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Instrumentalism in the Field of Music Education: Are We All Humanists?

Øivind Varkøy
Philosophy of Music Education Review
Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring, 2007), pp. 37-52
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40327267
Page Count: 16
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Instrumentalism in the Field of Music Education: Are We All Humanists?
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Abstract

Øivind Varkøy discusses instrumentalism as a trend in educational politics and pedagogical thinking. Instrumentalism implies looking upon both school subjects and humans as instruments, as tools or means for reaching another goal or end. The discussion is related to philosophy of music education by focusing on aspects of philosophies of humankind, the idea of forming the child versus the idea of free growth, and the humanistic tradition of dialectics. To link the philosophical discussion of instrumentalism to music education in a more practical way, the author focuses on the discussion of assessment of knowledge in music. Is it for instance possible for a music educator to accept the idea of measuring musical knowledge by means of standardized tests without having some problems sailing under the flag of pedagogical humanism?

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