Based on Freire’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968) and related writings, critical pedagogy applies theoretical constructs from critical theory through emancipation of the oppressed and oppressor. Liberation is achieved through the process of: (a) acknowledging and naming oppression, social injustice, and biases, (b) critical reflection and dialogue, and (c) action to overcome those systems. These tenets are explored through learning and teaching contexts, where both the teacher and student are equal participants as intellectuals. Music therapists primarily work with individuals with an identified area of need, change, or growth and may belong to groups or communities that are historically and socially oppressed or marginalized. Therefore, application of critical pedagogy is particularly relevant to the field of music therapy. Music therapists are aware of the need to increase diversity within the field, as the field is predominantly white, female, and under 30 years of age. Moreover, the need to demonstrate cultural humility when working with service users is a growing area of research in music therapy. However, scant research exists exploring the role of critical pedagogy within music therapy curriculum. Specifically, how music therapy educators provide spaces for their students to identify and name systemic oppression, inequality, and barriers; how those impact service users; acknowledging our own lenses, biases, values, and lived experiences; and facilitating opportunities for students to enact change. The purpose of this interpretivist study was to explore why music therapy educators in the United States believe critical pedagogy is important and how they apply critical pedagogy in their undergraduate curricula and classroom environments. Constructivist grounded theory, theoretical sampling, constant comparative method, and both inductive and deductive methods were used to elucidate the data and analysis process. Eight music therapy educators completed semi-structured interviews and shared their experiences implementing critical pedagogy in their curricula. Analysis of the data resulted in two core categories: critical music therapy curriculum and outcome of critical pedagogy in undergraduate music therapy. The analysis also resulted in a model for critical music therapy curriculum. Music therapy educators discussed critical pedagogy benefits everyone and the need for critical pedagogy embedded throughout the curriculum.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.May 2020. Major: Music Education. Advisor: Michael Silverman. 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 202 pages.
Critical Pedagogy In the Undergraduate Music therapy Curriculum: A Grounded theory Study of Music therapy Educators.
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