A philosophical exploration of music education and democratization: how might music education contribute to the development of a diversified democratic society?




Jung, Hyo Jung

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One of the aims of education is to cultivate democratic citizens in the interest of consolidating and expanding a democratic ethos in society, yet the democratic purpose and societal contribution of music education in public schools have not been fully explored. This philosophical research addresses the unique capacity of music education for enhancing democratic values in societies where issues caused by diversity and difference prevail. This work takes note of the fact that although music teachers have recently shown greater awareness and understanding of the diversification and differences of students, they continue to struggle with handling associated issues adequately. This failure to deal with diversity effectively has led to the exclusion and discrimination of certain individuals or groups in music classrooms and resulted in hindering the realization of democratic values of equality. To rectify these problems, I argue that the purpose of music education and its principles must be reframed and reconsidered using a democratic lens. This thesis first undertakes an analysis of the association of music education with democracy by classifying various music education practices according to types of political systems (e.g., monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy) and analyzing music education philosophies that have supported those music education practices. This examination and analysis will lead to identifying the purpose and principles of democratic music education. Second, this work demonstrates how music education might contribute to the democratization of society with a two-layered goal: democratization through the pursuit of psychosocial equilibrium and democratization through the transformation of nondemocratic realities. The final section of this thesis offers examples of democratic music educational practices in music appreciation, performance, and composition education.



Music education, Democracy, Democratization, Democratic music education, Diversity and music education