The purpose of this inquiry is to investigate how a/r/tography is uniquely situated to enact, develop, and problematize 'becoming pedagogical' in an arts-based cohort in a teacher education program. This particular study purposefully grapples with visual and performing arts, in an elementary teacher education program, as teacher candidates 'learn to learn' how to inquire through their disciplinary and interdisciplinary frames of mind. We take the position that arts-based research adds to the diversity and complexity inherent in understandings about education and pedagogy. This research was infused through principles of teaching, music and movement, and visual arts education classes at The University of British Columbia. To learn about adopting an a/r/tographic stance in their journeys of becoming teachers, teacher candidates were actively involved in arts-based research workshops, the development of an art exhibition, learning to infuse creative pedagogies across the curriculum, and sharing their arts-based research projects. Their art took the form of public performances with artistic (music, dance, drama, visual) representations of curriculum.
The authors discuss their participant observation study with the 10-year-old boy and 8- year-old girl who collaborated on making digital videos at home. Major themes that emerged from this research include appropriation of popular culture texts, parody, gender play, and managing self-representations. These themes highlight the benefits of video production for children and youth, which allows them to take on the roles of writers, producers, directors, actors, and editors in their own right and understand the inner workings of new media enterprise. It also offers them an opportunity to respond to and rework popular images, scripts, and characters; try on and enact multiple identities; and make important decisions about their self-representations.
In this paper, "bead collage," an arts-based research method that invites participants to reflect, communicate and construct their experience through the manipulation of beads and found objects is explained. Emphasizing the significance of one's personal biography and experiences as a researcher, I discuss how my background as an artist and art therapist influenced the development of this approach. I propose several pedagogical applications of "bead collage," offer questions for consideration, and suggest future directions for this method. I invite others to explore this, or similar approaches drawn from their own experiences, to develop what Eisner (1995) and Bresler (2006) describe as "artistically-crafted" and "aesthetically based" research.
The purpose of this paper is to examine children's spirituality from the perspective of music learning, using arts based research as a mode of inquiry. Six interrelated themes are chosen to explore the landscape of music and children's spirituality and to evaluate the potential of arts based research to inform the intersections between them: a landscape of relational consciousness, soft boundaries and transitional spaces, pilgrims on a journey, telling stories along the way, stories form a collage, and transforming the self in/and the landscape. Resonances between music learning, children's spirituality and arts based research are strong, both in premise and possibility. Among them, the epistemological scope of arts based research is broad and accommodates non-verbal and non-dualistic ways of knowing that are fundamental to spiritual and musical experience. Children's spirituality is presented as centered in relational consciousness, musical meanings are embodied in a set of relationships, and arts based research, with its focus on reflection, multiple forms of representation and process, is well suited to probing those relationships. The sensory and embodied nature of musical experience juxtaposed with the contemplative and sacred nature of spiritual experience can be captured within the realm of arts based research.
This international study investigated the experiences and attitudes of teaching artists whose work is rooted in theatre, dance, and closely-related disciplines. Based on survey data from teaching artists working in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, United Kingdom, and the United States (n=172), the paper illuminates participants' perspectives on preparation, practice and professional identity. Emergent themes include: (1) teaching artist training and preparation, (2) work contexts and populations served, and (3) work challenges and obstacles. Following discussion of key survey findings, three case studies based in higher education settings in the USA, UK and Southeast Asia are presented. Hagman's (2005) framework for multiple fields of subjectivity at work in aesthetic experience is employed to illustrate the ways in which the intrasubjective, the intersubjective, and the metasubjective fields of subjectivity inform each teaching artist's practice and professional identity. The paper concludes with an analysis of themes in light of current discussions on reflective practice and implications for teaching artist "praxis".
