29 SES 11, Paradigms in Music Education
The substantial and structural roots of the Hungarian curriculum related to folk music education issued in 1981 are to be found in the reform that took place in primary school music education at the beginning of the 1960s. The endeavours to standardise music education could be interpreted as part of the entire, unified public education system, of which one of the central aims was education based on the socialist worldview and morals. The nationalisation of music schools in the 1950s and the reform movements of the 1960s channelled music school training towards mass education. The reform trends in primary school music education resonated with the recognised failures in socialist curriculum planning which became apparent to those in charge of the education system. The direction towards the unification of music education were laid down in regulatory documents of music school education as expressed in Act No. 3/1961. The act redefined the place of primary school music education within the education system and determined its place not as something extramural but as a part of the entire education system, which was aimed at educating versatile people with erudition. A report by István Dobray laid down the principles of the reforms that saw the possibility of creating a unified training system in the standardisation of requirements. This was the beginning of the centralisation of (music school) curricula, and with it, the creation of the “socialist” type of person through art education, shifting the emphasis from the pre-1950s music education goals which could be labelled as education through art.
In the middle of the 1990s, the possibility of the preparation of broad curricular reform and the curricular grounding of new subjects was created within the framework of a national conference called “Hungarian Culture and Folk Traditions in Educational Work.” The presenters of the conference were invited from the fields of individual special disciplines and from among teachers in public school education.
The presentation of the preparation process will henceforth be concentrated on folk music education only and will only be broadened inasmuch as it is necessary to understand its place within general art education. The paradigm shift regarding folk music material essentially meant that it was so much not regarded as an end-product in the ethnographic sense but as a factor generating ethnological action on the behalf of its performer. As our research questions reveal, it is assumed that this kind of paradigm shift was bound to take place at the level of curricula related to folk music education. The presentations of the conference agreed that there was no unified way of the traditional learning processes of folk music instruments as compared to the field of classical music. The obvious reasons for this are to be found in the social stratification (i.e., that of rural society); it is enough to think of the learning characteristics of shepherds living at the periphery of society. This generic difference basically influenced the unified realisation of the process of curriculum design. In his lecture, Zoltán Juhász referred to the renewal of learning methods and, if possible, the implementation of traditional learning modes in an educational environment. The description of the method, in a pedagogic sense, is nothing else than the presentation of the primary socialising role of the family. This implementation, however, raises many important issues (e.g., How can it foster further learning at higher levels of education? Can the curriculum be flexible enough to manage this learning process?) that none of the presentations actually provided answer for. No examination has been done until today on these questions which could help the actual reshaping of curricula.
Document analysis was chosen as the basic method of our survey, supplemented by the method of interviewing. In determining the range of interviewees, we aimed at completeness with regard to the authors contributing to the curricula of main subjects in 1981. The method of interviewing was primarily, though not exclusively, used in the preliminary phase of the research. The acquired data served as the basis of research questions and the basic method necessary for further research was determined. The interview in its basic form was oral interview, and as regards its type, semi-structured interview. Personal interaction made it possible, through secondary questions, to check the truth content of the interviews and to reveal the deeper dimensions of the questions. Although document analysis chosen as the basic method of research was found sufficient in itself to carry out the investigation, we thought it important and necessary, especially in the initial and main phases of the research, to apply it together with other methods. To analyse the data collected during the research, questions related to the role or influence of educational policy had to be cleared up, taking the circumstances of the birth of the former document into consideration. Answering the research questions seemed best feasible by the comparison of folk music instrument curricula of 1981 and 1999, for which the starting point was provided by the methodology and component system elaborated in Gyula Gergely’s study Tantervelemzés a paradigmaváltás jegyében (Curriculum analysis in the spirit of paradigm shift) (2004). Thus our analysis was carried out on the basis of five main components, which are the following: personality development, strategic actions, systematicness, competence development and co-operation. It is important to note that we do not wish to overestimate the effect of curricula on education; based on our preliminary investigation, however, it may be asserted that the historical importance of curricula related to folk music instruments can hardly be underestimated in order to understand the genesis and the evolutionary phases of institutional folk music education. The analysis of extramural documents of management and control and the conclusions drawn from their scrutiny may help international comparison and the work of curriculum development; they may contribute to rectify possible erratic steps; furthermore, they may aid the tracking of the evolution, expansion, development and paradigm shifts of institutional folk music education.
The comparative analysis of the two curricula revealed that the basic function of folk music education in Hungary has not altered since the beginnings. The data gained from the research questions showed that in the case of the teaching the bagpipe and hurdy-gurdy, the paradigm shift regarding the concept of folk music had already taken place in the 1981 curriculum. The conclusions drawn from the explicit and implicit contents of the curricula are corroborated by the interviews conducted in 2016 and 2017. The relationship network extracted from the interviews showed that the paradigm shift was clearly in connection with the so-called folk dance house movement and its members. Both Sándor Csoóri, Jr., the author of the curriculum for bagpipe and his former student, Pál Havasréti, the author of the hurdy-gurdy curriculum, were active members of the movement beginning to spread at the start of the 1970s. The research has pointed out that the 1999 curriculum is not content merely with the implementation of folklore substance into institutional education but it determines as course objective the consideration of environmental characteristics, the traditional instruments, their function in tradition and the characteristics of the process of transmission and reception. The component system worked out by Gyula Gergely as an investigation tool seems appropriate for the examination of curricula connected to art education, for they reveal the differences as well as the similarities between the documents.
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