2011 Volume 12

Articles and Abstracts


Volume 12 Number 1: Mok, O. N. A. Diasporic Chinese Xianshi musicians: Impact of enculturation and learning on values relating to music and music-making.

This qualitative study presents a group of five diasporic Chinese xianshi musicians in Hong Kong as an example, illustrating how they learnt and value their music throughout their lives, and examines the possible link between learning-practices and values. It is hoped that the lesson learnt from these xianshi musicians may alert music educators to the possible far-reaching effects of enculturation and learning-practices on forming an individual's values relating to music and music-making. The data were drawn from semi-structured in-depth interviews, non-participant observations and a trip to the musicians' homeland. It revealed that they value music for aesthetic and personal enjoyment, and for the purposes of bonding and identity building, as well as for building an imagined community. It appears that their musical enculturation (from homeland) and informal learning-practices (from both homeland and Hong Kong) may have contributed to their lifelong devotion to making music and to how they value their music and music-making on both personal and collective levels.

Volume 12 Number 2: de Vries, P. The first year of teaching in primary school: Where is the place of music?

The aim of the research reported in this article was to determine what music first year generalist primary teachers were teaching. In particular, the study sought to determine the impact of music education coursework undertaken in teacher training on these teachers' practice as beginning teachers. The self-reported data was generated through a written survey undertaken by 112 first year generalist teachers in their first year teaching, with 24 of these teachers agreeing to be interviewed after the survey was completed. Results revealed that only 37% of these beginning teachers are teaching music on a regular basis. Reasons impacting on their decision to teach (or not teach) music include the presence of a music specialist in the school, their current or recent learning of a musical instrument, amount of time dedicated to music education in their teacher training courses, lack of confidence about teaching music, availability of time to teach music when other curricular areas dominate, and access to resources, teaching spaces, and relevant professional development. Implications for teacher educators teaching music education for preservice generalist primary teachers are outlined.

Volume 12 Number 3: O'Donoghue, D. Has the art college entry portfolio outlived its usefulness as a method of selecting students in an age of relational, collective and collaborative art practice?

The purpose of this article is to invite focused discussion and critical debate about the instruments currently used to select students for art colleges in Europe and North America. At this time of significant expansion and diversification in practices of art making, we must ask if current selection instruments still work. What evidence is there to support their continued use? Are they good indicators of success in art college? Who do they advantage, and whose interests do they serve? In what ways do they contribute to, or legitimate class reproduction and class advantage in the cultural sphere? In taking up these questions, this article addresses four topics of particular relevance to the selection and admission debate: reliability, validity, predictability and equality. It reports findings from two national longitudinal research studies that examined the predictive validity of selection instruments in relation to performance in art college in Ireland. While these findings are specific to the Irish higher education context, they have relevance beyond this context given that the selection instruments used by Irish art colleges are the same as those used by the majority of art colleges across Europe and North America.

Volume 12 Number 4: Gaztambide-Fernández, R., Cairns, K., Kawashima, Y., Menna, L. & VanderDussen, E. Portraiture as pedagogy: Learning research through the exploration of context and methodology.

In this reflective essay, five members of a research team involving graduate students and a faculty member offer individual "studies"\0x00 of specific moments in the field in which lessons about methodology, the research context, and the researcher herself/himself crystallized. The article highlights the pedagogical possibilities of portraiture for introducing graduate students to qualitative research methodology. Each "study" illuminates how different kinds of boundaries are negotiated: whether it is the boundaries of access to a research site; the boundaries of personal or professional recognition; the boundaries of the body and physical space; the boundaries of racial identification; or the boundaries of the interior and exterior selves. These are not lessons that can be taught/learned within the constraints of a classroom, whether a lecture hall or the most progressive seminar. It is in the actual experience of negotiating these boundaries that the intricacies of the research process manifest, and in the process, the inquiry itself grows and moves through the necessary explorations that are the heart of qualitative research.

Volume 12 Number 5: Svensson, L. & Edström, A. The function of art students' use of studio conversations in relation to their artwork.

