2017 Volume 18

Articles and Abstracts


Volume 18 Number 1: Pöllänen, S., & Ruotsalainen, K. (2017). Dialogue between art and craft: Textile materials and techniques in contemporary art.

The aim of this study was to investigate the ways in which textile materials and techniques are expressed in contemporary art in Finland. The first phase of data collection was to identify a population of Finnish artists who use textile craft-based forms in their art and who produce their works themselves. After that, six discretionary selected artists’ works were analyzed using essence analysis based on photographs and artists’ statements. The analysis brought out the reciprocal and complementary dialogue between art and craft, contributing to an ongoing debate about topical issues and the valuation of everyday relationships and objects. Artists are viewing their work from an artistic perspective but also basing their process in the appreciation of craft. The works of art portray mental associations with the help of craft techniques and materials. This article argues that the dialogue between art and craft helped these artists cross over borders and traditions.

Volume 18 Number 2: Sakr, M., & Kucirkova, N. (2016). Parent-child moments of meeting in art-making with collage, iPad, tuxpaint, and crayons.

The aim of this study was to investigate the ways in which textile materials and techniques are expressed in contemporary art in Finland. The first phase of data collection was to identify a population of Finnish artists who use textile craft-based forms in their art and who produce their works themselves. After that, six discretionary selected artists’ works were analyzed using essence analysis based on photographs and artists’ statements. The analysis brought out the reciprocal and complementary dialogue between art and craft, contributing to an ongoing debate about topical issues and the valuation of everyday relationships and objects. Artists are viewing their work from an artistic perspective but also basing their process in the appreciation of craft. The works of art portray mental associations with the help of craft techniques and materials. This article argues that the dialogue between art and craft helped these artists cross over borders and traditions.

Volume 18 Number 3: McFerran, K. S., Crooke, A. H. D., & Bolger, L. (2017). Promoting engagement in school through tailored music programs.

Music and arts programs have increasingly been utilized to promote school engagement. Despite the fact that school engagement and music programs can be understood in myriad ways, little attention has been paid to potential distinctions between the types of music programs that underpin engagement. This article describes an investigation of how and when different types of school engagement were promoted through participation in a range of tailored music programs in four diverse school contexts. Four types of engagement were identified, including individuals’ engagement in learning, peer engagement, connections with different members of the community, and community engagement. The characteristics of each type of program differed according to leadership approach, expectation of students, degree of student engagement, and structure. The benefits of tailoring each music program to meet the unique needs and interests of each school community are illustrated through these findings. Understandings of the relationship between music and school engagement are articulated.

Volume 18 Number 4: de Vries, P. (2017). Self-efficacy and music teaching: Five narratives.

This article examines generalist primary (elementary) school teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching music. Five teachers, each with five years teaching experience, were interviewed for the study. Using this interview data narratives were constructed for each of the five teachers. These narratives focused on what factors contributed to the level of self-efficacy each teacher experienced in teaching music. The five narratives are presented, structured using the five elements of narrative - character, setting, a problem (or problems) faced, actions taken to address the problem/s, and resolution – outlined by Ollerenshaw & Creswell (2002). Each narrative is followed by a brief discussion of the impact of the four key aspects that contribute to self-efficacy – mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and physiological arousal.

Volume 18 Number 5: Eglinton, K., Gubrium, A., & Wexler, L. (2017). Digital storytelling as arts-inspired for engaging, understanding, and supporting indigenous youth.

In this paper we examine digital storytelling as a mode of arts-inspired inquiry: in particular we consider digital storytelling as a powerful arts-inspired approach that can help researchers, practitioners, and communities understand and support indigenous and marginalized youth. Our two-fold focus is on: (1) a digital storytelling initiative that engaged hundreds of Alaska Native youth in the production of digital stories; and, (2) on findings from a subsequent pilot study which assessed the value of analyzing the young people’s digital stories produced through this initiative, as windows into the worlds, identities, struggles and concerns of these particular youth. Overall, we aim to use the findings from this pilot study, and impressions from the young people’s digital media productions, to demonstrate the potential of digital storytelling as a transformative arts-inspired inquiry which engages young people in processes of identity making, aesthetics, and voice.

Volume 18 Number 6: Gardiner, P. (2017). Playwriting and flow: The interconnection between creativity, engagement and skill development.

