Art-Based Research Methods | Prescott College

Art-Based Research Methods

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In this course, students will explore alternative forms of inquiry and research methods that fall outside the framework of science-based research. Similarities and differences between art-based research methods and scientific research will be explored. Theoretical and methodological foundations of art-based research will be examined, with a focus on art-based research (ABR), arts-based educational research (ABER) and art-based autoethnography (ABAE). Each of these research methods will be brought to life with actual examples including the development of research questions, data collection, analysis, and representation. Research is a process committed to the creation of new knowledge. Some scholars call art-based research a new vision of research. Arts educator Ed Eisner, a proponent for pluralistic methodologies in the field of educational research says, "Alternative forms of representation acknowledges the variety of ways through which our experiences are coded." Some of these forms could include painting, narrative, video/film, poetry, performative play, graphic novels, music, and dance. Alternative research methods such as art-based research come with strong criteria that includes rigor, validity, and reliability. Other criteria includes, substantive contribution, aesthetic merit, reflexivity, and impact. And still other ABR researchers include in their rubric that methods must be ethically, politically and culturally responsive. Shifting boundaries of traditional perspectives of inquiry and knowledge creation, promoting alternative forms of research methods to include pluralistic and transgressive modes of inquiry, expression, representation, and discourse are needed in the 21st century because the language and system of discourse we choose mediates and defines the very experience we attempt to describe.