The investigation presented in this article is focused on studies within a practice based MFA program in visual art in Sweden. The analysis presented is based on two interviews each with nine art students: One interview during their first and one during their fourth year of study. The analysis focuses on the relation between two aspects of their studies: The use of studio conversations and the relation to their own artwork. Data are analyzed and results are presented for each student as a case. The cases are compared and grouped based on similarities and differences. A close relationship between use of studio conversations and relation to own artwork is found, varying to its character from case to case. The results have implications for the understanding of the self-directed character of the studies and the very free form of curriculum typical of visual art practice education.

Volume 12 Number 6: Cayari, C. The YouTube effect: How YouTube has provided new ways to consume, create, and share music.

This case study about a teenage musician, Wade Johnston, suggests how YouTube has affected music consumption, creation, and sharing. A literature review connects education, technology, and media. Informal learning, digital literacy, and twenty-first century technology are also connected in the review. Data reveals how Wade started his channel, gained popularity, interacted with others, and promoted his musical career through YouTube. Original songs, covers, collaborations, documentaries, selfinterviews, video blogs (vlogs), and live performances are observed by the researcher. Interviews with the subject, key actors in his life, fans, and first time listeners were transcribed and results were used to triangulate. Previous musical media research is expanded upon to include YouTube and video sharing. The idea of amateur and professional musician, musical venue, and audience member are being changed through YouTube. Current practices of how YouTube is used in the classroom are discussed, and future research is suggested.

Volume 12 Number 7: MacKenzie, S. K. Circles of (im)perfection: A story of student teachers' poetic (re)encounters with self and pedagogy.

Teaching is vulnerable work where self and other enter into intimate encounters that can change one's sense of self and purpose within the world. Through this poetic rendering, I seek to piece together a story of communal becoming within the space of a student teaching seminar. The work was collaborative and ongoing as students engaged with one another's words and began to (re)write their relationships with themselves, the community, their peers, and practice. Boundaries were blurred, selves disrupted as student teachers began to engage with their own positions and perceptions of the world around them, (re)encountering pedagogy in a space of praxis.

Volume 12 Number 8: Charland, W. Art integration as school culture change: A cultural ecosystem approach to faculty development.

While much has been written about arts integration theory, and the various benefits of visual art in the curriculum, the literature is sparse regarding arts integration implementation, and the personal, professional, and school culture barriers to the persistence and dissemination of such interventions. Successful educational interventions are purposefully designed, taking into consideration the culture of the stakeholders, a school's or district's larger contextual factors, and the sequence and timing of program phases. Bronfenbrenner's theory of cultural ecology is employed as a framework to examine the steps involved in the introduction, instantiation, and persistence of an art integration program in an urban school system.

Volume 12 Number 9: Garvis, S., & Pendergast, D. An investigation of early childhood teacher self-efficacy beliefs in the teaching of arts education.

The self-efficacy beliefs teachers hold about their ability to teach subjects shapes their competence in teaching. Teacher self-efficacy is defined as teacher beliefs in their ability to perform a teaching task. If teachers have strong teacher self-efficacy in the teaching of arts education, they are more likely to incorporate arts in the classroom. Alternatively, if teachers have weak teacher self-efficacy in the teaching of arts education they are less likely to include aspects of the arts in their curriculum. Little is known about teacher self-efficacy beliefs towards arts education in early childhood education. Since arts education is an important element in the curriculum of any classroom - including all early childhood classrooms - investigation of the beliefs that shape teacher practice is desirable.

In 2010, a survey was distributed using convenience sampling to early childhood teachers throughout Queensland. There were 21 respondents, representing a response rate of 27%. Each completed an adapted version of the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale for Arts Education. Perceived competence towards each of the five arts strands (dance, drama, media, visual arts and music) were compared to perceived competence in maths and English. The number of hours taught in each of the arts strands was also investigated. Findings suggest all of the respondent early childhood teachers had greater perceived competence for teaching maths and English compared to any of the arts strands. Some early childhood teachers did not engage with some of the arts strands (particularly drama, dance, media) in their daily classrooms. These findings provide glimpses of the current day-to-day running of early childhood classrooms and the role of arts education in the current climate of policy reform and accountability.

Volume 12 Number 10: Kan, K. H. Meeting face to face = Seeing eye to eye?: Interglobal dialogue via videoconference.

