29 SES 03, Debating artistic research in arts education
In my Radical Teacher -research project the political role of teacher (Ahonen, 2002; Atjonen, 2005; Tirri, 2002) is approached through arts-based research (Suominen, A., Kallio-Tavin, M. & Hernández- Hernández, F., 2017)with phenomenological case setting. In proposed presentation I will clarify my methodological approach which combines performative art and fiction writing with historical frame. Combination of arts based and narrative material in not totally new. In the field of education and art education those methods are believed to open the door to the experiences and unique meanings. For example Kivioja and Puroila (2017) have applied arts based and narrative methods in the field of childhood research. Through table theatre project they reach children’s everyday experiences on school with performative approach. They connected their research to the arts-based inquiry defined by Leavy (2015). Kivioja and Puroila states that narrative and arts-based methods allow to understand experiences by researcher and by the people who are involved research project. Those methods reach beyond spoken and written words.
The issue for the whole research project is politically radical positions of teacher in the history and nowadays. Disturbing aspect in my research is that the politically radicalisized teacher Martti Pihkala, who I chose for a case, is my grandfather. He was politically active and radical from 1910 until 1944. The historical archive material which I had as a data for the background essay made me very confused and emotionally overload. For to understand confusion and overload I took a step aside. His mother, wives and daughters gave me keys to new perspectives. All are passed away and actually my focus is not historical facts but possible experiencedand emotions connected to that. Historical facts are hurting frame and starting point for fictional and arts-based knowledge (O’Sullivan, 2017; Suominen, A., Kallio-Tavin, M. & Hernández- Hernández, F., 2017). The first project was performative Crocheting Alma -project in spring 2018 and the second fiction writing project Kuunottajat (“Moonbathers”) which is still going on.
The first starting point for the Crocheting Alma -project was a portrait on my grandfather’s mother Alma Gummerus painted by artist Kaarlo Atra (1879–1961) in 1929. Crocheter Alma (Virkkaaja Alma) was my performative project, which lasted same period than the Finnish civil war lasted a century ago. Each day, totally 109 days, I crocheted on public or semi-public site 50 white and 250 red stitches to reach the number of victims in both sides of civil war. I asked someone to take a photo on each crocheting session with my mobile phone for to publish it in Instagram (social media application). Narrative turn has happened already 30 years ago in the field of research. Autoethnographical and narrative approaches came more important as a data when objectivation was deconstructed. So called real life and fiction have complex relationship. In the field of sociology, as well as in the field of education research, tries to reach subjectivity and unique experiences has make room for fictional writing. Leavy states three genres of fiction based research (FBR): 1) the rise in autobigrphical and narrative data, 2) creative nonfiction and 3) an emphasis on public scholarship. She leans also to “literary neuroscience” when proving the power of reading and writing. Readers are physically placing themselves to fictional places while. Fiction is immersive experience, which activate also movement and touch areas in brains. Emphatic engagement is an aspect which makes fiction ethically so interesting for me. (Leavy, 2015).
Writing a fiction is a process which allows going towards ignorance. Here we face a knowledge which may understood through concept of epistemic pluralism (Nado, 2017; Coliva, 2017) or with social epistemology and feminist epistemology (Townley, 2011). Townley tides up epistemology and ethics in her approach to ignorance. Townley writes on her book’s introduction: Just as it is a mistake to take knowledge to be always good, rejecting ignorance as always negative is too hasty. Knowledge and knowing have sometimes evil roots while ignorance may offer exit from that. In a way I go towards ignorance through my performative and fictional methods for to be able discuss with the evil. I see Crocheting Alma -project as a feministic action (Townley, 2011) which is connected to performativity and new materialism (Barad, 2012; Pfeifer, 2015; Eckersall & al., 2017). Feministic approach is some kind of base for my practice in research and pedagogies. But for “femine” practices I have rather complicated relation. My gender identity is blurred or fluid in way I’m not able to identify myself as a woman in normative way. When I made my Crocheting Alma project it was not typical for me. Assumed gender I’m usefully connected to, is stereotypically crocheting gender. But while I was crocheting in public locations, I felt I was doing something really radical and that was not visible, it was only my emotion. Textile crafts has important role among contemporary art practices (Haveri, 2016). It has been a movement against masculine dominant art practices. For me crocheting was both against masculine dominance and against myself.
Ahonen, J. (2002). Eettinen opettaja – eettinen vaikuttaja. In R. Sarras (toim.) Etiikka koulun arjessa. Keuruu: Otava, 65–73. Atjonen, P. (2005). Pedagoginen etiikka koulukasvatuksen karttana ja kompassina. Suomen kasvatustieteellinen Seura: Turku. Barad, Karen (2012). "On touching – the inhuman that therefore I am". Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. Duke University Press. 23 (3): 206–223. Coliva, A. (2017). How to Be a Pluralist About Self-Knowledge. In (edits. Coliva & Pedersen) Epistemic Pluralism. Chan, Switzerland: Palgrawe Macmillan. Pp. 253–284. Eckersall, P. & Grehan, H. & Scheer, E. (2017). New media dramaturgy: performance, media and new-materialism. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Haveri, M. (2016). Pehmeä taide. Lankatekniikat kuvataideilmaisussa. Helsinki: Maahenki oy. Kivioja, I. & Puroila, A-M. (2017). Alakoulun arkea lasten kertomana. Kasvatus & Aika 11(1) 2017, 41–53. Leavy, P. (2015). Fiction-Based Research. In Handbook of Arts-Based Research (edit. Leavy, P.). The Guilford Press. pp.190–207. Nado, J. (2017). Knowledge Second (for Metaphilosophy). In (edits. Coliva & Pedersen) Epistemic Pluralism. Chan, Switzerland: Palgrawe Macmillan. 145–170. O’Sullivan, S. (2017) Non-philosophy and Art Practice (or, Fiction as Method). In Fiction as method Shaw, J.K. & Reeves-Evison, T. (edits.) Berlin: Sternberg Press. Pfeifer, G. (2015). The new materialism: Althusser, Badiou, and Žižek. New York; London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. Suominen, A., Kallio-Tavin, M. & Hernández- Hernández, F. (2017). Arts-Based Research Traditions and Orientation in Europe. Perspectives from Finland and Spain. In Handbook of Arts-Based Research (edit. Leavy, P.). The Guilford Press. Tirri, K. (2002). Opetustyön keskeiset eettiset ongelmakohdat. In Etiikka koulun arjessa R. Sarras (edit.). Keuruu: Otava, pp. 23–33. Townley, C. (2011). A Defence of Ignorance: Its Value for Knowers and Roles in Feminist and Social Epistemologies. Lanham: Lexington Books.
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