Citation: Griffin, S. M., Rowsell, J., Winters, K-L., Vietgen, P., McLauchlan, D., & McQueen-Fuentes, G. (2017). A reason to respond: Finding agency through the arts. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 18(25). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v18n25/.
The arts have long been known as a central medium for nurturing artistic expression and aesthetic responses. Notions of arts-based teaching are combined with concepts of literacy and composition, focusing on the fact that these separate fields have the potential for relational meaning making. In this article, three arts-based, qualitative research inquiries are featured within a larger, one-year Community Arts Zone (CAZ) research project involving eight projects across four international sites. Findings from the three inquiries in music, visual arts, and drama highlight that responsive meaning making foregrounds aesthetics to create agentive learning environments. By providing students agency in their artistic expressions, there is the hopeful prospect of working in and across various modes to cultivate meaningful learning experiences.