This paper looks into the significance emotions and feelings can have in a collaborative dance-making process. This is done by introducing a narrative based on a dance pedagogy student's writings. They contain observations of her experiences on being the facilitating choreographer in a dance-making process involving a cross-artistic group of students in the performing arts. The narrative we constructed highlights especially the emotional challenges and insights that the student wrote about. In discussing the narrative, we underline that creating collaboratively can be an emotionally and personally deeply meaningful process - involving the construction of subjectivities, relationships, ideas and outcomes. Emotions play an important part in social communication but they likewise have a part to play in making aesthetic and artistic judgments. As a conclusion, we argue that emotional literacy plays an important part in artistic collaboration as does understanding the diverse roles one assumes and relates to the other artistic collaborators with. Owing to the open-ended nature of artistic work, in collaboration, understanding the significance of enacted emotions entails a process of learning, as well.
Because students spontaneously exhibit aesthetic and rhythmic acts in the classroom and human beings across the world have engaged in the arts for thousands of years, this study argues that artful behavior represents an inherent and significant human proclivity. Exploring the tension between the human predisposition and the physical and mental limitations of traditional formal education, this cross-disciplinary study seeks to understand how artful behaviors might represent an intrinsic part of human nature and how such proclivities might inform educational policy and practice. Based on an ethological understanding of art (that is, as a behavior rather than an object), this research employs an interpretivist lens and phenomenological design. Data collection methods include observation, participant observation, and teacher interviews in a pre-kindergarten and third grade classroom of an urban public school system. Ultimately, this study aims to understand artful behaviors as they are embedded in educational contexts with the intent of bridging the gap between our natural inclinations for learning and the methods utilized in mainstream education.
This research analyzes the techniques, strategies, and philosophical foundations that contributed to the quality and maintenance of a strong theatre-in-education ensemble. This study details how the company selected ensemble members and describes the work environment the company developed to promote collaboration and encourage actorteacher retention. Specifically, this research documents the contribution of the directors and actors in the ensemble-building process. This study, which identifies factors that contribute to selecting, developing, and sustaining a successful ensemble, can serve to inform theatre-in-education professionals as they strive to develop and improve their ensemble-building practices and can inform other arts educators as they work to establish and sustain collaborative communities of teaching artists.
A book written in a foreign language and migrated to the US along with its author, an art historian, finds a new communicative dimension by becoming a ready-made for art making purposes. Starting with an introduction explaining the genesis of the collaborative project Access Denied, this article focuses on one of the series' artworks, namely a video-happening, by exploring its genesis, development, and outcomes. Staged during the day of finals in an advanced art history seminar, the experiment provided an embodied artistic experience and some reflections on art history course content in the debate that followed. The video happening became a basis for further reflection in this essay on the role of performance in stimulating arts-based research at the interstices between biography and scholarly inquiry, between art and art history, between modernism and postmodernism, between object and action, and between creation and destruction as the two opposite poles in modern creativity.
Increasingly, education policy makers understand the importance of students and families having access to a range of high quality educational opportunities inside and outside of school, 365 days a year. This paper explores the concept of multiple pathways in arts education to further conceptualize and build upon such opportunities, inside and outside the regular school day. Using a mixed-methods approach, we examine the arts pathways schools provide for their students, the relationships that exist between pathways and academic benefits, and the work of cultural and art partners in supporting pathways. Implications for future research and arts education policy are addressed.
This article reports on the most recent phase of an ongoing research program that examines the artistic graphic representational behavior and paintings of children between the ages of four and seven. The goal of this research program is to articulate a contemporary account of artistic growth and to illuminate how young children's changing understanding and execution of the graphic representational task lead them to use paint in ways that might be termed "artistic." The multidimensional model of "painting development" presented in this report, informed by the findings of a longitudinal study, describes changes along three parallel but functionally independent dimensions: symbolic intentions, pictorial concepts, and expressive use of material.
