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.

Author Biography

Walter S. Gershon

Walter S. Gershon is an Assistant Professor in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies at Kent State University. His scholarly interests focus on the ways in which students make sense and how the sensorium can be utilized to understand the ways educational contexts are conceptualized and studied.






Cultural Studies and Curriculum