Policy and the Political Life of Music Education is the first book of its kind in the field of Music Education. It offers a far-reaching and innovative outlook, bringing together expert voices who provide a multifaceted and global set of insights into a critical arena for action today: policy. On one hand, the book helps the novice to make sense of what policy is, how it functions, and how it is discussed in various parts of the world; while on the other, it
offers the experienced educator a set of critically written analyses that outline the state of the play of music education policy thinking.
As policy participation remains largely underexplored in music education, the book helps to clarify to teachers how policy thinking does shape educational action and directly influences the nature, extent, and impact of our programs. The goal is to help readers understand the complexities of policy and to become better skilled in how to think, speak, and act in policy terms. The book provides new ways to understand and therefore imagine policy, approximating it to the lives of educators and
highlighting its importance and impact. This is an essential read for anyone interested in change and how to better understand decision-making within music and education. Finally, this book, while aimed at the growth of music educators' knowledge-base regarding policy, also fosters 'open thinking'
regarding policy as subject, helping educators straddling arts and education to recognize that policy thinking can offer creative designs for educational change.
Patrick Schmidt is Chair of Music Education at Western University, Canada. His innovative work in policy studies, critical pedagogy, and urban music education is recognized nationally and internationally. He serves in several editorial boards and is widely published in national and international journals. Beyond his scholarly work, Schmidt led several consulting and evaluative projects including recent work for the National Young Arts Foundation, and the New World Symphony in the USA, as well as for the Ministry of Culture and Education in Chile. He co-edited the Oxford Handbook for Social Justice and Music Education. Richard Colwell is Professor Emeritus of Music Education at the University of Illinois and the New England Conservatory of Music. He is the founding editor of the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education and the Quarterly Journal of Music Teaching and Learning. He is also a Guggenheim scholar and a member of MENC's Hall of Fame.