In this paper I explore the layers of voices represented in a classroom of high school students with special needs. As their guest music teacher, I learned about their strengths and challenges, their teachers, and their engagement with music. Issues of inclusion, access, privacy, and personal bias confronted me as I worked to construct narratives that honored the students' story of school. To address, in particular, the issue of bias, I explored representations of the data (Blair, 2010) in various formats (Lather & Smithies, 1997; Smith, 2009) and considered the influence of formatting to engage/disengage the reader (Barone, 1900, 1995). Here, I first share a narrative written from the learners' perspective followed by a narrative layered with my voice as the teacher-researcher. The metaphor of musical texture frames this paper and serves to enable the reader a glimpse into the students' musical ideas within their compositions as well as the multi-layered roles and perspectives within this special classroom.
This paper discusses a cultural exchange project that is being conducted between classrooms at the Songwon Elementary School in South Korea and the Lee School in Massachusetts, USA. As its main communication tool between the students in the two countries, this project uses VoiceThread--an audiovisual discussion tool that can serve as an ideal match for specific learning and reflection tasks. Through the arts, media, and technology elements that are embedded in this project, students in the two countries have been sharing each other's cultures. The paper explores the progression of the work from multiple vantage points--through an analysis of the role of authorship in students, the power of poetry to illuminate nuance, and the opportunity that technology (VoiceThread) provides to connect students across cultures despite geographic and cultural differences.
In an effort to encourage further integration of multicultural curricula, this article aims to detail several key dimensions of multicultural education, particularly as they apply to art education. Drawing on Banks's (1994b, 1995b, 1996e, 2004) dimensions for multicultural education, these dimensions include content integration, equity pedagogy, knowledge construction and transformation, empowering school culture and social structure, and prejudice reduction. Each dimension is explored in depth, and how scholars in art education have addressed each of these dimensions is highlighted within the article. Armed with the understandings offered within this paper, perhaps art teachers will feel more versed and find greater comfort in attempting to incorporate multicultural programming into their art curricula or to extend their existing multicultural endeavors.
As educators and scholars in social studies and art education respectively, we describe two visual methods from our own research and teaching in pre-K to university settings that are embedded in visual practices. We underscore their transformative potential by using Maxine Greene's (1995) ideas of the education of perception as a critical means for opening up a social imagination as well as contemporary theories of visual culture in order to underscore the ways in which encounters with the arts may provoke and transform our and others' understanding of the world. Specifically, we describe our research and teaching with Image Theatre (Boal, 1985) and photo elicitation techniques and discuss the ways in which each of these methods enacts different aspects of the image and offers insights into pedagogical considerations and implications for social justice. We frame these approaches as image-based participatory pedagogies in which images are primary to renewed visions of possibility and imaginative action.
The authors used artistic inquiry to study intersubjectivity in a weekly, stimulated creative arts therapy studio experience for one year. They found that the conversion of meaning from the meta-verbal, imaginal, aesthetic language of dance and visual art into verbal and textual discourse required complex translational processes. Personal narratives are presented which identify some challenges faced in translation and related data analysis. Strategies for building skills for translation of aesthetic material are provided to assist those conducting future artistic inquiries.
With a growing emphasis in schools on academic achievement, which is strictly limited to the core subjects of English, Maths, and Science, the arts offer a useful and creative system of learning, implicit with their own diverse range of skills that quite readily apply to everyday life and enhance children's self-concept. This paper investigates the development of self-concept of children aged 8 - 12 years from diverse social and cultural backgrounds in a low socio-economic area, as they are involved in a quality Creative Arts program. Using Marsh's self-concept questionnaire (SDQ1) for primary children, the study compares the development of academic and non-academic self-concept in children involved in an integrated arts program with those not involved in the program. Results indicated that overall, the general self-concept of those students involved in the creative arts program increased considerably more than that of the non-creative arts students.
