Introduction to the Handbook - S. Alex Ruthmann & Roger Mantie

(OHOTAME Editors) #1

The field of research in technology and music education is maturing. The first and second MENC Handbooks (Colwell, 1992; Colwell & Richardson, 2002) included discrete chapters on technology, and the new Oxford Handbook of Music Education (McPherson & Welch, 2012) presents entire sections on Technology and New Media. Open almost any professional academic journal issue in music education and you find at least one article with technology playing a central role. Witness also the success of the Journal of Music, Technology and Education sustaining 3-4 issues per year.

The proliferation of academic scholarship on technology and music education must be set against the backdrop of an ever-present barrage of trade publications often motivated, understandably, more by consumption and profit than education per se. The prevalent discourse around technology among practitioner and researcher circles in music education promotes technology as a positive good, often extolling and attributing its virtues to the technology itself. What is missing in extant scholarship is a dedicated volume that serves to critically situate technology in relation to music education from a variety of perspectives: historical, philosophical, socio-cultural, pedagogical, musical, economic, policy, and so on. Although technology and music education will undoubtedly continue to evolve, it has now reached a point of critical mass historically, and has arguably reached a plateauing point that suggests longer staying power for a handbook of this description.

This Handbook is organized into four sections:

  • Emergence and Evolution
  • Locations and Contexts: Social and Cultural Issues
  • Experiencing, Expressing, Learning and Teaching
  • Competence, Credentialing, and Professional Development

These four themes are separated into two sets of provocation questions. Three authors were invited to respond to each of the eight sets of provocation questions, for a total of 24 critical perspective responses. Each of the 24 authors were then asked to contribute an additional further perspective addressing the themes and provocation responses of the other authors. This website is set up for readers and authors to continue the discussions around each essay and to contribute additional critical and further perspectives to be moderated by the editors.