UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Robert Walker
Volume No.: 
Issue No.: 
Year of publication: 
Country of publication: 
Hong Kong
Country of Research Data: 
As globalisation evolves, and especially as symbiosis develops between Asia and western countries in education, there is need to examine issues in music education in a critical approach which accounts for both traditional and contemporary culture. Often, music educators enter the profession with little understanding of the complex influences and ideologies which control music education. And educational administrators to day are increasingly asked to make decisions affecting many different disciplines, often without understanding their impact on an individual discipline in the classroom. There is evidence that music education in the public sector in many western countries is in serious decline, but in the private education sector the opposite appears to be the case. And comparisons of Asian with some Western music curricula reveal a gulf between the two, with the former showing more concern and respect for tradition that the latter. Other developments impinge on the lives of music educators include the following: the growth of multi-arts and multi-literacies teaching; the new epistemologies of so-called post-modernism; recent controversies in musicology over popular culture and cultural context; and the rise of sociology and cultural theory as major influences on education, especially in the arts. This paper is intended to examine the major issues affecting music education today across Asia and the West, and to point to some important foundational principles which are in danger of disappearing in the West. The paper is deliberately wide-ranging and provocative and points to a situation where music education in the public sector, especially in the West, is facing a subservient role in the new order of things in education.
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