The purpose of this work is to explore the possibility of incorporating pragmatism into music education. The paper discusses John Dewey’s pragmatism and analyzes the interpretations and influences of Deweyan pragmatism in music education with the help of interview responses of scholars worldwide. Finally, it seeks specific answers as to how Deweyan pragmatism can help the transformation of music education, particularly of music teacher education. The historical information was obtained through a close analysis and reviewing of Dewey’s writings, as well as other educational scholars’ writings on Dewey’s pragmatism. After gaining a personal insight and understanding how much Dewey’s pragmatism and specific notions (such as experience and democracy) have influenced the field of education and music education, several well-known music professors and philosophical scholars in the field of music education and philosophy from the United States, Canada, and Finland were asked to respond to interview questions. As the review of literature and interview analysis showed, current music educators, writers, and thinkers have not exhausted the study of pragmatism. Dewey’s ideas offer great potential to expand the abilities and possibilities of music education for social change. They can also be used as a guide to understand the complexity of postmodern society and its institutions. A more comprehensive construction of a Deweyan music education might be proposed to further philosophical studies.
Tuncer Boon, Illkay Ebru
"Toward a Useful Synthesis of Deweyan Pragmatism
and Music Education,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 14, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lib.uconn.edu/vrme/vol14/iss1/2