The American Educational Research Association Annual Conference takes place in April 8- 12, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Join ABER SIG members at our Pre-conference workshop on Thursday April 7, 2011.


Lynn Fels - Educational Insights and the new online journal Media : Culture : Pedagogy 

Morna McDermott - Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy  (focus here is on arts based submissions)

Anniina Suominen Guyas - Journal of Art for Life


2011 ABER SIG Events & Sessions at AERA in New Orleans


ABER Business Meeting

Friday, April 8, 6:15pm – 8:15pm

Building/room: JW Marriott/ Ile do France III

Title: ABER Business Meeting and Dissertation Award

 Guest Speakers: Jana Napoli & Rondell Crier, Carlos & Sharika Neville, New Orleans Artists of the Floodwall Project.

Floodwall restores to us a part of what the levees of New Orleans shattered. A giant sculptural installation of household drawers by artist Jana Napoli, it stands as witness to the magnitude of devastation but equally, to the transformative poser imbued even in the detritus of daily life.

To see the Floodwall Project website go to http://www.floodwall.org/index.php

Respondent: Patrick Slattery (Texas A&M University) & Daniel Barney (Brigham Young University danieltbarney.com)

Chair: Anniina Suominen Guyas (Florida State University)


Joint Arts SIGs Reception. Saturday, April, 9th. 7-9pm

Connect with other Arts SIG members

 Where: 2nd fl. 601 Chartres at the corner of Toulouse in the French Quarter

Chartres House Fleur de Lis Room

The building dates back to the early 1700’s and was the residence of Arnaud Roche, his wife and 3 children.  It’s said that Tennessee Williams used to frequent this quaint New Orleans historical bar for cocktails.

Performances and viewing of art by Arts SIG members throughout the evening.

Buffet and cash bar


ABER Sessions & Round Tables (in order of date and time)


Session 1:  

Friday, April 8, 2:15 pm – 3:45 pm (90 minutes)

Building/room – JW Marriott/Maurepas

Session Title: Arts-Based Education Research as Incitement, Invitation and Action: Research from Anthropology, Educational Philosophy, Theater and Social Foundations


Nancy M. Ares, University of Rochester, The Adolescent Voice in Ethnodrama
Johnny Saldana, Arizona State University, Méconnaissance, Metastasized: Black (Female) Canaries in the Academic Oven
Signithia Fordham, University of Rochester, The Surprising Distance between Two Points
Audrey Thompson, University of Utah, Centering the Lives of Residents in a Community Change Initiative
Session Organizer & Chair:

Nancy M. Ares, University of Rochester,

Discussant:Saldana Johnny.Saldana@asu.edu Arizona State University

 This session brings together scholars from anthropology, educational philosophy, theater, and foundations of education. Our focus is on the ways that social science researchers use arts in varied forms to present or (re)present their work. Connections to social justice using arts-based research to examine, critique, unveil, invite, and incite sharpens the focus and links the session to considering educational research and the public good.
• “How can a piece of research include poetry or sculpture and still be substantive and useful to academic and lay audiences in education [as well as other fields]?” (Cahnmann-Taylor & Siegesmund, 2008, p. 1)
• What do/might these ‘blurred genres’ mean for the ways we engage in research and presentation?
• What about participant and audience roles and meaning-making is important to know and to pursue?
• What are aspects of arts-based educational research that we should consider to ensure both the intellectual, methodological rigor and aesthetic quality?


Round Table 1:

Saturday April 9, 2:15pm – 3:45pm

Building/room: Sheraton/Grand Ballroom D

Title: Uncovering What is Not Easily Visible Through Arts Based Research


M.J. Barrett.  University of Saskatchewan

Paper Title: An Arts-Based Approach to an Old Epistemology: Researching With Animate Earth

Abstract: This paper presentation is part of a larger doctoral study on engaging animism as a way of knowing in academic contexts. It addresses two key questions: 1) How might a researcher intentionally and respectfully engage with animate Earth as a key source of knowledge, and 2) acknowledging that research representation is itself a form of knowledge production, what forms of representation might be congruent with animism? Conceived amidst increasing calls for epistemological diversity in research and a crisis of representation and legitimation in qualitative inquiry, the study extends beyond well-accepted epistemological and ontological assumptions. Using the porosity a multi-media web-based design, the study disrupts the human-nature dualism, one of the primary root causes of pressing environmental devastation.

Nana Osei-Kofi, Iowa State University

Paper Title: Christian Privilege: Making the Invisible Visible

Abstract: Scholarship on social justice in a diverse society has explored religious pluralism both in relation to the broader society and in relation to education. However, religion, or Christianity in particular, and its relationship to privilege and oppression, remains largely unexplored. In this critical photo essay, I work with documentary photography and conceptual photography to engage with the role of Christian privilege in American society and the implications of this privilege on education. Through documentary photography, I discuss visual markers of Christian privilege and their meaning to the aims of creating a democratic education system. Building from these images, I use conceptual photography to represent my analysis of the role of Christian privilege, foregrounding structural realities and interlocking systems of oppression.

