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RNCM Research Forum – Dr Robbie Gardner

Wednesday 19 May 2021, 4.15pm



The eighteenth edition of our new Sir John Manduell Research Forum series features a discussion with Dr Robbie Gardner, RNCM.

On the Ethics of Encouraging Student Teacher Resistance, or ‘Am I the Bad Guy?’

Recent reports have consistently highlighted the crisis facing music education in England, often arguing that governmental policy associated with increased accountability measures has significantly marginalised music within the curriculum. Simultaneously, such measures have also been connected to low teacher morale and an erosion of teacher efficacy and agency.

Within this seminar, I will share the final conclusions of my doctoral thesis which analysed the impacts of this neoliberal educational context on student teacher development within their initial Teacher Education year. Far from pointing the finger at the ‘enemy out there’, I will share one particular student’s final reflection which highlighted how university (or indeed my own) pedagogical discourse often stands at odds with current school practices and how this in turn causes profound professional challenges for student teachers. Thus the ethical ramification of encouraging of a deliberately resistant musical pedagogy demands robust critique.

Through drawing on a Žižekian conceptualisation of subjectivity, I will present three particular literary exemplars to explore various theoretical implications of resistance and how this may variously erode or enable teacher agency. In the face of ever-increasing pressures on music teachers, I argue their is a mandate for change, but that this needs careful consideration.

This free event will be streamed Live from the RNCM YouTube channel. To watch, please click on the LIVESTREAM button below.

Our free events series is only possible thanks to our amazing students and partners. Please donate what you can to ensure we can keep performing through these challenging times.

Wednesday 19 May 2021, 4.15pm


COVID-19 Update: In order to provide the best possible student experience over the coming months and to ensure maximum access for staff and students while social distancing is in place, the RNCM will remain closed to the public until further notice. More information...