The Listening Practices Of Secondary School Students Whilst They Are Studying

Malibha-Pinchbeck, Memory (2020). The Listening Practices Of Secondary School Students Whilst They Are Studying. PhD thesis The Open University.

Abstract

This thesis discusses why and how fifteen to twenty-one year old students in formal education listen to music or religious scriptures during study. The fieldwork for this research was conducted in two educational institutes in London: a large further education college (FE) and a small fee-paying academy of Islamic faith. My study combines sociological and ethnographic approaches, most notably from sociology of education and ethnomusicology. The theoretical framework used merges Bourdieusian critical theory and Wengerian social theory to analyse student learning experiences, listening practices and personal contexts within a critical sociocultural frame. This involved analysing how students enact their agency within the parameters of educational, social, economic and cultural structures. A mixed-method ethnographic methodological approach was used, which consisted of short-term classroom observations, in-depth narrative interviews, and a mixed survey using both open- and closed-ended questions. Data collection resulted in a total of 30 surveys returned, 7 classroom observations, 5 teacher interviews, and 10 student interview transcripts from 20 student interviewees. Interviews were conducted face-to-face, at institutes and one-to-one or in groups. The data collected was analysed using narrative inquiry and thematic analysis. Findings showed that the practice of listening during study is connected to a student’s learning and personal contexts. In addition to this, students were found to use different listening strategies to manage different economic, social and cultural conditions, and to use their recordings to enact accommodative agency within each learning context. They adopted this strategy to fit in, and conform, rather than resist authority and rebel against commonly accepted institutional and societal educational aims and objectives.

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