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Publication Detail
Informal learning as a catalyst for social justice in music
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Green LC, Narita F
  • Publisher:
    Oxford University Press
  • Publication date:
  • Place of publication:
  • Pagination:
    302, 317
  • Editors:
    Benedict C,Schmidt P
  • ISBN-13:
  • Medium:
    Written text
  • Status:
  • Book title:
    Oxford Handbook of Music Education and Social Justice
  • Language:
This chapter will consider social justice in relation to the incorporation of informal learning practices within the secondary school music classroom. Research has suggested that informal learning practices can lead to significant changes in how teenagers conceive of and experience their ability to access and benefit from music education. This includes positively challenging interpersonal relationships, both between teacher and taught, and between learners themselves. In the former case, it involves collaborative teaching, which shifts the locus of power away from the teacher and respects the knowledge which the learner already brings to the situation; and which places the teacher in the position of learner alongside the pupil. In the latter case, it involves collaborative learning, as peers find ways to organise themselves in groups, with the consequent emergence of group leaders and the development of new group cooperation strategies. Most interestingly, such practices have witnessed the emergence of willing and cooperative attitudes from learners who had previously been identified as disaffected. Thus, changes of status between pupils have occurred. For example, learners who had been regarded as members of a minority ‘elite’, who took instrumental lessons and were able to read music, found themselves on one hand, at the same beginner level as their peers who did not possess such advantages; and on the other hand, being sought out for their skills by those very peers. Concepts of success and failure, good and bad are challenged, as informal learning practices contribute to the re-negotiation of ways in which talent and ability are not only conceived, but produced. The personal autonomy and identity of learners from a larger range of social categories are opened up for recognition in ways that may not have surfaced otherwise. Informal learning in the music classroom can, we will argue, increase some of the basic stepping stones of social justice.
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