Teaching Theory Analogically: Using Music to Explain Criminological Theory

A former CSP student, Matt Hinds-Aldrich, recently shared his views on how to teach criminological theory via music (2012). For those of you who were there, he presented his ideas about such an approach during the Hamburg CS, Spring 2009! I thought it might be useful to have a look at his article, as the coming CS is dealing with this exact issue of epistemology and methodology, criminology and critical analysis.

The abstract:

“There have been a number of articles recently advocating the use of nontraditional mediums to teach criminological theory. Many of these articles have advocated using music and/or music lyrics to illustrate and enliven the various theories taught in introductory theory courses. Despite the growing attention paid to teaching criminological theory, few, if any, discuss how to help students understand the more fundamental ontological question—what is “theory.” This article proposes an alternative pedagogical approach that draws upon students’ understanding of musical genres analogically to explain: (1) the historical development of the various theoretical approaches, (2) the historical, cultural and theoretical antecedents of the various approaches, and (3) how to identify the theoretical orientation(s) and influences in an unfamiliar text. Ultimately, this approach is intended to counter the overly compartmentalized and linear understanding of theory unintentionally brought on by the dynamics of teaching schedules, generic “theory” textbooks, computerized presentation software and testing methods”.

Full article link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10511253.2012.665934

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