Finding aesthetic form inside the tome: the doctorate and arts based educational research

Year: 2013

Author: Moss, Julianne, O'Mara, Joanne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In this paper we outline how the elements and forms of arts informed research can be used in doctoral education.  Drawing on Cole and Knowles (2008) interrogation of the elements and forms of arts informed research, we rework their questions and apply them to the Australian model of the Doctor of Philosophy and consider the possibilities for arts based educational research within this model; its impacts on the doctorate itself and our role as supervisors. In the paper we ask:
How can the arts (broadly conceived) inform the doctoral research process?
How can the arts inform the representational form of doctoral research?
What might this mean for us as supervisors?

In our discussion we draw upon our work as researchers and supervisors, and consider Halse's (2011) concept of the ‘supervision as becoming’ (p. 569). Through an analysis of our supervision practices we reframe supervision as becoming in part, beyond a practice of hierarchical relationships and/or becoming as the mirror of the supervisor. Rather, we offer an explanation of research training and credentialing as taking forward a vision of new practices which although they are informed by the arts and arts based practices are however not risk averse. While we agree with Cole and Knowles (2008) to connect the work of the academy with the life and lives of communities through research that is accessible, evocative, embodied, empathic, and provocative is productive, something else is required in these times.  SuperVision, is required both on the part of the candidate and the supervisors and/or supervisory panel to ensure that the PhD is executed in a way that can meet the university requirements and further is enabling of a sustainable career pathway beyond the initial doctoral education.