Berättelsen under deras fötter : fem musiklärares livshistorier

Sammanfattning: The dissertation concerns five music teachers who teach on the course Artistic Activity at upper secondary school and the main aim is to acquire an understanding of the teachers’ views of the core subject Music. A further aim is to describe the five teachers' personal experiences of music in various social, educational and musical contexts, and how these experiences affect their teaching. The empirical material is designated life stories and comprises narratives, written by the teachers themselves and orally related to the researcher through conversations. The problem area concerns relations between life’s different directions in a number of interacting temporal and contextual dimensions. For this reason the interpretation of the teachers’ views of music as experience and as school subject is carried out on three levels of abstraction regarded as interacting with one another. The individual teachers’ narratives concerning their lives were on a first level of abstraction analysed and contextualised biographically, from which emerged five life histories which constituted the basis for in-depth hermeneutic interpretation. By way of interpretations on the personal, educational and institutional level the discussion concludes on the third level of abstraction, where focus is on the relationship between the teachers’ work and the broader educational discourse in society. The study also offers a discussion of the possibilities and problems of hermeneutics as an overall theoretical frame of reference. Furthermore it takes up theoretical angles of approach concerning narratives, this in connection with life history method. The study indicates that what is essential in the relationship between the five music teachers’ personal experience of music and their work is not the concrete experience of different types of music, of different musical contexts or of particular educational environments where such experience has been acquired. There is no straightforward relation of cause and effect and indeed there are certain differences between the teachers in this respect. However, there is a vital relation in that what the teachers have derived from their own musical experiences – pleasure and play, skill, a sense of community, outlet for emotion – is what they want to pass on to the pupils. Musical knowledge is regarded as personal and as being generated in processes where the pupils’ everyday culture is reconstructed. When this basic attitude to music comes into conflict with the teacher’s work, there appears another, joint discourse which is considered distinctive of contemporary life. Accordingly, the discussion takes up the theme of the individual in the centre, both in education – where the focus is on the pupil’s resources, requirements and need to assume responsibility – and in society as a whole, where such values as freedom of choice have acquired greater importance than collective ones.