This week much time has been spent getting back into the swing of my frantically paced life in Taipei after the transformative experience of NAEA. Last week our class reflected on Alex de Cosson’s article The Hermeneutic Dialogue which fused the processes of research and personal reflection.
While I have respect for the concept of de Cosson’s work and appreciate the use of his own artwork to inform his research I find his article to be too self absorbed. His writing is awash in “I” statements, (15 uses in a seven sentence paragraph). This over personalization of inquiry can diminish its impact and make the final product seem like unfinished field notes.
At the NAEA conference I ran into Liora Bresler and asked about the submissions she receives at the International Journal of Education & the Arts. She told me that many articles are rejected for being “bad personal reflections”.
The nature of arts-based research is personal reflection in conjunction to the research study involving engagement with the visual arts. Canadian scholars such as Rita Irwin, Harold Pearse, Patti Pente, and Fiona Blaikie have demonstrated the validity of arts-based research through their contributions to the field which combine personal insights alongside theoretical analyses and qualitative methodologies. However, some scholars take the liberty of arts-based research too far. Their process is less about the research at hand and instead focuses too much on personal experiences in regards to inquiry, pedagogy, and biography . “All about me”. God help me is all I have to say.