Traversing Theory and Transgressing Academic Discourses
Arts-based Research in Teacher Education
Deakin University, Australia
RMIT University, Australia
Citation: Dixon, M., & Senior, K. (2009). Traversing theory and transgressing academic discourses: Arts-based research in teacher education. International Journal of
Education & the Arts, 10(24). Retrieved [date] from http://www.ijea.org/v10n24/.
Pre-service teacher education is marked by linear and sequential programming
which offers a plethora of strategies and methods (Cochran-Smith & Zeichner,
2005; Darling Hammond & Bransford, 2005; Grant & Zeichner, 1997). This
paper emerges from a three year study within a core education subject in preservice
teacher education in Australia. This 'practitioner' research (Zeichner,
1999) engaged the problematics of authentic and meaningful learner-centred
teaching and learning through an arts-based curriculum. Over the period of the
study, two hundred and eighty pre-service teachers participated in a 'dialogical
performance'(Conquergood, 2003) of pedagogy about curriculum and
assessment through the construction of art about curriculum and assessment.
The possibilities of an arts-based pedagogy in pre-service education were affirmed by the research. An enacted epistemological move by the teachereducators
led to similar shifts by the students. This opened a space for the
reappearance of learner through engagements with identities, positionings and
agency. This was an act of 'putting theory to work' (Lather, 2006, 2007) and
invoked transgressive practices of academic discourses.
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