Browsing by Subject "Elliott, David James."

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  • Westerlund, Heidi (Sibelius-Akatemia, 2003)
    Studia musica
    This dissertation examines two contemporary theories of music education within a pragmatist frame of reference. By using methods of analysis and synthesis it shows how Bennett Reimer's and David J. Elliott's philosophies of music education manifest individualism and thus undermine the actual social context of music education. Predominantly through the use of John Dewey's philosophical tools, the work searches for a perspectival and holistic orientation in which music is understood as an embodied situational experience and learning as a process in and through social contexts. The study illustrates the continuity between the Cartesian-Kantian self, aesthetics and Reimer's theory. It points out that the dualistic isolation of the subject from the object, the mind from the body, and the individual from the social and communal is a shared tendency. Through its historical perspective, and by making a comparison to the traditional African conception of the self and its musical manifestations, the work argues that Reimer's theory is ethnocentric, and hence, narrows rather than widens the transformative possibilities of music as experience in education. It also shows how Reimer's notion of aesthetic experience is incompatible with his use of Dewey's holistic ideas. Elliott's Aristotelian praxis theory of music education tries to overcome the Cartesian "errors" by abandoning the notion of aesthetic experience in favour of musical action and emphasising music as authentic rule-based cultural information. The study analyses how Elliott's cognitive theory seems to neglect the sensing and feeling body, the student's perspective, and the actual context of learning and thus the ethics of praxis. Moreover, this research shows how the aesthetic and performance-oriented praxialism that Elliott poses as being in opposition can be combined in a Deweyan music education. Finally, the work discusses how Dewey's pedagogical ideas together with his commitment to cultural plurality, can bring forth a more socially, communally concerned and context-sensitive music education than either the individualistic theories of Reimer or Elliott do. Themes such as the project approach, democratic learning community, "oeuvres", and framing musical events are discussed in the search for holistic view of music education.