Based on a series of videoconferences held between two universities, one located in China and another in the United States, this pilot curriculum study illustrates how successful interglobal communication via synchronized educational technology requires detailed planning and the use of a substantial number of pedagogical strategies. Achieving the goals of broadening participants' international experience and promoting intercultural understanding of the discussion topics requires the instructor's appreciation of the cultural identification process at the global level. The author shares and discusses personal experiences and challenges with organizing this kind of collaboration between two higher education institutions across national borders, and provides initial implementation and instructional guidelines.

Volume 12 Number 11: Power, B. & Klopper, C. The classroom practice of creative arts education in NSW primary schools: A descriptive account.

This article documents the current classroom practice of creative arts education of respondent classroom teachers in the New South Wales Greater Western Region, Australia. The study provides a descriptive account of classroom practice in creative arts education through the employment of a quantitative methodology. A questionnaire was designed and distributed to teachers as the sole data collection instrument and analysed to identify innovative classroom practices that anticipate the needs and challenges of creative arts education and the young people it serves. A significant gap in the literature regarding the nature of creative arts education classroom practice was identified. The criticality that such a description of current practice be produced is asserted, with a view towards illuminating current classroom practices and working towards improved models and practices of creative arts education in K-6 classrooms.

Volume 12 Number 12: Liu, L. B. Poetry as progress: Balancing standards-based reforms with aesthetic inquiry.

The meaning of "progress" in U.S. educational institutions has undergone much debate (Tyack & Cuban, 1995). Standards-driven practices have often promoted a search for 'right' answers in place of critical and diverse thinking. Globalization and its impacts compel us to continue revising and articulating the meaning of progress for 21st century students, educators, and researchers (Ball & Tyson, 2011). This aesthetic empirical inquiry (Pinar, 2004; Ranciere, 2004) contributes to this process by creatively re-presenting teacher voice via bricolage (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003; Kincheloe, 2001), specifically poetic bricolage (Trueit, 2004). The pursuit of aesthetic approaches to research have the potential for re-shaping national notions of progress to emphasize the cultivation of creativity, understanding, and empathy across lines of difference, and thereby support 21st century global communities in collaborating to address inequity.

Volume 12 Number 13: Heyning, L. "I can't sing!" The concept of teacher confidence in singing and the use within their classroom.

When teachers become more confident and competent in relation to singing, then they are more likely to use singing and to use it successfully. Teachers are expected to gain such skills in pre-service teacher education, to enhance their capability in teaching music, so that singing can be utilised and supported in schools. Confidence is definitely something that contributes to our performance in all aspects of our life. However, when we are not confident in those skills, we do not perform as well as we should, generally resulting in avoidance of that skill or activity.

When it became apparent, at the end of an Australian University Teacher Education music education elective, that some primary teacher education students could not hold a tune by themselves, or felt confident to sing on their own, a strategy was developed to raise the solo singing standards and perception of confidence level of the next cohort of students. This paper reports on a pilot program aimed at improving the in-tune singing skills and confidence of a class of teacher education students with the aim of increasing the likelihood they will later include singing in their future music programs.

Volume 12 Number 14: Ng, H. H. Free improvisation; Life expression.

This autoethnographic study seeks the value, position and possibilities of free improvisation in the musical field. It explores how embodied knowledge, dialectical exchanges, emotional and intellectual stimulation constructs and reconstructs experiences in various contexts for the free improviser, who is both researcher and actual piano performer. This is done by experiencing and reflecting on the connections and interactions between different aspects and events in free improvisation, seen here as a phenomenon for varied, multiple processes individualized by one's adopted style, culture and character. The research suggests a shift towards a more holistic and integral paradigm for experiencing and understanding music through free improvisation as a process in life.

Volume 12 Number 15: S. Das, Y. Dewhurst, & D. Gray. A Teacher's Repertoire: Developing Creative Pedagogies

Promoting creativity in schools involves the development of characteristics such as self-motivation, confidence, curiosity and flexibility. It can be argued that the development of the first three of these probably relies on the last, all of which need to be supported by a "flexible learning context." However, this cannot work without a structure which can be used as a scaffold (Vygotsky, 1978) either to go beyond and enhance learning, or to work within a framework, flexible enough to accommodate individual learning styles. Such pedagogy is intricately related to the curriculum. In the context of the newly introduced Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, this paper discusses the experience of an interdisciplinary approach to pedagogy funded by the Scottish Arts Council. The approach was developed within the initial teacher education (ITE) programmes at the University of Aberdeen and elaborates on the relationship between curriculum, pedagogy and creativity.

