This week our readings from Julie Lymburner and Patti Pente empathize lived experiences that inform arts-based research through personal reflection and art-making. There is an ideological shift that Pente describes, where values are passed through the art-teach to students. This phenomena is well established academically and has been documented by scholars such as Noddings, Palmer, and Green.
Donald Schön practices of “reflection on action”
While I feel self-reflection is important to maintain balance in our overlapping identities as artists/teachers/and researchers I do not find the practice essential in contemporary educational research. Personal reflection can provide insight into the background of a researcher’s study and provoke meanings that may have otherwise been unmentioned. However, too much personal reflection can be very self-indulgent and as David Pariser would argue is it educational research?
An example of journaling
This question can be answered by the context of the research, strength of the study design, and findings. However, one must not get too carried away with the “I”, and “me” references. Often trivial bibliographical statements are better expressed over wine with ones girlfriends than placed alongside reflections of teaching pedagogy. Irwin, Grauer, and Pente’s arts-based researched is tightly structured and contains references to social science methodology alongside personal reflections. However, certain researchers fail. While I appreciated the lessons to be learned from Lymburner’s arts-based journaling, her article was much too self-focused to be considered research. A nice idea, an illuminating reflection yes! As research, no.