BRENT C. TALBOT
Brent is Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Music Education at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music of Gettysburg College. He holds degrees in music education and ethnomusicology from the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University. Dr. Talbot is artistic director of the Gettysburg Children's Choir and Gamelan Gita Semara. His areas of expertise include: discourse analysis, world and popular music pedagogies, music identity, and music technology. He is the author of two books, three chapters, and numerous articles in state, national, and international journals. Brent serves on the steering committee for the MayDay Group and is associate editor for its journal Action, Criticism, and Theory in Music Education. For more, visit www.brentctalbot.com.
How Understanding Approaches in Cultural Psychology Can Help Reshape Our Communities of Practice
Cultural psychology and sociocultural approaches on identity formation offer great potential for music education and music teacher education—specifically a cultural mechanism known as prolepsis (Slattery, 2012; Cole, 1996; Stone, 1993; Stone and Wertsch, 1984). Prolepsis is “the representation of a future act or development as being presently existing” (Merriam-Webster). In this paper I argue that, like parents, we, as music educators, use information derived from our own cultural pasts to project a probable future on our students (often assuming that the world will be very much for our students as it has been for us). By explaining this cultural mechanism through examples of my own teaching, I posit that all too often educators’ and teacher educators’ (purely ideal) recall of our pasts and imagination of our students’ futures become fundamentally materialized constraints on our students’ life experiences in the present. This paper explores the following questions: How can understanding perspectives in cultural psychology reshape our communities of practice? What happens when projected futures are embraced, disrupted, and/or rejected? What barriers do we (un)consciously create for our students, ourselves, and our field? How can we use this knowledge to re-envision our profession?