29 SES 06, Artists and Teachers
In 2008, Brazilian legislators approved a law that added music on a mandatory basis to the
basic national school curriculum. Despite the possibilities afforded by this legislation, music
educators affirm that many questions remain due to its ambiguity. Given the 2012 deadline for
the implementation of this law, there is a need to understand how it was enacted across diverse
settings. This study considers the implementation from the perspective of music teachers. Thus,
in this interview study, we seek to understand the status of music education throughout the
country according to the perspectives of music educators from private and public schools. Such
perspectives are situated within reviews of educational history, legislation, policy, and research.
Findings point toward the need to (a) address a shortage of music teachers; (b) better define the
preparation of professional music educators; and (c) identify pedagogies which are likely to have
the greatest impact in implementing this new law.
How are music teachers negotiating the new legislation mandating music
in the national basic school curriculum? That is, how are music educators reading the law and writing
their own pedagogical practices?
This study was inspired by the ideas of critical pedagogy and Paulo Freire, in particular. We
employed critical pedagogy as a theoretical lens as we read the words of law 11.769 within the
context of education, specifically music education in Brazil. We employed critical pedagogy
as a theoretical lens, which afforded the possibility of simultaneously reading (and analyzing)
words and worlds (Freire & Macedo, 1987). Drawing on the ideas and work of Freire (1970),
we employed critical pedagogy to understand that schooling and educational practices are politically
As we problematized law 11.769 and its implementation in Brazilian schools, we embraced
Freire’s concept of problem posing (Freire, 1970). Drawing on critical pedagogy, we sought to
name and problematize issues that can hopefully move the purpose of law 11.769 toward clarity,
rather than maintaining the status quo of music being alternately included and excluded in the curriculum according to the value that shifting laws and policies may attribute to it.
Freire proposed that through the consideration of multiple realities, perspectives, and practices,
individuals could reframe education as a problem-posing process. In this study, as we critically
analyzed the implementation of law 11.769, we listened to the voices of those who have been experiencing the many realities, perspectives, and practices shaped by law 11.769 in the music classroom: music teachers who teach children ages 6 to 14. In doing so, we problematize its aims and
purposes—specifically with regard to defining quality teacher educators and the presence of music
in the curriculum (be it scope and sequence, time allocation, or dedicated resources). We read its
words within the context of the worlds that it affects. This study situates “schools within societies
and considers structural forces which influence and shape schools” (Souto-Manning, 2010, p. 10).
As critical pedagogy challenges the concept and idea of “culture-free” learning (Grant & Sleeter,
1996), we acknowledge that all learning is contextually situated.
In the international realm new legislation related to music in the basic curriculum of
other countries has been ratified in the 21st century. For example, as of 2013 the National
Curriculum in England requires children to be taught music as an integral subject at Key Stages 1,
2 and 3, i.e., school years 1–9, ages 5–14 (England, Department of Education, 2014). The Australian
Curriculum endorsed, in July 2013, The Arts (Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts) for
levels F–10—Kindergarten (age 5 or 6) through year 10 (age 15–16) (Australian Curriculum,
Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2013).
Brasil, Ministério da Educação, Conselho Nacional de Educação/Câmara de Educação Superior. (2013). Diretrizes nacionais para a operacionalização do ensino de música na educação básica Retrieved from http://abemeducacaomusical.com.br/sistemas/news/imagens/Diretrizes%20do%20cne%20para%20o%20ensino%20de%20musica.pdf Brasil, Ministério da Educação, Secretaria de Educação Fundamental. (1997). Parâmetros curriculares nacionais: Introdução aos parâmetros curriculares nacionais. Retrieved from http://portal.mec.gov.br/seb/arquivos/pdf/livro06.pdf Brasil, Ministério da Educação, Secretaria de Educação Média e Tecnológica. (1998). Parâmetros curriculares nacionais—Ensino médio. Retrieved from http://portal.mec.gov.br/seb/arquivos/pdf/14_24.pdf Brasil, Presidência da República. (1996). Lei nº 9394, de 20 de dezembro de 1996. Retrieved from http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/l9394.htm Brasil, Presidência da República. (2008a). Lei nº 11.769, de 18 de agosto de 2008. Retrieved from http:// www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_Ato2007–2010/2008/Lei/L11769.htm Brasil, Presidência da República. (2008b). Mensagem nº 622, de 18 de agosto de 2008. Retrieved from http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_Ato2007–2010/2008/Msg/VEP-622–08.htm Brasil, Presidência da República. (2009). Emenda constitucional nº 59, de 11 de novembro de 2009. Retrieved from http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/constituicao/Emendas/Emc/emc59.htm Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: Meaning and perspective in the research process. St. Leonards, Australia: Allen and Unwin. Duncan, S., & Fiske, D. (1977). Face-to-face interaction: Research, methods, and theory. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Figueiredo, S. (2003). The music preparation of generalist teachers in Brazil. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Figueiredo, S., & Forrest, D. (2005). Primary teachers and music education in a Brazilian context. In D. Forrest (Ed.), A celebration of voices: XV national conference proceedings (pp. 89–93). Parkville, Victoria: Australian Society for Music Education. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum. Freire, P., & Macedo, D. (1987). Literacy: Reading the word and the world. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey. Grant, C., & Sleeter, C. (1996). After the school bell rings. Bristol, PA: Falmer. Souto-Manning, M. (2010). Freire, teaching, and learning: Culture circles across contexts. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
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