Socially inclusive practices in the music classroom: the impact of music education used as a vehicle to engage refugee background students

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    As schools become increasingly culturally diverse, globalisation and cross-cultural exchange challenge teachers in complex but exciting ways. This article reports on the impact of music education for students in a secondary school in Victoria, Australia. Socially inclusive practices were a focus of the study as the school has a high percentage of young people with a refugee background. A number of school-based musical experiences provided opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and negotiation, and diverse communications are described. Music education was used as a vehicle to engage young refugee background students, which was indicative of three primary themes: personal wellbeing, social inclusion (a sense of belonging), and an enhanced engagement with learning. Key findings from this case study research indicated that a music classroom which fostered socially inclusive practices resulted in a positive transcultural learning space. This research raises important questions about the critical role of music education and the arts in contemporary and culturally diverse school contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)248-269
    Number of pages22
    JournalResearch Studies in Music Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • case study
    • music education
    • qualitative research
    • refugee background students
    • socially inclusive practice
    • transculturation

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