Understanding, encouraging and developing creativity in the classroom is an international priority (Craft, 2011). This article outlines the findings of research into playwriting pedagogy. It interrogates the conceptual assumptions that surround teaching and learning for creativity, and how these ideas influence teacher practice and student experience. It argues that student engagement and creativity are fundamentally and reciprocally linked. To better understand how to teach and foster creativity in a classroom, teachers’ views on creativity and creative processes are explored through Csikszentmihalyi’s (2008) theory of ‘flow’ and the lessons this provides for understanding engagement. The article argues that the teachers’ views of creativity and creative processes are of fundamental importance to understanding the teaching and learning experience and that student disengagement can be addressed by increasing student’s skills and knowledge both in creativity processes and playwriting proficiency.

Volume 18 Number 7: Bates, V. C. (2017). Critical social class theory for music education.

This work of critical social theory explores how formal music education in modern capitalist societies mirrors the hierarchical, means-ends, one-dimensional structures of capitalism. So, rather than consistently or reliably empowering and emancipating children musically, school music can tend to marginalize, exploit, repress, and alienate. The paper begins with a review of critical theories of social class, with emphasis on the roots of social class in historical beliefs about sociocultural evolution. Then, after considering in general terms how social class is overtly and covertly framed in music education, this framing is discussed in more detail within extant conceptualizations of musical taste, musical performance, and musical experience.

Volume 18 Number 8: Rasmussen, B. (2017). Arts education and cultural democracy: The competing discourses.

Arts education are understood and implemented by ways of different discourses. Following critical discourse theory, discourses are part of power strategies and they predominantly fight for dominance. What this means is that certain discourses and accompanying practices of arts education may rule and others may be subordinated or neglected. A review of current Norwegian publicly funded arrangements on arts and education shows competing discourses, which seem subordinate to a dominant Eurocentric arts institutional discourse. The general use of high art ‘quality’ as a nodal point in most arrangements supports the argument. Through contemporary practices of social circus outside Europe, such as Circus du Monde, and by an exemplar project, The Circus Lab, a collaboration between Norway and Portugal, a different discourse of cultural democracy and education (formation) is seen and expressed. This discourse seems to be less visible in the European context of publicly funded arrangements, where professional training, exposition to the cultural canons and audience participation still seem to monitor the comprehension and act as discursive triggers by which policies are governed. Among the consequences are lost opportunities of collaborative practices between the competent adult and the competent child.

Volume 18 Number 9: Bolden, B. (2017). Music as method: Musically enhanced narrative inquiry.

While artist-researchers have been productive within the domains of the literary arts, visual arts, dance and drama, there is little musical arts-based educational research reported in the literature. This article introduces a research methodology to address this deficit: musically enhanced narrative inquiry (MENI). The article describes the methodology and its foundation in narrative inquiry, enhanced by arts-informed research processes. It provides an example of a MENI research project, Teaching Lives, that employs narrative and musical processes to explore and represent the personal, practical knowledge embedded within the stories of an experienced schoolteacher. The article is accompanied by three short audio files: musical representations of the data that integrate the recorded words of the participant with music, composed by the researcher, to illuminate the teacher knowledge within the narratives.

Volume 18 Number 10: Sanders-Bustle, L., Meyer, J., Standafer Busch, L. (2017). Exploring the relational complexities of Learning ART Together: A museum based art program for migrant women.

In this article, researchers discuss how relational theory (Bourriaud, 2002) can be used to understand the experiences of five migrant women participating in a museum art program called Learning ART Together. We posit that museums and art centers, like many institutions, are constantly working in tension with rigid institutional structures, financial demands, and formalized curricula as they strive to provide programming for migrants. Such structures challenge possibilities for relationship building and transformative practices. Findings reveal that by using a relational lens, we are better able to understand how dialogue creates alternative social exchanges which honor and challenge “everydayness” and shape new ways of being in the world. Our research revealed that relational theory offers insights into the ways participants create alternative sites of sociability suggesting implications for pedagogy that aims to create equitable and just experiences.

Volume 18 Number 11: Cabedo-Mas, A., Nethsinghe, R., & Forrest, D. (2017). The role of the arts in education for peacebuilding, diversity and intercultural understanding: A comparative study of educational policies in Australia and Spain.

This article reviews and analyses educational policies and curricula for general education in Australian and Spanish systems, in relation to their concerns for arts education to contribute to values education and the acquisition of peaceful, social and civic competences in schools. The use of the arts to shape individual and community identities, to enhance relationships between people, to promote positive conflict transformation, development and, in general, contribute to peacebuilding, has been acknowledged worldwide. Curriculum helps to legitimise what is considered to be important to learn within a society and therefore determines what is included to be understood as good artistic knowledge and practices. The documentary analysis of both Australian and Spanish educational documents in relation to teaching and learning of the arts gives responses on the extent the arts are expected to contribute to build peaceful and sustainable societies, and faces some current challenges of the role of the arts in schools.