The arts have often been recognised as unique areas of investigative inquiry, however artists often find it difficult to articulate this meaning through words. This difficulty has impacted on discourse about the arts and literacy despite growth of research on literacy in specific content areas. This paper will explore the interconnection between artistic inquiry, literacy and multimodality via a literature review and by drawing on interview data from higher and secondary education arts teachers. It notes that teachers of the arts view literacy in two interrelating ways: a. reading and writing in their particular subject area and b. a deeper disciplinary approach where students use these learnt skills and enter into the journey to becoming an artist themselves. This paper therefore aims to determine the answers to: What is the relationship between the arts and literacy? and What does it mean to be arts literate?
Drawing from creativity and art research, this paper proposes a schema for the conditions for creativity in fine art studio practice. Discussion focuses on how the triad of creative person, artmaking process, and artwork is constructed, and the situating of this creative triad within an enabling environment, which on a structural level includes the curriculum, and on a cultural and agential level involves teaching and learning relationships. An emphasis in placed on affective concerns, particularly the role of uncertainty as an important part of the art student's learning experience.
Like the unlearnt, the unmade 'allows' us to reclaim our right to our contingency. Only as contingent beings could we claim the yet-unclaimed and the already-unlearnt. This is where knowledge begins to unravel, and where it is constantly returned as a way that knows by way of what it seeks to doubt and of which it seeks to retain a viable ignorance.
Book Reviewed: Norris, J. (2009). Playbuilding as qualitative research: A participatory arts-based approach. Walnut Creek, PA: Left Coast Press.
Norris' AERA award-winning book Playbuilding as Qualitative Research: A Participatory Arts-Based Approach is a welcomed research text which makes a valuable contribution for researchers, artists and educators interested in using theatre to engage in arts-based research. His book comes at a time when a number of important international scholars interested in applying theatre as a research methodology are sharing book length works: Judith Ackroyd & John O'Toole (2010) Performing Research: Tensions, Triumphs and Trade-offs of Ethnodrama; Tara Goldstein (2011) Staging Harriet's House: Writing and Producing Research-informed Theatre; and Johnny Saldana (2011) Ethnotheatre: Research from Page to Stage. These scholars respectively provide their valuable and insightful perspectives on theatre's potential to inform/enhance research. For his part, Norris clearly articulates how and why playbuilding (based upon collective creation) can be an insightful and valid approach for researchers and artists to consider for their work.
Book Reviewed: Latta, M. M. (2013). Curriculum conversations: Play is the (missing) thing. New York & London: Routledge.
Margaret Latta has written an important new book on the place of play, hermeneutics, and aesthetics in relation to curriculum. I hope to demonstrate, in this review, many reasons to see her book as important.
In her book Latta provides a detailed and well-examined exploration of the relationship between these perhaps seemingly non-curriculum-entities (play, hermeneutics, and aesthetics) and curriculum itself. She does so in a complex image of "thinking curricularly" (to be discussed later in this review). In so doing she adeptly shows how play, hermeneutics, and aesthetics are crucial to the everyday life of classrooms. I think we must see a background context for her work: I would argue that learners, especially young learners, are consistently introducing playful responses to curricular prompts and offering interpretations of curricular experiences that are clearly hermeneutic in character. Learners, again especially young learners, readily think aesthetically even when not give the opportunity. Latta is arguing that teachers can take these offers, or not, but in not taking them up they truncate the learning opportunities that transcend the immediate curricular content. In taking those up teachers expand that curriculum into larger worlds of life and experience. Sadly, as Latta notes, teachers too often quash the "creative" responses of learners in favor of a more linear and boxed-in view of the curriculum that ignores the efforts the learner is making to explore her/his humanness and human potential. This book contributes to the possibility of shifting how curriculum is enacted.
Book Reviewed: Karlsen, S. & Väkevä, L. (Eds.). (2012). Future Prospects for Music Education: Corroborating Informal Learning Pedagogy. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press. ISBN 9781443836586.
