An exploration of the potential of music and narrative song as an instrument for learning, with a focus on distance education.
This thesis uses the qualitative research methodologies of Educational Criticism and Grounded Theory to explore whether expressive culture in the form of popular narrative song can play a constructive role as an instrument or agent for learning in the context of distance adult education. In chapter one, the author provides a theoretical framework for incorporating popular narrative song into the distance adult learning experience. Chapter two reviews the research literature related to the themes discovered through the interview process involving eighteen individuals that served as the foundation for this study and the research literature associated with several theories of adult learning. In chapter three, the methodology of Educational Criticism and Grounded Theory is explained, the informants and the research sites are described. In chapter four, the themes that evolved as a result of the researcher’s interviews are analysed and presented. Chapter five provides an examination of the relationship between the eight themes that were discovered through analysis and several adult learning theories. In the final chapter, the author reflects on the implications of the relationship between popular narrative song and distance adult learning, and draws conclusions regarding the use of popular narrative song and distance adult education. Conclusions drawn from the research are discussed in portions entitled “Theme 8: Overcomes Distance,” and “Implications of this Research to the Field of Distance Adult Learning.” The chapter closes with recommendations for further study and with reflections on the research. The author suggests that there is sufficient justification, supported by research literature, and brought to life by the experiences, thoughts and reflections of those with an intimate knowledge of song for incorporating popular narrative song into appropriate distance adult learning experiences. Also included are the lyrics to twenty-two songs either connected in some way to the comments made by, or specifically cited by the informants of this study.