Research based music teaching

Research project
Active research
Project owner
Academy of Music and Drama

Short description

Dissertation by Christer Larsson. The Swedish Education Act prescribes that education shall rest on a scientific foundation. My research interest focuses on how enactments of policy in relation to this legislation affects the profession and professionalization of Swedish music teachers. There are e.g. interesting points of tension regarding the implementation of an evidence-based approach to music as a didactical subject, due to the ways that scientific aspects coexist with both artistic and craft-based dimensions in practices of music education.

The dissertation study consists of a compilation thesis with three articles and a summarising chapter. The first article is published in the Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational, and analyses how policy texts at the Swedish National Agency of Education (Skolverket) describe a research-based way of working, in ways that foregrounds certain ideals of teacher professionalism.

The second article (in progress) focuses on the ways music teaching is described in relation to research, in texts published by Swedish teacher organisations.

The third study will focus on music teachers in upper secondary schools and their reflections on research-based music teacher professionalism. Hence, the empiric data in the study consists of recorded conversations between upper secondary music teachers in focus group discussions, conducted via video conference (due to the pandemic situation) in early 2021. In the summary chapter, I aim to synthesize the sub studies to be able to discuss how research-based music teacher professionalism is enacted through policy work in different sites, and which consequences this has for music teachers and music education in Swedish schools.

My interest in this field stems from my own everyday experience of music education practice, as well as from discussions with students and colleagues, during more than 15 years of work as a music teacher, mostly at the upper-secondary level. In August of 2018, I was accepted as a doctoral student in the field of Research on Arts Education. The dissertation project aims to finish in the spring of 2023.

Christer Larsson porträttbild med glasögon
Photo: Privat