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Incorporating Arts-Based Pedagogy: Moving Beyond Traditional Approaches to Teaching Qualitative Research

By Rhia Moreno, Kate Hobgood Guthrie, Katie Strickland

As three educators teaching in diverse spaces (an assistant professor from a public university, an assistant professor from a private university, and a public elementary school teacher), this reflective narrative highlights our experiences with breaking away from traditional approaches to scholarly practitioner research. In response to the need to diversify conceptualizations of qualitative data analysis in the educational research classroom, this SoTL reflection focuses on the incorporation of arts-based pedagogy to challenge and expand how learners experientially engage in data analysis.

An exciting component of this SoTL project came from our collaborative perspectives in different participating roles as the instructor and curriculum designer, the guest scholar whose research included both traditional and arts-based data analysis, and the graduate student who experienced the adapted curriculum. While we each experienced the teaching and learning process individually, it was not until we came together that we were able to reflexively engage and work through how our experiences and perspectives intertwined with each others’.

This collaborative reflection has inspired us to continue incorporating arts-based pedagogy into our courses, which has been easier for Drs. Moreno and Guthrie to do in their respective higher education contexts. Rhia has introduced creative analysis for reflective thinking into other courses and conducts faculty workshops to introduce resources for the inclusion of arts-based and multimodal teaching and learning in the higher education context. Kate invites arts-based approaches to thinking reflectively and reflexively throughout qualitative research methods courses through the use of weekly reflexive journal entries and a culminating analysis of these journals for key takeaways. Katie has instead encountered difficulty fitting arts-based pedagogy into her mandated and highly structured curriculum, but is hopeful for future possibilities to infuse the arts into the primary school level of teaching and learning.

Read the TLI article here.

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