Using Arts-Informed Inquiry as a Research Approach
Arts-informed inquiry blends the systematic and rigorous qualities of social science inquiry with the creative and imaginative qualities of the arts but with a greater capacity to reach audiences beyond the academy. Arts-informed researchers set out to honour the diverse forms of knowing that are part of everyday experience. Our goals are related to relevance, accessibility and engagement in research projects. The intention that arts-informed inquiry reach a wide audience is an explicit endeavor to make a difference not only in the lives of ordinary citizens but also in the thinking of policy makers, politicians, legislators and other key decision makers (Cole & Knowles, 2008). The purpose of arts-informed inquiry is for art (be it literary, visual or performance) to inform processes and representations of scholarly inquiry. As such, the relationship between the purpose of the research (related to knowledge advancement) and the developing competence of the chosen art form is crucial. In arts-informed inquiry we see ‘form to inform’ (Eisner, 1981) becoming the central defining element.
Keywords: Arts-Informed Inquiry, Research Approach, Art Form, Theory, Methodology
Dr. Denise Stanley
Associate Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney