Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
From A/r/tography to Social Theory: Conversations with Canadian Scholars Impacting Art Education
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

From A/r/tography to Social Theory: Conversations with Canadian Scholars Impacting Art Education


Published on

This study attempts to discern trends in contemporary Canadian art educational research through interviews of key scholars at leading Canadian Universities. Art educators interviewed for this study …

This study attempts to discern trends in contemporary Canadian art educational research through interviews of key scholars at leading Canadian Universities. Art educators interviewed for this study include Fiona Blaikie, Roger Clark, Kit Grauer, Rita Irwin, Jan Jagodzinski ,Anna Kindler, Cathy Mullen, Harold Pearse, and David Pariser. Canadian art education is notable for its alternative research practices that include arts-based research, arts-informed research, and a/r/tography. In this inquiry Canadian scholars discuss their contributions towards art education and the evolution of the field from the trajectories of social theory to descriptive research.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 1. From A/r/tography to Social Theory: Conversations with Canadian Scholars Impacting Art Education Joanna Rees PhD Candidate, Art Education, National Taiwan Normal University
  • 2. Like the concept of Canadian national identity, Canadian art education is difficult to define. 
  • 3. Traditional views of Canadian Art
  • 4.  
  • 5.
    • The term ‘research trends’ is an effort to define the dominant categories of scholarship and practices within art education.
  • 6. This presentation will attempt to give a sample of art educational trends in Canada through a dialogue with: Fiona Blaikie Lakehead University, Thunder Bay Roger Clark, Kit Grauer The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Rita L. Irwin The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Jan Jagodzinski University of Alberta, Edmonton Anna Kindler The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Cathy Mullen Concordia University, Montreal Harold Pearse The University of Alberta, Edmonton David Pariser Concordia University, Montreal
  • 7. Research Areas in Art Education
    • Historical research: Harold Pearse, Graham Chambers
    • Arts-based research : Michael Emme
    • A/r/tography : Rita L. Irwin
    • Visual culture : Lorrie Blair
    • Arts-informed research : Audra Cole & Gary Knowles
    • Social theory research : Jan Jagodzinski
    • Early childhood development in art : Anna Kindler, David Pariser
  • 8. Areas of Research
    • Visual culture encompasses connections made between fine art and popular culture in our daily lives.
  • 9.
    • art-based research is a socially responsible practice that uses a variety of methodologies that partner art and social science research. The personal narrative of the researcher’s experience is often present in the inquiry, while art forms express representations research.
    • Susan Finley, Knowles and Cole’s (2008) anthology Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research
  • 10.
    • A/r/tography is a form of research that resides in the practices of artist, researcher and educator.
  • 11.
    • According to Irwin:
    • To be engaged in the practice of a/r/tography means to inquire in the world through an ongoing process of art making in any art form and writing not separate or illustrative of each other but interconnected and woven through each other to create additional and/or enhanced meanings.
  • 12.
    • Arts-informed research is typically executed using a singular art form to describe the outlook of the researchers, who in turn communicate their engagement with the arts.
    • Knowles and Cole (2008)
  • 13.
    • Social Theory research concerns the study of society and the culture of power as manifested through institutions, race, ethnicity, sexuality, visual culture, and other socioeconomic factors.
  • 14. A Need for a Canadian Perspective on Research Trends Within the Field
  • 15.  
  • 16. Research Questions
    • What are the current areas of study in Canadian art educational research?
    • Who are the leading scholars in the field and what contributions have they made to Canadian art education?
    • What impact does Canadian art education have on the field globally?
    • How do leading Canadian scholars see the field evolving in the future? 
  • 17.
    • Findings
    • 1. Arts-based research and social theory practice are the dominant trajectories in Canadian art education . 
    • 2. The prominence of social theory research, arts-based research, arts-informed research, and a/r/tography gives Canada a distinctive perspective within the field . 
    • 3. The implications of arts-based research, arts-informed research, a/r/tography, and visual culture are still being debated within the field.
  • 18. Conversations with Canadian Art Educators Impacting the Field Globally
    • Fiona Blaikie
    • Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario
    • I think that arts-informed research is exciting. It is postmodern to consider that data can be generated via multiple arts focused forms.  
    •   This moves us toward closing the gap between the "ivory tower" and the general public.
  • 19.
    • We can't limit research.  Arts-based or a/r/tography or arts-informed research are complex and involve thinking about what counts as knowledge and knowing, and embracing different ways of knowing. After all, research is about producing new knowledge.
  • 20.
    • Roger Clark
    • The University of Western Ontario,
    • London, Ontario
