Sounds as Educational Systems: Towards an Integrated Understanding of Embodied Sonic Meanings

Walter S. Gershon


Through a combination of text and sound files, this piece seeks to demonstrate that sounds form educational systems. It begins with a discussion of how a focus on music and speech instead of sound and an accompanying understanding of sound-as-text has limited curricular conceptualizations of educational contexts. After contrasting how sound has been used in the field of curriculum studies with understandings of sound meanings from the emerging field of sound studies, the author then utilizes field recordings of urban fifth graders in two disparate contexts to illustrate both the theoretical points raised regarding the ways in which sounds form educational systems and what can be gained by the inclusion of such embodied meanings. Implications for an understanding of sounds as educational systems include an increased awareness of all sounds as educational and the possibility of a reformulation of meanings and metaphors central to the field.

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing, and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

The journal is published by the Foundation for Curriculum Theory and is associated with the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, held in the autumn of each year. JCT is indexed in The Education Index.

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