Volume 12 Number 16: G. W. Lea, G. Belliveau, A. Wager, & J. L. Beck. A Loud Silence: Working with Research-based Theatre and A/R/Tography

Arts-based approaches to research have emerged as an integral component of current scholarship in the social sciences, education, health research, and humanities. Integrating arts-based methods and methodologies with research generates possibilities for fresh approaches for creating, translating, and exchanging knowledge (Barone & Eisner, 1997; Barone, 2000; 2008; 2008; Knowles & Cole, 2008). This article explores two such methodologies, a/r/tography and researchbased theatre, by closely examining the development of the theatre-based piece Drama as an Additional Language: Creating Community, Confidence, and Comfort (Beck, Belliveau, Lea, & Wager, 2009). Using the six a/r/tographic renderings (contiguity, living inquiry, metaphor and metonymy, openings, reverberations, and excess), the authors investigate the development of Drama as an Additional Language as an example of how research-based theatre and a/r/tography may be integrated.

Volume 12 Number 17: S. W. Cawthon & K. M. Dawson. Drama-based Instruction and Educational Research:
Activating Praxis in an Interdisciplinary Partnership

Drama for Schools (DFS) is a professional development program in drama-based instruction shaped by theories of critical pedagogy and constructivism. In 2007, the Director of DFS invited an educational psychology faculty member to develop a research and evaluation component for the program. This article discusses and troubles this interdisciplinary partnership through the lens of praxis, the continual cycle of thought, action, reflection and response. In this article, we touch upon implications of activated praxis such as (a) how DFS has evolved in its identity as a research-based program model; (b) how outcome measurement was embedded into program implementation; (c) the experience of disseminating findings in both arts-based and educational research spaces; and (d) how long-range planning was guided both by research and program priorities. We conclude with identification of how this process has resulted in praxis for participants across all levels of the partnership.

Special Issues

Volume 12 Special Issue 1: Gradle, S. A. (Ed.). Arts & Learning Research Journal Special Issue: Selected Papers from the 2011 AERA Arts & Learning SIG

This Special Edition of the Arts & Learning Research Journal, graciously hosted by the International Journal of Education in the Arts, marks the first online-only presence of our journal. This is an exciting transition for Arts & Learning, which has been a scholarly print journal for over 25 years. As explained in our 2010 Call for Papers, we were interested in exploring how an online venue might expand creative presentations of research, and visually enhance scholarship in the arts.

As the Guest Editor for Arts & Learning's online emergence, I was fascinated by the diversity in thinking that researchers are currently exploring in the arts. Jennifer Katz-Buonincontro examines the ways that aesthetic knowing influences leadership decisions by looking at several models in the field. She reminds us that there is artistry in leadership, which is seen through organizational beauty, the value of a greater good in leadership design, empathy, and somatic awareness--an embodied knowledge that shapes leadership's expression.

Gianna Di Reeze and Kathy Mantas likewise connect us to tacit understandings by making the embodied experience of teaching and learning a personal, social practice. They reclaim and reframe the many avenues that instructors might mindfully contribute to the growth of learners.

By exploring the social influences inherent in the creative process, Miriam Giguere adds new categories to our aesthetic understanding of what children intuitively feel about their efforts to create with their bodies, and through their bodies. The research shows that their collaboration opens voluntary connections developed through negotiation and trust, and a belief in the efficacy of their own ideas.

Matt Omasta, the Arts & Learning Dissertation Award Winner of 2010, illumines how emotions influence beliefs in a study that examines middle school students' reactions to theatrical performance. The embodied emotions that are caught appear to shape the cognitive processes and establish new meanings--about one's self and about others.

Through three case studies that involve arts-based projects, Joe Norris offers a glimpse of what it means to qualitatively embrace differences and develop assessment that might better navigate future instruction in the arts. What is our responsibility, for example, to those who wish to move toward poesis in their arts-based expressions? How can work be assessed differently when it shifts from a more pedagogically based exercise?

Readers have an opportunity to explore the strengths of a community-based art model through an intriguing look at a film school in the work of Ching-Chiu Lin, Juan Carlos Castro, and Kit Grauer. Set in the idyllic beauty of a remote island in British Columbia, their research shows how the film school encouraged students to leave school boundaries, take risks, explore tension as part of the process, and develop ideas that had both personal and collective significance.

