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Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect

On the Lives and Education of Children

Edited By Paul L. Thomas, Paul R. Carr, Julie A. Gorlewski and Brad J. Porfilio

Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect presents a wide variety of concepts from scholars and practitioners who discuss pedagogies of kindness, an alternative to the «no excuses» ideology now dominating the way that children are raised and educated in the U.S. today. The fields of education, and especially early childhood education, include some histories and perspectives that treat those who are younger with kindness and respect. This book demonstrates an informed awareness of this history and the ways that old and new ideas can counter current conditions that are harmful to both those who are younger and those who are older, while avoiding the reconstitution of the romantic, innocent child who needs to be saved by more advanced adults. Two interpretations of the upbringing of children are investigated and challenged, one suggesting that the poor do not know how to raise their children and thus need help, while the other looks at those who are privileged and therefore know how to nurture their young. These opposing views have been discussed and problematized for more than thirty years. Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect investigates the issue of why this circumstance has continued and even worsened today.
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Chapter Twelve: Music Education, Character Development, and Advocacy: The Philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki


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Music Education, Character Development, AND Advocacy

The Philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki


For decades, music educators have attempted to advocate their place in public schooling amidst cutbacks in funding and frequent neglect in curricular priority. Presently in United States schools, music and other arts classes are sometimes viewed as “frill” or “extracurricular” subjects, and they are often provided with less funding, attention, and/or support than subjects such as science, technology, engineering, and math (see Catterall, 2009; Holcomb, 2007; Kratus, 2007; West, 2012). In response, many music advocates in the U.S. and elsewhere have proposed that school music might benefit children in a variety of ways beyond the obvious development of musicianship, including through academic achievements as well as the development of prosocial behaviors (see Catterall, 2009; Gates, 2006; Hallam, 2006; Leonhard, 1985; Madsen, 2006).

One difficulty with this claim, however, is that music educators often differ about just how music can benefit a child. For instance, some educators rush to report “Mozart Effect” studies in order to declare that music study makes students smarter in non-musical ways (Rauscher & Shaw, 1998; Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky, 1993, 1995). Others, however, suggest that such an advocacy tactic does more harm than good by formally placing music in a mere supportive role to other disciplines—or by causing music educators to make promises that they may not actually be able to deliver (Bowman, 2006;...

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