideologies, mainly in the official rhetorical\ud curriculum. Second, the music inspector (for which there is only one post in Cyprus) has the\ud main responsibility of interpreting, adapting and embodying this education policy in the\ud intended music curricula. Third and fourth, this education policy is implemented, with a\ud degree of interpretation, by music teachers, and actively received by pupils, who\ud conceptualise and interact in complex ways with what is made and remade as the context of a\ud school music educational culture, according to their own distinct logic, in relation to the\ud delivered and received music curriculum respectively. This thesis investigates these various\ud meanings through a policy trajectory study, gathering mostly qualitative data to unravel what\ud counts as music education for the actors and how they conceive each others' meanings.\ud Empirical data were gathered with reference to the aims, content, activities and assessment of\ud the curriculum as conceived by individual key actors. Data referring to the first context\ud identified earlier, that of the official rhetorical curriculum, involved a range of documentation\ud from the Archives of the Ministry of Education of Cyprus; an extended semi-structured\ud interview and follow-up discussions with Cyprus's music inspector were conducted\ud regarding the second context, that of the intended music curriculum; a questionnaire to music\ud teachers and, finally, group interviews with pupils were conducted in relation to the third and\ud fourth contexts, the delivered and received curricula respectively. The findings indicate that\ud Cypriot music education is a polydynamic site, full of paradoxes and conflicts within and\ud between all four contexts. Key actors struggle with each other to define what counts as music\ud education. In these terms music education is viewed as a socio-political construction, in\ud which critical theory, and, more specifically, Foucault's concept of power as possessing an\ud exclusionary, silencing aspect as well as a creative, positive one, can reveal what counts as\ud musical knowledge. A theoretical model is proposed as an aid to conceptual and\ud methodological interpretations of curriculum policy trajectory phenomena in music\ud education.\u

Year: 2005
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