Deakin University

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The blind men and the elephant : music education in a changing world

conference contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Dawn JosephDawn Joseph, J Southcott
Education provides unique opportunities for individuals to develop their full character as Australian citizens who can play a part in the shaping of the future. All educational settings have an important role to play in bridging differences and promoting mutual respect, tolerance and understanding between people of different races, cultures, and religions. The curriculum is one component of the wider educational milieu that should be 'an enabling mechanism that nurtures adjustment to change, and simultaneously provides a roadmap of expectation' (Bruniges, 2005, p.15). As the rate and diversity of both local and global change accelerates, education continues to be faced with a multiplicity of challenges. The ways in which we respond to this will influence both the society and the curriculum that we design, implement and evaluate. Currently music educators implementing the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) are faced with the challenge of developing multicultural practices that align with both curriculum initiatives and create authentic experiences for students. As in the well-known story of the blind men and the elephant, teachers are faced with resources that offer only a shallow introduction to what is a multifaceted field. The question we pose is: 'How do educators embrace a vast range of cultural and social dimensions in our school music programmes without being like a blind man, grasping only one perspective of an extensive and complex whole?'



Australian Association for Research in Music Education. Conference (28th : 2006 : Melbourne, Victoria)


66 - 70




Melbourne, Victoria

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Start date


End date







Also Titled: Australian Association for Research in Music Education : proceedings of the XXVIIIth annual conference : Music education, standards and practices, 24-26 September 2006 Proceedings of the Twenty Eighth Annual Conference Music education, standards and practice

Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed; E Conference publication

Copyright notice

2006, AARME


P de Vries, J Southcott

Title of proceedings

AARME 2006 : Proceedings of the XXVIIIth Australian Association for Research in Music Education Annual Conference : 24-26 September 2006 : Music education, standards and practices

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