Essay On Punk Pedagogy

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Critical Pedagogy and Punk Pedagogy: Finding New Ways to Engage My Students
Curriculum is the primary vehicle through which students are provided musical experiences. Recent research regarding critical pedagogy has heightened my awareness of how curriculum engages or, more relevant to this paper, alienates my students. The activities I select and the music I include or exclude shows my students what my program defines as valuable (Froehlich & Smith, 2017). Students who value music that is excluded will find it difficult to engage in my program. Therefore, it is important for me to include a wide variety of musical experiences in my curriculum. The most frequent method I use to include a wide variety of musical experiences is the inclusion of a piece or two from
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Punk as a specific style of music, has changed considerably since the 1970’s when it gained prominence, but the broader idea of using contemporary music to reach students is still valid. Critical pedagogy suggests recognizing the strengths of students’ cultural heritage as a way to challenge oppressive structures in current education. Punk pedagogy encourages dialogue that challenges cultural norms (Utley, 2012). Extending this line of thinking, the inclusion of a student’s preferred music helps students to view their culture as equally important in the discussion. A practical application of this thinking can occur when I am working on a piece from the Western canon that focuses on a particular theme (e.g. love). Instead of simply explaining the concept from my perspective, I can invite the students to share a piece of music they listen to that shares a similar theme. We can then discuss how each piece explores that theme (Kahn-Egan, 1998). This method shows that the students’ preferred music is equally qualified to express those themes as the music I have selected for
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