Term of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Sabrina N. Ross

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

John Weaver

Committee Member 3

William Schubert

Committee Member 3 Email



As our schools gain more and more children from different cultures and ethnicities, there is an increasing need to diversify curriculum to assist in cultivating tolerance and understanding. Drawing upon an eclectic group of theorists who highlight the importance of meaningful curricula and education, and using autoethnography as method, I explore aspects of reflective teaching and student empowerment through the medium of multicultural music education. Connections between my own cultural heritage and the cultures of my students were made through a critical evaluation of my current approach to multicultural music education. Using multiple information sources including student observations, lesson plans, and journals, four key events holding significance for my practice of multicultural music education were identified and discussed in order to illuminate teaching methods that have empowered and enriched the lives of my students. 2 In this study, Banks' (2007) theory of multicultural education provides the framework for my current practice of multicultural education while Schwab's (1978) four commonplaces (i.e., subject matter, teacher, learner, and milieu) are used to organize the key events discussed in this work. Freire's concept of conscientization (1987) is used to chronicle key cultural events in my life that demonstrate the continued process of my critical consciousness and Greene's (2001) concept of intense noticing is used to illustrate multicultural music education that encourages students to engage in imagination and empathy. Finally, Eisner's (1985, 1988) concepts of educational connoisseurship and meaningful education are used to highlight ways in which aspects of my musical curricular practices speak to larger issues of educational purpose and meaning. By relaying my own personal stories and the stories of the immigrant students I teach, my hope is to convey the positive aspects of multiculturalism and multicultural music study. This study validates the need in public schools for the kind of meaningful education that brings students feelings of joy, empathy, and purpose. This study connects curriculum studies and music education with issues of social justice by highlighting the role music study can play in affirming diversity and educating for equity.

Research Data and Supplementary Material