Multicultural Education in the Music Classroom: Definitions, Methods, and Motives
dissertation by – Candace Rhnea Stafford-Davis
ABSTRACT This study aims to understand the multicultural teaching experiences of music teachers in the Fayetteville and Springdale public school districts through the lens of James Banks’ four approaches to curriculum reform. The research is intended to add to the limited literature presently found on the definition of multicultural music education and how this type of education is implemented. The study will also increase knowledge of teacher motives for implementing multicultural education in the music classroom and highlight challenges that lie within implementation. Purposive sampling was used and in an attempt to get an information rich sample, two schools were chosen from the Fayetteville school district and six schools were chosen from the Springdale school district. A qualitative approach was used for this study. The participants were interviewed using a semi-structured set of questions and one classroom observation followed the initial interviews. The data of the interviews and observations was transcribed. The transcribed, raw data of interviews and lesson observations of each teacher was read several times and themes were identified based on the research questions using the data reduction method. The findings of the study produced a definition for multicultural music education orginating from the definitions of Banks, Carolin, and the definitions of those who participated in this study. Participants in this study implemented multicultural music education through Holidays as well as thematic units. The participants most notably used foreign language songs, instruments from other countries, and foreign dances to teach multiculturally. Most participants believed that multicultural education should be implemented in the music classroom because of the diverse population of their classrooms and the communities in which they live. Lastly, this study found that Fayetteville and Springdale music educators are teaching multiculturally in their classrooms. One of the eight teachers was thought to be implementing Banks’ approach at level one, the contributions level. Six of the eight teachers were thought to be implementing Banks’ approach at level two, the additive level. One of the eight teachers was thought to be implementing Banks’ approach at level three, the transformation level.