Music education in Northern Ireland: a process to achieve social inclusion through segregated education?

Odena, O. and Scharf, J. (2022) Music education in Northern Ireland: a process to achieve social inclusion through segregated education? International Journal of Music Education, 40(3), pp. 471-486. (doi: 10.1177/02557614221075835)

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This article presents an investigation on music education in Northern Ireland (NI) aimed at uncovering how 22 music teachers in post-primary schools addressed the 2007 statutory music curriculum in terms of its potential to promote social cohesion in NI’s post-conflict society, where most schools are segregated on religious grounds. In the discussion we consider three curriculum requirements: (i) to promote cross-cultural and (ii) mutual understanding and (iii) to undertake shared learning through school collaboration. While presenting a primarily positive view to the promotion of cross-cultural understanding, the data outlines the existence of closed minds across the community divide. Approaches to mutual understanding evidenced a picture of classroom activity where it was translated into ‘mutual respect’. Shared learning through school collaboration was treated on two fronts: collaboration needed to access external exams, and collaboration arising from the Department of Education’s 2015 Shared Education initiative. While exam collaboration raised issues for pupils and teachers, the shared education initiative promoted a small number of cross-school projects driven by individual teachers. Educational implications are considered in the conclusions.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Collaborative work to develop this paper was supported by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (Grant AH/S003851/1) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (Grant 62292).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Odena, Professor Oscar
Authors: Odena, O., and Scharf, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Social & Environmental Sustainability
Journal Name:International Journal of Music Education
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1744-795X
Published Online:01 February 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in International Journal of Music Education 40(3): 471-486
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
303890The Arts of Inclusion (TAI): Examining the role of performing Arts for Peace Education in Conflict. A UK-Latin American Countries NetworkOscar OdenaArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/S003851/1ED - The Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change
305663The Arts of Inclusion (TAI): Examining the role of Performing Arts for Peace Education in Conflict. A Scottish-Latin American Countries NetworkOscar OdenaThe Royal Society of Edinburgh (ROYSOCED)62292IS - Interdisciplinary Studies