Volume 18 Number 12: Oreck, B. (2017). Making another world: Relationships in playwriting. A study of high school students.

A study of former participants in high and middle school playwriting programs investigated students’ perceptions of their experiences. After 20+ years of partnerships in a wide range of schools, Washington D.C.’s Young Playwrights’ Theater examined how and why playwriting works and for whom. How does the form and process of writing plays motivate students, including some who don’t like to write or struggle in English class? The results offer intriguing insights about the nature of playwriting and the impact of relationships with mentors, peers, and audiences to influence students’ skills, motivation and self-perceptions as writers.

Volume 18 Number 13: Wright, S., Watkins, M., & Grant, G. (2017). Making visual arts learning visible in a generalist elementary school classroom.

This article presents the story of one elementary school teacher’s shift in art praxis through her involvement in a research project aimed at facilitating participatory arts-based communities of practice. Qualitative methods and social constructivism informed Professional Learning Interventions (PLIs) involving: (1) a visual arts workshop, (2) facilitations with academics within the teacher’s classroom context, and (3) semi-structured discussions to study and curate the teacher’s lived experiences. A teacher-facilitator-interviewer triad co-researched the meaning of ‘quality’ in relation to: Learning, Pedagogy, Environment, and Community Dynamics (L-PEC). Adapted from Seidel et. al (2009) L-PEC was a theoretical lens to guide inquiry and action specific to the teacher’s (i.e., Ali’s) classroom. Ali’s evolving praxis served as a source of inspiration for the other Grade 3-4 teachers in her school who formed their own community of practice to support student learning through the visual arts.

Volume 18 Number 14: Liu, L. B. (2017). Aesthetic inquiry into Chinese university student fatherly life lessons: “Roots” and their implications for educational contexts.

Globally, teachers are trained to educate and assess children through matrices based on comparative competition, a practice that thrives on ranking. In an era of glocalization, how might educational systems cultivate classroom connections embracing diverse student gifts? This arts-based narrative inquiry explores fatherly life lessons of 17 undergraduate and six graduate students enrolled in an introductory qualitative research course at a large urban Chinese university. Building on the course instructor’s model, students engaged in arts-based narrative inquiry to develop children’s books on treasured fatherly life lessons that they then shared with second grade students at a local Chinese school. Drawing upon the Confucian Analects and Laozi’s Tao Te Ching, this study evidences empathy as rooted across cultures and ecologies, and that many fatherly life lessons take place in natural settings. This study encourages teacher education practice and research to engage arts-based autobiographical inquiry, and to explore empathy conceptualizations and expressions across cultures and ecologies. As glocalization brings together diverse groups, this work is important to create shared spaces for international connection and meaningful inter-institutional explorations.

Volume 18 Number 15: Segedin, L. (2017). Theatre as a vehicle for mobilizing knowledge in education.

In the field of education, there has been an increased emphasis on evidence-based practice. Yet, traditional dissemination methods continue to be used. Using more creative and innovative strategies to disseminate research are needed. Theatre is one such method. Stemming from the research on knowledge mobilization and theatre as a method for social change, this study aimed to understand educator’s perceptions and attitudes about using theatre to disseminate research. The study’s method included a Likert-scale survey with the option to add open-ended responses. Responses from the 110 educators who viewed the research-based play indicated that the use of theatre has the ability to increase the impact of research use on practitioners in education.

Volume 18 Number 16: Barry, N. H., & Durham, S. (2017). Music in the early childhood curriculum: Qualitative analysis of pre-service teacher’s reflective writing.

This qualitative study employed grounded theory to explore how a university-based summer practicum experience with community children (N=55) revealed and shaped pre-service teachers' (N=24) understanding of young children and their musical skills and dispositions; how early childhood music curriculum is designed; and supports and barriers to music instruction. We learned that a collaborative professional setting, training and mentoring, and access to developmentally appropriate music curriculum resources scaffolded pre-service teachers’ abilities to develop a music unit within the curriculum. These university students gained understanding and appreciation for the music theme’s connection to academic content and how music bridged cultural boundaries. We also observed contrasts in students’ musical self-efficacy that seemed to be related to their perceptions of the children’s musical interests. Continued teacher education research is needed to discern the pre-service preparation that yields curriculum and teaching suffused with rich and joyous music learning experiences for young children.

Volume 18 Number 17: Ruokonen, I., & Eldridge, L. (2017). “Being Sami is my strength”: Contemporary Sami artists.

