Theses Doctoral

Lift ev'ry voice & sing for an Afrocentric pedagogy of music teaching and learning

Robinson, David Wayne

Currently, Eurocentric theories and practices of urban teachers and students are often studied under a White gaze of expected deficits. Much of this research is quantitative (e.g., documenting the number of teachers of color); the qualitative research that documents the experiences of people of color usually lacks the personal lived experiences of racial marginalization that only one who has endured them can tell. Addressing this research problem, in this dissertation, I share findings generated from a 9-month autoethnographic study of my experiences in light of the blockade of anti-Black epistemologies and ontologies in (music) teacher education.

Framed by Critical Race Theory, Critical Pedagogy, and Postcolonial Theory, the aim of this study is to examine the lived experiences and narratives of a Black-queer doctoral student and teacher educator—in dialogue with majority Black and Latinx preservice early childhood and elementary students in his music teacher education course—considering how Eurocentric frameworks position teachers and students. Inquiries into how curricular stories are constructed as mirrors and windows (Bishop, 1990) are woven to reveal the ways in which dominant theories and ideologies affect the discourses and identities of soon-to-be teachers and point toward the need for students and educators of color to be taught to analyze and name injustices documented within life histories, all the while transforming oppressive encounters to affirm individual and collective humanity.

While the focus of this self-study and autoethnography is the researcher, this ethnographic composition of teaching and teacher education is informed by the researcher’s teacher education practices, experiences, and learnings in the context of an early childhood and elementary teacher education course for non-music majors at a primarily-Hispanic serving urban institution of higher education. It examines classroom discursive interactions and archival data (e.g. journal reflections, course assignments) using ethnographic research methods and critical narrative analysis (Souto-Manning, 2014) to make sense of data. In doing so, it co-constructs a polyphonic space for multiple perspectives to stand in counterpoint (conflict), reimagining and reclaiming the discourses that purport to hold knowledge about peoples of color lived experiences. Findings are rendered by engagement with a range of Afrocentric visual and multimodal data.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Souto-Manning, Mariana V.
Emdin, Christopher
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
July 24, 2020