Power Relations in Music Higher Education Curricula: A Postcolonial Investigation

Proceedings of The 4th World Conference on Research in Teaching and Education

Year: 2022



Power Relations in Music Higher Education Curricula: A Postcolonial Investigation

Adrian Estrela Pereira, Jehan Alghneimin, Do Thi Dung, Byambasuren Nyamkhuu,György Mészáros



Regardless of the field, the establishment of a curriculum is intrinsically connected with discussions that incorporate struggles from broader social contexts. A scrutinizing analysis of a music course’s curriculum can disclose complex power structures that interfere with the social perception not only of the courses’ direct stakeholders but also with the perception of general members of society. In this context, the current article has as its main aim to reflect on possible connections between the establishment of the curricula of higher education music courses and the broader power relations found in the society. Influenced by a postcolonial perspective and focusing on Salvador, a Brazilian northeastern city, this investigation has three specific aims to support the general purpose: 1) to review the literature which discusses the connections between social struggles and curriculum development; 2) to contextualize the Salvador city by presenting its main characteristics that are related to the current discussion; and 3) to examine the courses of the Federal University of Bahia, a Salvadoran Higher education music institution, based on a postcolonial standpoint. Supported by the aforementioned aims, this qualitative-approach inquiry employs a bibliographical methodology to reach, analyze and choose the academic sources to sustain and foster the proposed reflections. Likewise, this paper intends to contribute to the ongoing scientific debate about the impact of social structures in the curricula of higher education music courses and, at the same time, to stimulate conscious and active participation of higher education organizations in the promotion of fairer societies.

keywords: Curriculum Studies, Federal University of Bahia, Music Education, Postcolonialism, Salvador City.