Music ETDs

Publication Date

Winter 12-12-2019


This is a qualitative, multiple case study rooted in grounded theory. It explores how music teachers might implement Paulo Freire’s theories in their classrooms, as well as best practices in Freirean music teaching. Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educational theorist who claimed that education, rooted in dialogue and co-creation of knowledge, could confront major structural injustices, such as inequality, exploitation, and violence.

The three participants in this study worked in the same large, Southwestern district. Participants were selected based on how their teaching fit with characteristics of Freirean Pedagogy. Three music educators, Robert, Eliza, and Jackie, the participants in this study, stood out among their peers in this regard.

Per the inductive approach employed in this study, data was gathered via structured interviews, document analysis, and observation. Themes began to emerge through the data collection process, and these data categories became the main motifs in the study’s findings. The themes – accessibility, conscientization, co-learning, teaching as a political act, and love – represent how Freire’s theories manifested themselves in the participants’ classrooms and might suggest best practices for Freirean Pedagogy in music education. By employing Freirean Pedagogy, music teachers could begin exploring strategies to combat oppression and pursue a more socially just world.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Music

First Committee Member (Chair)

Regina Carlow

Second Committee Member

Julia Church-Hoffman

Third Committee Member

Robin Giebelhausen




Music, Education, Freire, Justice

Document Type


Included in

Music Commons