In "Performing an Archive of Resistance," authors Claire Robson, Dennis Sumara, and Rebecca Luce-Kapler explore through two different population studies how fictional identities created through reading and writing practices influence the formation of one's consciousness. They cite new perspectives that illustrate how participation in reading, writing and responding can create and transform conscious engagement, placing it once again within the body and not simply as a function of the mind/brain. The authors ask important questions for all research in education: "If we consider the embodied self a situation, how do we change it? And when?"

Melanie Burdick delves into the possibilities of found poetry as research methodology, describing her work with two teachers in converting transcriptions of interviews into poetic forms that could be shared and compared as ways of reflecting upon experience in new ways. The revelations that can occur through this multiplication of languages and perspectives suggests the rich potential of this arts-based approach to research.

Lived Aesthetic Inquiries

Volume 12 LAI 1: Chappell, S. V., & Chappell, D. A museum in a book: Teaching culture through decolonizing, arts-based methodologies.

This paper explores the positivist, museum-based, and touristic constructions of indigenous cultures in the Americas, as represented in the DK Eyewitness series, and then overturns these constructions using an artist book created by the authors. In our analysis of the nonfiction series, we identified three trajectories: cataloguing, consignment to the past, and pleasurable display. Using techniques borrowed from "new historiography" and the decolonizing methodologies of Linda Tuhiwai Smith (1999), we suggest ways in which adults and young people might "speak back" to these positivist paradigms.

Volume 12 LAI 2: White, B. Private perceptions, public reflections: Aesthetic encounters as vehicles for shared meaning making.

This paper begins with a brief discussion of aesthetic theory, especially as it relates to art education. Then, to see how theory may apply to practice, it describes an investigation into the manner in which encounters with artworks unfold, how meanings are constructed and values articulated, based on the study of four volunteers' interactions with two artworks that lend themselves to variable responses, especially in regard to social and cultural issues. The study relies on participant mapping of the individual moments of their encounters and their subsequent reflections on the experience.

Volume 12 LAI 3: Wiggins, J. Feeling is how I understand it: Found poetry as analysis.

This paper tells the story of a researcher's analysis process that became a journey to an unfamiliar place and, ultimately, to a new way of conceiving analysis and a new way of seeing--at least, new to me as researcher. The study was an analysis of interview data gleaned from a series of conversations about what it is to be a musician.i I had interviewed about forty highly accomplished professional musicians inviting them to talk about their musicianship and how they think they learned what they know--from whom, under what circumstances, and at what points in their lives. From transcription and analysis of the transcripts and recordings, a wide range of themes had emerged, reflecting visions of musicianship, the nature of participants' music learning experiences, and insight into their musical lives. In this paper, I explore one of these themes: the physical nature of musical knowing and experience.


Volume 12 Interlude 1: Delacruz, E.M. Entrepreneurial strategies for advancing arts-based public engagement as a form of university-sanctioned professional activity in the new creative economy.

Written in the first person and drawing from an autoethnographic methodological framework, this essay shares aspirations, experiences, and reflections on a faculty member's professional work in a large U.S. public research-oriented university, focusing specifically on her attempts to reconcile her service-oriented civic engagement work with her university's priorities and workplace conditions. The author positions her work within a larger community of practice in art education higher education, a community dedicated to embracing cultural diversity and social justice, and whose work now takes place in multiple sites, including but not limited to schools and universities. The author establishes linkages between contemporary art education values and aims, and recently popular writings about the creative class, the new creative economy, and the contributions of cultural creatives to community development. These connections help the author establish a personal philosophical foundation for her current work and to explore an entrepreneurial framework-both as a means of facilitating her own public engagement projects and for advancing public engagement as a legitimate form of university faculty work. The essay is written as a reflective narrative about lessons learned in pursuit of these aims. Through utilization of short stories (or vignettes) of some of the author's public-engagement-oriented work, she identifies entrepreneurial strategies that have facilitated this work along with problems encountered, uncertainties, and failures. The essay concludes with an optimistic but untested proposition that university faculty members may make a difference in the world not only through their service-oriented civic endeavors, but also in their ability to help shape and improve university institutional conditions that make this work possible. As the author concludes, being connected to a community of practice beyond ones current place of employment is central to these goals.

