The University of Melbourne
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Critical Ontology for an Enactive Music Pedagogy

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-24, 02:58 authored by Dylan van der SchyffDylan van der Schyff, Andrea Schiavo, David J. Elliott

An enactive approach to music education is explored through the lens of critical ontology. Assumptions central to Western academic music culture are critically discussed; and the concept of "ontological education" is introduced as an alternative framework. We argue that this orientation embraces more primordial ways of knowing and being, revealing the fundamentally self-organizing or "autopoietic" nature of the embodied musical mind. This enactive perspective is then contrasted with classic constructivist approaches and is developed within the context of care ethics. Ethical and practical possibilities for an enactive music pedagogy are suggested with the goal of helping music educators develop approaches based in possibility, imagination, and relationality, rather than in conformity to standardized practices and conventional ways of thinking. To conclude, the importance of critical ontology and the enactivist perspective is considered for music teacher education if our society is to open up to the full possibilities of music for human well-being.


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