What is it about?

Music educators in urban schools contend with a variety of challenging circumstances. This article details the experiences of one middle school music teacher, Luke Guerra (pseudonym), and how he utilized principles of Effectuation Theory to overcome the barriers he encountered in an underserved urban teaching context.

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Why is it important?

Now more than ever, educators in U.S. schools have no choice but to be resourceful, adaptable, and flexible in their work with students. The findings of this study demonstrate that Saras Sarasvathy's concept of Effectual Thinking, which emerged out of the business/entrepreneurship world, may also hold value as an ethos for teachers working in difficult, resource-deprived circumstances.


It is my hope that this article contributes to ongoing conversations about equity in public education and the importance of atypical teaching approaches in urban schools. Although the findings of this single case study are not broadly generalizable, hopefully they will resonate with music educators in a variety of teaching contexts. If nothing else, I hope the wider readership finds this article thought-provoking.

Josef Hanson
University of Memphis

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effectual thinking and music education: One view of creative adaptation in an underserved urban middle school, International Journal of Music Education, July 2020, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0255761420944034.
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