Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Ryland White


This Course-Linked Capstone in training focuses on SIT Graduate Institute coursework from Training Design in Experiential Learning and Training of Trainers: Ethics & Intercultural Design. I present a reflective analysis of my experience incorporating social justice pedagogies into a music classroom. Through the analysis, I explore the questions, how do people of dominant identities enter into spaces that are not explicitly about creating change and still enable social change to occur? Secondly, how can teaching music connect to changing society? This study occurs over a six-month period at Vermont Academy in Saxtons River Vermont and takes place within the school’s vocal ensemble and voice lesson programs. The study explores how a teacher’s shift in values and awareness impact their efficacy to implement teaching strategies and design curricula grounded in principles of democratic education. The methods include: the application of engaged pedagogy, shared power, critical thinking, self-expression, and imagination; reflections on each practice; and guiding insights to deepen each practice in the future. Conclusions include lessons learned, next steps for social justice music teaching and beyond, and questions to ponder for the field of music education, social justice educators, and all practitioners interested in creating attitudinal change.

Key words: social justice education, music education, engaged pedagogy, critical pedagogy, hegemony, shared power, attitudinal change.