Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

School

School of Education

Faculty

Education and Arts

First Advisor

Dr Geoff Lowe

Second Advisor

Dr Geoff Lummis

Abstract

A new post-compulsory Music course known as the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) Music course was recently introduced into Year 11 and 12 in Western Australian (WA) schools. Following a convoluted process of creation, its implementation into classrooms has been problematic. Given criticism levelled at its process of creation and implementation, the researcher questions whether the WACE Music course embodies effective, recognised principles to support the effective teaching and learning of music. This study investigates the principles which should form the basis of an effective, post-compulsory music curriculum, suitable for WA. It involved a literature review which sought to produce a set of principles for teaching and learning frameworks based upon international best practice in music education, and applicable in the unique geographical, historical and multicultural WA context. In addition, the study employed a researcher–designed survey instrument to examine whether Western Australian music teachers perceived these principles to be evident in their practical experiences of the new WACE music course. With the subsequent publishing of a draft Australian National Arts Curriculum, it is an appropriate time to review the principles which should underpin an effective Music curriculum for senior secondary students in the WA context because, without a clear set of guiding principles that are understood by curriculum writers, there is a possibility that following courses could be fundamentally flawed and not serve the best interests of students.

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