The aim of this case study was to discover how three Sami artist present their culture in their arts and how their art grows from Sami traditions. Our first purpose was to find out how they use their art forms’ roots to create new ideas. The other purpose of this study was to bring into discussion the importance of a minority culture’s arts in teacher education programmes. The data was collected from the writings of and interviews with three Sami artists for whom Sami tradition is strongly present. Sami artists can be seen as an open space for challenging preoccupations and prejudices in which traditions and artistic practices work as playful means of questioning the ways in which subjects, social interactions, and practices are constructed. In these artistic processes, subjects and cultures become hybrid and a changing force for interaction among cultural traditions, other cultural ideas, and the environment to generate new arts.

Volume 18 Number 18: Lambert, K., Wright, P. R., Currie, J., & Pascoe, R. (2017). More than “sluts” or “prissy girls”: Gender and becoming in senior secondary drama classrooms.

This article examines the relationships between the embodiment of dramatic characters, gender, and identity. It draws on ethnographic data based on observations and interviews with 24 drama teachers and senior secondary drama students in Western Australia. We explore how student becomings in year 12 drama classrooms are mediated and constituted through socially overcoded gender binaries in a dominant neoliberal culture of competitive performativity. We ask the questions: What constructions of femininity and masculinity are students embodying from popular dramatic texts in the drama classroom at a critical time in their social and emotional development? Are these constructions empowering? Or disempowering? What factors are influencing teachers’ choices of texts for their predominantly female students? Our research shows that what is delimiting about this potentiality in a time of identity exploration and formation are the constraining gender-binary roles available to young women particularly, and the performative pressures teachers are experiencing.

Volume 18 Number 19: Martikainen, J. (2017). Making pictures as a method of teaching art history.

Inspired by the affective and sensory turns in the paradigm of art history, this article discusses making pictures as a method of teaching art history in Finnish Upper Secondary Vocational Education and Training (Qualification in Visual Expression, Study Programmes in Visual and Media Arts and Photography). A total of 25 students majoring in visual and media arts and photography participated in the research, studying art history by visual means and reflecting on their learning experiences. This article follows the principles of contextual subject-related didactics, where contemporary conceptions of the discipline and the objectives of the curriculum direct the choice of instructional approaches. The study shows that making pictures motivated the students to study art history and develop practical skills within the discipline in accordance with the curriculum objectives. In visual terms, the kinesthetic and haptic qualities associated with making pictures brought affects and emotions to art historical inquiries, which built bridges between art history and the students’ life-worlds.

Volume 18 Number 20: Fritzlan, A. (2017). A personal story of teaching Aboriginal art as a non-Aboriginal person.

This is an autoethnographic reflection of teaching Aboriginal art as a non-Aboriginal person. Over a period of ten months, a class of grade seven students was led through an inquiry into Aboriginal art including research and the creation of individual and group art pieces. The evolving curriculum was shaped by considerations of respect for individuals or groups, working with partial knowledge, as well as personal stories and histories. New perspectives emerge through re-examination of this experience through a metaphor of walking and wandering. This a/r/tographic treatment explores approaches for teaching in unfamiliar territories of cultural difference and acknowledges complicated conversations along the way.

Volume 18 Number 21: Williams, R. (2017). Being with and being there: Our enactment of wide-awakeness.

Maxine Greene championed that teachers and students can discover openings providing space for the development of wide-awakeness through art and aesthetic education. Wide-awakeness is a heightened sense of consciousness encouraging critical awareness and deep engagement with one’s world. As individuals come alive in this way, their open-minded exploration is fueled by their development of personal agency and self-worth through their pursuit of presentness and possibility. Through a case study of the college art education course, Pedagogy as Art Practice, I sought to gain a better understanding of what ways the teacher and students’ engendered wide-awakeness, how the structure of the course supported this development, and how this impacted the participants. With this paper I narrate the story of how the participants’ being with and being there, or their relational and intellectual engagement, facilitated their enactment of wide-awakeness.

Book Reviews

Volume 18 Review 1: Diaz, G. (2017). Embodied inquiry.

I have to begin by saying that I consider myself a recovering academic. For me this means that, having left full-time employment at university, I am in the process of recovering a way of being in the world that includes more risk-taking and imagination, one that is free from the many self-imposed restrictions in language and practice that I had adopted to be part of the academic community. I had learned the rules of research, the practices of pedagogy, the canons of curriculum. Few of them included expressions of a sensual nature, specific engagements of the body, dance or poetic expression. I had been a painter once, have always loved to dance, and write poetry that I share mostly with myself. While I could find ways to be creative in my work as a faculty member and administrator, and while teaching teachers to integrate the arts into the curriculum, I struggled to integrate my creative artistic work into my academic career. And I have tried, and continue to try, to become once again immersed in the creative process, to experience the “flow” described so well by Czikszentmihalyi (1996).


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