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date: 04 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Taking as its context the development of music education within English secondary schools (students aged 11–18) over the last 50 years, and supported by “vignettes” from a practicing music teacher in a secondary school on the outskirts of London, this chapter seeks to address some key questions around social justice and music education, including: What is meant by social justice in the music classroom? What are the indicators for a socially just classroom? The chapter goes on to explore significant moments in the history of classroom music in England and how, in spite of best efforts, the promotion of social justice has been “confounded” by subtle cultural forces. The chapter concludes by speculating on the implications of this analysis for the music classroom in the twenty-first century and by reflecting on whether the classroom can ever provide the appropriate “space” for a socially just approach to music education.

Keywords: English secondary school, classroom music, history, socially just, music education

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