Knowledge and Music Education: A Social Realist Account explores current challenges for music education in relation to wider philosophical and political debates, and seeks to find a way forward for the field by rethinking the nature and value of epistemic knowledge in the wake of postmodern critiques. Focusing on secondary school music, and considering changes in approaches to teaching over time, this book seeks to understand the forces at play that enhance or undermine music’s contribution to a socially just curriculum for all. The author argues that the unique nature of disciplinary-derived knowledge provides students with essential cognitive development, and must be integrated with the turn to more inclusive, student-centred, and culturally responsive teaching. Connecting theoretical issues with concrete curriculum design, the book considers how we can give music students the benefits of specialised subject knowledge without returning to a traditional past.

chapter |8 pages


part 1|94 pages

Theoretical matters

chapter 1|13 pages

Knowledge and its discontents

chapter 2|24 pages

A theory of knowledge for education

chapter 3|15 pages

A discipline in search of an episteme

chapter 4|10 pages

The discipline recontextualised

The Middle Ages to the early twentieth century

chapter 5|10 pages

The discipline recontextualised

Into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries

chapter 6|20 pages

A subject in search of an episteme

part 2|106 pages

Into the classroom

chapter 7|16 pages

Recontextualising the horizontal part one

A justification and an example of concepts at work in the classroom

chapter 8|18 pages

Recontextualising the horizontal part two

‘Thingification' as the portal to the esoteric

chapter 9|15 pages

Making the tacit visible and audible

chapter 10|15 pages

Curriculum coherence

Connecting knowledge-that with know-how-to for deep learning

chapter 11|16 pages

From design to delivery

A mixed modalities approach to pedagogy

chapter 12|12 pages

From design to delivery

Into the classroom

chapter 13|12 pages

Concepts in ensemble contexts

part 3|28 pages

Looking to the future

chapter 14|12 pages

Crossing the stylistic divide

chapter 15|14 pages

Music education for the future