Performing Arts-Based Education Research: An Epic Drama of Practice, Precursors Problems and Possibilities

Sanders III, James H.
September 2006
Studies in Art Education;Fall2006, Vol. 48 Issue 1, p89
Academic Journal
Metaphorically and physically structured as a drama in seven scenes, this article characterizes the contested theories, internal tensions, and conflicts across disciplinary practices of arts-based education research (ABER). The drama contributes to the field of art education by providing an overview of ABER theories and the varied manifestations across dance, drama, music, and visual arts disciplines. The author's transdisciplinary review begins by examining risks and challenges that ABER poses to traditional education research. Citing multiple performances, this article illustrates how ABER methodologies are grounded in specific sensibilities, aesthetic traditions, and social commitments. The author imagines 20th-century artists' works that might serve as precursors to contemporary ABER productions and differentiate community-based research performances from object(ive) researching and producing traditions. After examining obstacles arresting ABER's development, the article closes with a discussion of changing academic technological practices impacting ABER's potentialities and offers recommendations for additional research.


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