Contemporary American education policy rhetoric is problematic because its authors' assertions, particularly those about the goals of education, frequently conflict with their implied moral and/or ethical commitments. This philosophical policy analysis uses Appiah's cosmopolitan principles to examine the ethical implications of current education and music education policy discourse and practice. While education policy rhetoric promoting the fulfillment of basic human needs through employment aligns with one aspect of the cosmopolitan principle of universal concern, policy makers' assertions about unbridled economic competition contradicts cosmopolitans' concern for all individuals. Contemporary education and music education policies that enable teachers to have freedom in selecting content and instructional practices reinforce the cosmopolitan principle of respect for legitimate difference, but discourse and action emphasizing standardization, including standardized outcomes, conflicts with the cosmopolitanism. Four recommendations are offered: use cosmopolitan ethics as a means of framing agreement or dissatisfaction with contemporary education policies; implement parts of the National Core Music Standards in ways that promote standards without standardization; advocate for the aspects of the Opportunity-To-Learn Standards for Music Instruction; consider how music educators' day-to-day practices interface with the cosmopolitan ethics.
Richerme, L. K. (2016) Uncommon Commonalities: Cosmopolitan Ethics as a Framework for Music Education Policy Analysis. In: Arts Education Policy Review, Vol. 117, No. 2, pp. 87-95. Available at http://openmusiclibrary.org/article/53747/.