    • I consider most current research trends in Canadian art education to be little more than localized reflections of research done in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Canadian art education during the past century has slavishly followed curricular fads in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • 21.
    • Canadian art educational research is very limited due to the paucity of graduate programs available. This has been especially true in Ontario where national leadership in art education waned after the 1950s due to the lack of graduate work.
  • 22.
    • Kit Grauer
    • The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
    • The a/r/tography research practice is growing. We try to keep our audience wide so that the research does make a difference not only in art education but other fields of study.
  • 23.
    • Through art education there is a sense that more versatile voices are heard in Canadian education.
    • Art educators in the US and Canada share the many of the same values but it has been hard for American scholars to make progress with limitations on funding for qualitative research.
  • 24.
    • Rita L. Irwin The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
    • While a/r/tography is not a large part of Canadian art education it is growing in popularity especially at UBC. What I have found is that a lot of people in the arts say: “finally I’ve found what I have been searching for!” These individuals are not only in visual arts but also in music, drama, dance, story telling and poetry.
  • 25. When A/r/tography: Rendering Self Through Arts-Based Living Inquiry (2004) was published, we focused on autobiographical work through the visual arts as one way of approaching the methodology. A/r/tography not limited to autobiography.
  • 26. In Being with A/r/tography (2008), we have explored autobiography as well as community based practices, ethics and assessment, across many art forms.
  • 27.
    • Jan Jagodzinski
    • University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
    • My sense is that art education finds itself torn in many directions, both in research, in practice and in its pedagogy.
  • 28.
    • There are huge gaps between what is happening in the art ‘world,’ at the level of ‘schooling’ and at higher educational circles.
    • While interactive ‘new media’ are exploring the sensate body, art education in public schools remains caught by-and–large in a former paradigm simply because resources are not available.
  • 29.
    • Or because the art teachers are themselves fixated by modernism (still teaching the –isms of art, and visual fundamentals), or the higher education programs do not allow fully the exploration of contemporary art to start making a difference in schools to re-orientate the foundations of art education.
  • 30.
    • Visual Cultural Studies, an ill-defined movement, seems to have an edge as to what the horizon of art education holds since neither resources nor experimentation are as much at issue. I personally feel VCS has its place, but it is limited and needs to be rethought.
  • 31.
    • Anna Kindler
    • The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
    • Canadian art education researchers represent a wide range of interests and approaches, which perhaps reflects a very Canadian emphasis on diversity and respect for different voices under the umbrella of the Canadian culture.
  • 32.
    • Cathy Mullen Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
    • Visual culture has become a major trend in art education in the USA, and is gaining prominence in Canada as well. Another trajectory is in the area of cultural diversity and cultural identities, including cross-cultural aesthetics.
  • 33.
    • Harold Pearse
    • The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
    • The future of Canadian Art Education will depend on the health of active graduate programs as well as of course, the stability of art education programs in the schools at all levels  - historically, their situation has always been precarious.
  • 34.
    • David Pariser
    • Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
    • My contributions to Canadian art education are to inject some topics and lines of argument that have been absent or under-represented on the Canadian art education scene.
  • 35.
    • Teaching visual culture all too often becomes an excuse for a focus on social justice issues, and other worthy social questions rather than a focus on the arts per se.
    • With a/r/tography the intentions of the researchers are good- community oriented, self-reflective, but the methods and findings  leave me no wiser and no more convinced of their claims.
  • 36.
    • Arts-based research seems to slip easily into self-indulgent posturing on social issues-without providing any solid data to support any discernible claims.
    • Artists have no pre-established methods for arriving at truths, or of “proving” the claims that they make in their artworks-nor do they in any way need such a method. Artists persuade, scientists prove- and therein lies the difference.
  • 37. Conclusions
    • A/r/tography is identified as a major research trend in conjunction to arts-informed research, visual culture, and other areas of alternative study. However, there is still an existing debate over the value such new methodologies
  • 38.
    • Other conflicts in Canadian scholarship include the debate over visual culture and the direction of the nation’s art education which is centered on the institutions in British Columbia and Quebec.
  • 39.
    • Many questions still exist on the methodological implications of arts-based research. Such questions deserve a broader examination with more inquiry to properly assess the differing trajectories in Canadian art education.