While issues of informal learning, mainly connected to popular music teaching and learning, have been part of Nordic classrooms for several decades; there have been few attempts of systematic academic exploration of such matters. The book, Future Prospects for Music Education: Corroborating Informal Learning Pedagogy, edited by Sidsel Karlsen and Lauri Väkevä, is an important contribution to a theoretical and philosophical discussion of informal learning in music education. The editors recognize Lucy Green's works on popular musicians' learning strategies (2001), and the implementation of such learning strategies in the classroom (2008) as major influences for this book. Green's work is frequently discussed throughout the book, and Green has in fact also written one of the chapters. The main theme of the book, however, is informal learning, and how such learning strategies may inspire change in music education.
Book Reviewed: White, B. & Costantino, T. (Eds.). (2013). Aesthetics, Empathy and Education. New York: Peter Lang.
Boyd White and Tracie Costantino gather contributing authors to form the co-edited volume, Aesthetics, Empathy, and Education, documenting human beings' elemental capacities to seek empathetic connections. Through varied perspectives and mediums, contributing authors depict the ground empathy opens into as forming the generative terrain, the aesthetics of human understandings that maps out the educative journey. Empathy as always in process is, thus, never entirely achieved. In attending to this process character, authors included in this volume collectively challenge how education is typically conceived and enacted.
Book Reviewed: Blumenfeld-Jones, D. (2012). Curriculum and the aesthetic life: Hermeneutics, body, democracy and ethics in curriculum theory and practice. New York: Peter Lang.
As the title suggests, Donald Blumenfeld-Jones' book Curriculum and the Aesthetic Life: Hermeneutics, Body, Democracy, and Ethics in Curriculum Theory and Practice addresses a broad range of topics including aesthetic education, curriculum studies, dance and embodiment, social justice education, and identity. The breadth of exploration in the book is broad; yet salient themes emerge, come to the forefront, and at times recede only to resurface again in articles that have seemingly different topics. One salient line of exploration is how experience and a practical engagement can inform theory. Throughout the book, Blumenfeld-Jones uses his experiences as a teacher/artist/dancer/performer as a litmus test to point out the unexamined areas of theory; thus adding new dimensions of understanding and inquiry. Integral to his work is revealing the inner, lived, and embodied dimensions experience and how these can contribute to more just, holistic, and aesthetically alive field of curriculum and education.
Book Reviewed: Theron, L., Mitchell, C., Smith, A., & Stuart, J. (Eds.). (2011). Picturing research: Drawing as visual methodology. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Those of us interested in articulating spaces where the arts meet research find ourselves in a healthy discourse on practices and problems in the qualitative genre. What started with Elliot Eisner in the 1990's as educational criticism has multiplied into a garden of diverse theories and methods; blurred genre, arts based research, arts based inquiry, a/r/tography, scholARTistry, arts based educational research, etc. (Cahnmann-Taylor & Siegusmund, 2008). Barone and Eisner (2012) see arts based research as a tool to provoke investigation, re-presentation, and disequilibrium. What is common to most approaches is the idea that the arts can articulate nuances in lived experience over which academic language may stutter. In Picturing Research, editors/authors Linda Theron, Claudia Mitchell, Ann Smith and Jean Stuart fluently illustrate ways in which drawing can be used as a research tool in a variety of qualitative methods. They focus on studies in which researchers use drawing as vehicle for participants to generate meaning or dialogue. With diverse backgrounds in education, language and literacy, visual methodology, educational psychology, and feminist literary theory, their approach is distinctively reflexive.
Book Reviewed: Gabrielsson, A. (2011). Strong experiences with music: Music is much more than just music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The objects of Alf Gabrielsson's study Strong experiences with music are experiences and insights that exceed by far what is normally included in music experiences. To a great extent, the many (over 500) experiences related in this book are so intense that a reader often cannot avoid comparing them to her or his own experiences with music. The multi-variety of character in music experiences is viewed in relation to their dependence on a large number of both musical, personal, and situational variables. With its rare combination of the richness of accounts of extraordinary experiences, the sympathetic understanding and interpretation that characterizes the reflective commentary, and its thoughtful and cautious scientific analysis, this book provides a most powerful illustration of the profundity of the question what music may do to us.