Social inclusion through music education in China? A case study of a secondary school in Fujian Province

Wang, Luyi (2023) Social inclusion through music education in China? A case study of a secondary school in Fujian Province. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


The effectiveness of active music teaching in facilitating a sense of inclusion in diverse classrooms has been researched in Western countries (e.g. Odena, 2018; Rinta et al., 2011). However, this topic is rarely examined in China, where classrooms are often twice as large as in the UK. This study explores how active music education can be used to develop students’ sense of inclusion when urban Chinese students and their classmates from rural areas share the same classroom. Fieldwork focused on the case study of a diverse secondary school in Fujian, China. I utilised mixed methods in the case study design, collecting empirical data from three sources: 1) participatory observations and focus groups with three active music teaching classrooms during a 12-week two-cycle action research (Baumfield et al., 2012); 2) a longitudinal survey with 173 students from active and non-active teaching groups; and 3) 17 final interviews with students from active music classrooms. Data was triangulated with my action research diary, which also included notes from conversations with the school advisor. Thematic analysis was employed for qualitative analysis of diary, focus group and interview transcripts (46, 340 and 233 pages respectively). The survey data was analysed using t-test.

Six key findings from the qualitative and survey data analysis suggest that active teaching pedagogy was more effective at promoting a sense of inclusion than non-active teaching methods. The connections between the active participatory music classroom and social inclusion were multidimensional. Three main aspects of music teaching appeared to work together to promote students' sense of inclusion: active teaching pedagogy, teacher characteristics, and teaching content. The study also reveals that three different types of students – ‘birds’, ‘kites’, and ‘stones’ – perceived social inclusion differently in the same music classroom. In addition, the infrequency of music lessons and the academic pressure from the College Entrance Examination (gao kao) negatively affected the delivery of music education activities and students’ perceived social inclusion level. The conclusions outline implications for practice, research, and policy, including how music education could be used in schools in China to develop better social interactions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa)
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Odena, Professor Oscar
Date of Award: 2023
Embargo Date: 19 April 2026
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83547
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2023 10:25
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2023 10:58
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83547

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year