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2014 KoSEA conference Art Education Research Method

Subtheme (1) Qualitative Research Methods in Art Education

Tom Ollieuz

TITLE: Methods for the research of Arts education practices in schools

Is Educational Design Research the Holy Grail for researchers who have a strong focus on the practice
of teachers? Can the methods of action research still be useful? Is statistical triangulation absolutely
necessary to do serious research?

The Belgian Artevelde University College Ghent (Bachelor of Pre-school Education and Bachelor of
Secondary Education) teamed with University of Ghent (Department of Educational Studies) and
School of Arts (The Royal Academy of Fine Arts). They ran a two-year project on Arts Education in
Flemish schools, called ARTATOUILLE. Not only were there conclusions for the main research topics,
but also a serious amount of methodological experiences, worth sharing with other researchers.

Findings for the main research topics:
The teachers involved in nursery, primary and secondary education, see arts and cultural
education as a way to meet goals of the highest order to work in the social, cognitive,
affective and metacognitive field. The psychomotor domain is significantly underrepresented
in the goals set out by the teachers.

The process of identity development through arts and cultural education is characterized by
the key concepts of creativity, diversity and domain-general processes. The learning of arts
and cultural education is determined by the medium, the symbol of the problem, the tension
between corporeality and intentionality, product and reflection. The teacher should be
focused on these processes. He or she evaluates primarily formative.

Literacy can be described as the tool by which we can participate in culture. The definition of
literacy is related to the developments in the media. Today we need multi-literacies because
globalization confronts us with multiple languages, texts and stories, and because digitization
creates a variety of media that reach us through their carriers. Both oral and writing
cultures, both verbal and image cultures can develop complex literacies. The task of
education is to make young people multi-literate in order to survive this complexity. Arts
education is a strong tool for that task.

In this session, we take a closer look at how the research methodology combined elements of both
Educational Design Research and Action Research, and we discuss how qualitative research in the
field of Arts Education can have its place in the world of scientific research.

Keywords: research methodology, educational design research, teachers, arts education, training,
professional needs