Volume 12 Interlude 2: Berkeley, A. From a formalist to a practical aesthetic in undergraduate theatre studies: Becoming relevant in the twenty-first century.

As a new century unfolds, the "downsizing" and continuing marginalization of the humanities, including theatre, in American higher education correspond to three trends in the academy. First, in response to the fiscal crises that began in the late 1970s, universities have increasingly turned to the private sector for financial support as federal and state funding has been reduced. Second, universities have become progressively more market-driven, and so, commercialized. In this context, departments in the arts and humanities are often accused of losing their intellectual anchors. Third, students' intentions for the bachelor of arts degree have simultaneously shifted from developing intellectual qualities and a philosophy of life to that of preparing for economic security. As a consequence of the changing definitions of liberal arts education, subjects in the arts and humanities will have to reconsider their missions and curricular practices in order to attract students and remain relevant.

Book Reviews

Volume 12 Review 1: Leong, S. Navigating music and sound education: A review essay.

Book Reviewed: Ballantyne, J., & Bartleet, B-L. (Eds.). (2010). Navigating Music and Sound Education. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN: 978144381837.

Navigating Music and Sound Education, co-edited by Julie Ballantyne and Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, is a very valuable contribution to music education literature. A panel of international experts has blind reviewed the eleven chapters written by twenty one leading music educators specifically for pre-service music teachers being prepared to "respond to the changing realities" of future school contexts (p. xvii). The chapters illuminate real issues confronted by today's music education practitioners in a variety of contexts from early childhood-adult, formal-informal, urban-remote, and general-vocational education. The perspectives presented are evidence based and informed by research and practice, drawn from the contributors' personal and diverse experiences in Australia, England, USA, Greece, Cyprus, Holland and Singapore. One chapter is co-authored by six of the fourteen Australian contributors who bring perspectives from their important work with Australian indigenous communities.

Volume 12 Review 2: Nichols, J. Music education for changing times: A review essay.

Book Reviewed: Regelski, T. A., & Gates, J. T. (Eds.). (2009). Music Education for Changing Times: Guiding Visions for Practice. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. ISBN: 9789048126996.

Music Education for Changing Times: Guiding Visions for Practice "hangs a question mark" on music education practices that may have long been taken for granted (Russell, 1953). The essay authors, each in their own voice and with strength of conviction, contribute thoughtful work guaranteed to provoke a great deal of reflection regarding the frontiers of music education in the 21st century. The essayists have pointed to several stars on the horizon for guidance and enjoined the reader to be critically reflective on which ones are chosen for navigation. The path for our collective, professional journey may twist, turn, fork, and circle but with a vision influenced by the scholarship contained within this text, we can make purposeful strides towards the future.

Volume 12 Review 3: Davidson, J. Embodied wisdom: Meditations on memoir and education: A review essay.

Book Reviewed: Pryer, A. (2011). Embodied Wisdom: Meditations on Memoir and Education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. ISBN: 9781617352218.

Embodied wisdom: Meditations on memoir and education, Alison Pryer's recent volume, is an ode to pedagogy and the struggle to understand what that unique term can mean. As she defines it, "Pedagogy takes place in diverse sites, not only in kindergartens, schools, and universities. I define pedagogy as that which acts upon and acts with human beings in such a way as to transform their embodied consciousness, thereby producing meaning in the process" (p. 8).

Volume 12 Review 4: Chen-Hafteck, L. Minette Mans' Living in worlds of music: A review essay.

Book Reviewed: Mans, M. (2009). Living in Worlds of Music: A View of Education and Values. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. ISBN: 9789048127054.

Today, many music educators are fascinated by the diverse musics and cultures of the world and feel that multicultural music education can enhance our understanding of the music and culture of people from other ethnic origins. However, it is easy for practitioners to easily fall into an oversimplified view about teaching world musics if we do not take care to consider the complexity of the issues relating to it.

Volume 12 Review 5: Schulte, C. M. Children's creation of imaginary worlds: Potentials and practices: A review essay.

Book Reviewed: Golomb, C (2011). The creation of imaginary worlds: The role of art, magic & dreams in child development. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN: 978-1849058520.

