Education Reform and the Music Doctorate

I look forward to presenting a paper for an upcoming conference entitled The Effects of Music, which is hosted by the Musicnet West academic consortium, in Bergen, Norway (November 29-30). Prior to that, I will be visiting Abu Dhabi, and plans are underway for me to give a lecture in Damascus.

Below is the abstract for the presentation in Norway:

Education Reform and the Music Doctorate: Current Issues in Europe and North America

Arising from analysis of policy documents, and illustrated with anecdotes from supervision of doctoral dissertations in both Europe and the USA, this paper proposes a theoretical model for conceptualization of recent changes to the music doctorate. Developments affecting music education doctoral studies in USA have previously been chronicled in a series of publications by David J. Teachout and recent contributions by Patrick M. Jones and Bennett Reimer, as well as various publications associated with the Carnegie Foundation’s extensive project “Re-envisioning the PhD”. The evolving European situation is described in key reports by Ester Tomasi, Joost Vanmaele, and others associated with the Polifonia Third Cycle Working Group and the European Association of Conservatoires, which emerged in response to the EU’s Bologna Process. While these kinds of documents offer a holistic view of the rapidly changing terrain of doctoral (third cycle) education, a rich understanding may also be obtained from qualitative accounts of what occurs at the level of individual students and their mentors, which is where narrative description can provide a helpful supplement. It is hoped that this paper will open some timely issues for consideration, including such topics as online mentoring, research quality assurance, and “artistic research” methodologies, as Norwegian institutions consider various ways to envision the future of music education doctoral programs.

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