Kit Grauer, The University of Alberta; Ruth Beer, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Paper Title: Catch and Release: Mapping Stories of Cultural and Geographic Transitions

Abstract: This presentation explores how research/creation, can engage individuals within museum contexts as informal sites of learning. The paper we will discuss Catch + Release: Mapping Stories of Geographic and Cultural Transition exhibited at the Gulf of Georgia National Historic Site in Steveston, B.C.. It is the first interactive art installation in three year study, funded by a Research/Creation grant (2009-2012) of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This presentation to ask questions surrounding the relationship between art and interactive technology as a means for reflecting on social, cultural, and ecological transitions in a city historically dependant on the fishing industry and explores the possibilities of interactive technology as a pedagogical and artistic tool to promote critical thinking

Chair: Barbara Bickel (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)

Round Table 2:

Sunday April 10:35am – 12:05pm

Building/room: Sheraton/Grand Ballroom A

Title: Cultural and Environmental Issues Utilizing the Arts


Lynn Sanders-Bustle, University of Louisiana - Lafayette

Paper Title: Examining the Role of Artmaking in Service-learning and Socially Just Practice

Abstract: Service-learning programs offer art education students real life opportunities to practice socially just pedagogy in diverse settings (Buffington, 2007; Hutzel, 2007; Jeffers, 2005; Author, 2010; Taylor & Ballengee, 2004). In this qualitative study a university art educator examines the art works of four art education students to better understand the role that artmaking played in their understanding of 2009 service learning experiences at a local outreach center for the homeless. Data includes interview transcripts and students’ artists’ statements, reflective journal entries, and artworks. Preliminary findings suggest that artmaking processes revealed unique creative trajectories that differed in creative sequence, influences of outside imagery elements of visual culture and the extent to which students negotiated the relationship between themselves and the clients.

Laurel Marie Hart, Concordia University

Paper Title: Life As They Know It: Second-Generation Canadian Teens Employ Photography in Cross-Cultural Explorations of Identity

Abstract: A first hand action-research account of one art educator’s experience teaching photography to teens for personal aesthetic development and identity formation within a cross-cultural, oral history, and community art program. The application of revisionary action research cycles together with subjects of culture and identity resulted in an empathetic teaching approach. The strategy practiced is teacher-learner collaboration, where students co-create curriculum and retain the freedom to create and present material of their choosing. For the teacher-researcher, this collaboration resulted in the exploration of pertinent research topics according to the youth-participant's direction. Key results include: valuing an “art for art’s sake” application of photography within cross-cultural research, and, appreciating the complexity of identity for new immigrants and second generation Canadians.

Reesa Sorin, James Cook University; Iain Gordon, CSIRO

Paper Title: Postcards of the Landscape - researching children's perceptions of the environment through the Arts

Abstract: Australia holds some of the most unique, diverse and vulnerable ecosystems in the world. To sustain them it is essential that young children, the future adults of Australia, have an informed knowledge of the role, value and function of the country’s environment. To ensure that we as educators are helping young children understand the natural environment we must first determine children's current perceptions of it.

This research trialed a number of different arts-based data collection processes to determine children's perceptions, finally selecting a "Postcards" approach, which involves drawing, storytelling and drama, to determining children's perceptions of the environment. This paper describes the evolution of the data collection process as well as some of the findings.

Chair: Anniina Suominen Guyas (Florida State University)


Session 2:

Monday, April 11 – 10:35am – 12:05pm (90 minutes)

Building/room: JW Mariott/Maurepas

Session Title: Trans/Relating through Arts Based Educational Research in Formal and Informal Environments


Diana Conrad, The University of Alberta

Paper Title:  Athabasca’s Going Unmanned: An Ethnodrama about Applied Theatre Research with Incarcerated Youth

Abstract: Based on three years of weekly visits to a youth corrections centre in Alberta, Canada, facilitating an applied theatre program with youth, I wrote an ethnodrama entitled Athabasca’s Going Unmanned. The participatory arts-based research with incarcerated youth asked how applied theatre practices could help youth avoid future negative outcomes of their “at-risk” behaviours. The study sought possibilities for change in the lives of the youth while problematizing institutionalized practices. I found that participation in and expression through applied theatre and arts-based practices, along with the relationships developed through the process, could contribute positively to the lives of youth and open spaces for social transformation. Dramatic readings from the play script and a video expert from its production will be shared.

Pauline Sameshima, Washington State University; Roxanne Vandermause, Washington State University; Carrie Holliday Santucci, Gonzaga University

Paper Title:  Coding and Analysis Strategies in Arts Based Research

Abstract: The purpose of this transmethodological presentation is to inspire educators to think about new ways to approach complex research data in terms of pedagogical and reparative perspectives and to share the methodological procedure for interpreting, coding and analyzing arts based research used in this empirical study. The example provided is based on a curriculum development project on women and addiction. Educators, qualitative or mixed-methods researchers interested in multi-disciplinary team methodological design may find this presentation of interest. The project goals are to stimulate thinking about relevant preventive interventions, raise awareness about addiction among diverse groups, and extend arts-based research methodological practices.


Miriam Hirsch, Yeshiva University

Paper Title: Co-constructing Imaginative Spaces: Public Art Pedagogy in Preservice Teacher Education

Abstract: This documentary account explores the potential of public art pedagogy to co-construct imaginative spaces in preservice teacher education. Based upon a collaborative venture between two professors and an arts based educational organization, this research describes and analyzes key features and relations that were influential in transforming the response of a resistant professor and students. Using arts-based educational research methodology (Barone & Eisner, 2006), this research finds that at least five thematic ingredients were influential in designing a set of educational experiences with public art that promoted the generation of imaginative inquiry in teacher education: A base of trust, a naturalistic encounter, the need to shake-it up, planning for jolts of awareness, and a longer shelf-life.

Chair: Barbara Bickel (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)

Discussant: Gene Diaz  (Lesley University)


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