In this beautifully written book, Claire Golomb produces an eloquent account of three extraordinarily important practices that constitute an envisaging of children's pursuit and construction of imaginary worlds. Golomb, a noted psychologist and researcher, puts forth a compelling introductory text that works to provide parents, educators, and students of early childhood development with a persuasive and articulate rendering of the unwavering grasp that worldmaking has on young children, and the developmental trajectories, milestones, and slippages that compose the landscapes of their enduring quests for the alternative.

Volume 12 Review 6: Davis, S. G. Musical identities and music education: A review essay.

Book Reviewed: Stålhammar, B. (2006). Musical identities and music education. Aachen, Germany: Shaker Verlag. 247 pages. ISBN: 978-3832251901.

Musical Identities and Music Education, written by Börje Stålhammar, provides an illuminating view of the way in which English and Swedish students consider music and musical meaning. For the young people in this study, music is not an isolated topic nor evaluated based on its theoretical constructs but is judged on the context of the listening experience and the emotional impact which is filtered through the lens of their social and cultural backgrounds. Stålhammar contends that in today's world three central "musical forces" converge to affect the musical identity of young people: 1) the international music industry, 2) the cultural background and environment that forms values, commitments, preferences and the emotional imprints that are central to identity and, 3) teaching contexts represented by formal schooling and community teaching situations (p. 10). In light of the many decisions that music educators must make in their responsibilities for carrying out curriculum, Music Identities and Music Education provides a broader view for these considerations and places the importance of student experience at the core.

Volume 12 Review 7: Costantino, T. Researching creative learning: A review essay.

Book Reviewed: Thomson, P. & Sefton-Green, J. (Eds.). (2011). Researching creative learning: Methods and issues. London: Routledge. ISBN: 9780415548854.

The publication of Researching Creative Learning: Methods and Issues, edited by Pat Thomson and Julian Sefton-Green, is timely considering the increased international interest in creativity in education. Governments around the globe are looking to schools to educate the creative individuals needed for the 21st century knowledge economies that will keep each nation competitive in the global marketplace. This is despite the apparent contradiction of an emphasis on standardized curriculum, especially in the United States and Great Britain.

Volume 12 Review 8: Chrysostomou, S. Educating music teachers for the 21st Century: A review essay.

Book Reviewed: Aróstegui, J. L. (Ed.). Educating Music Teachers for the 21st Century. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. ISBN: 9788-94-6091-501-7

In this book of collective case studies we learn about different courses offered in music teacher education programs in different countries in Europe and Latin America. The authors attempt to give us the whole picture by describing as much as possible, the institutional culture, the educational system, the societal needs and changes and the political and educational agenda. Inevitably, some pictures are clearer than others. Not all case studies focus on the same research questions. Each author chooses to answer the questions that seem to be closer to his/her interests and that are more appropriate for the case study in process. In terms of comparative education, a solid methodology was designed for the specific purpose of creating the necessary conditions to compare programs and courses from very different contexts and countries in Europe and Latin America, and to be able to reach conclusions that are meaningful for other countries around the world. In the last chapter, Heiling and Arostegui with insight and reflection, bring together all of the major issues that seem to have 'haunted' music teacher education for years. They assist the readers' thinking and reflection, setting the stage through the comparison of the different case studies. One cannot help but contemplate and compare his/her own country and situation in music teacher education. Whether we agree or not with their final conclusions, the goal is accomplished. Comparative education has paved the way to reflection and discussion.

Volume 12 Review 9: E. Österlind. Embodied Wisdom: Meditations on Memoir and Education: A review essay.

Book Reviewed: Prendergast, M., & Saxton, J. (Eds.). (2009/2011). Applied theatre: International case studies and challenges for practice.. Chicago, IL: Intellect, The University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 9781841502816.

This book is a prosperous point of departure for a journey into the field of Applied Theatre, based as it is on case studies from all over the world, which gives it a nice mosaic character. The idea of collecting published papers and articles and present them in short-cuts is innovative. The result is a hybrid of an educational textbook and a 'light' research handbook - highly recommendable reading that gives an excellent overview and lots of inspiration.


The International Journal of Education & the Arts currently serves as an open access platform for scholarly dialogue. Our commitment is to the highest forms of scholarship invested in the significances of the arts in education and the education within the arts. Read more about our mission…


IJEA holds strong commitment to research in interdisciplinary arts education. Our editors are respected scholars from different arts fields working together to achieve our high standard. Read more about editors…