Complex Knowing: Promoting Response-Ability Within Music and Science Teacher Education

Colucci-Gray, Laura and Cooke, Carolyn (2019). Complex Knowing: Promoting Response-Ability Within Music and Science Teacher Education. In: Taylor, Carol A. and Bayley, Annouchka eds. Posthumanism and Higher Education: Reimagining Pedagogy, Practice and Research. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 165–185.




There are significant pressures within UK Initial Teacher Education (ITE) to maintain and reproduce notions of knowledge as fixed, universal and therefore ‘bankable’ through transfer or transmission. Such views, as embedded in educational structures, separate teachers from learners and learners from contexts. An interesting subset of this trend is the case of music and science education, both of which share in a tradition of materialist practice, where knowledge-making derives from the use of ‘instruments’. A representational view of knowledge in these subjects has historically privileged tradition, canon, and reification in music, while emphasising facts and theories as separate from values in science. While these representational views of knowledge have been contested by feminist theory, materialism, and complexity theory, there remain significant challenges in developing music and science student teachers who are response-able to a view of knowing as active, dynamic, emergent and entangled. This chapter explores the use of sensory learning tools and activities with two groups of music and science student teachers. Thinking with Donna Haraway (Staying with the trouble: Making kin in the chthulucene. Duke University Press, New York, 2016), we engage with the ‘trouble’ that such tools and activities create, both in terms of the students’ learning, the lecturers’ positioning and the socio-political contexts of such trouble within ITE.

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