Researchers under the spell of the arts: Two decades of using arts-based methods in community-based inquiry with vulnerable populations
Sara Coemans, Laboratory for Education and Society, Belgium ; Karin Hannes, Social Research Methodology Group, Belgium
Educational Research Review Volume 22, Number 1, ISSN 1747-938X Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
In the last decade, we have witnessed a growing number of published articles featuring arts-based methods. These methods have been picked up by researchers interested in education in, through and for communities. This scoping review focuses on the use of arts-based methods in community-based research. It was undertaken to provide an overview of how these methods are applied in research practice. Different databases were systematically searched, covering literature published over twenty years (1993–2013). We identified different types of arts-based methods. We described the reported rationales, benefits and limitations, and presented a definition of arts-based methods as used in community-based inquiry. Four challenges were reported: the need to support researchers to explore alternative analytical approaches, the need for methodological reflections, the need to reflect on the voice-component in this work, and the need to push the boundaries of what counts as ‘the’ academic standard. Despite the challenges involved in working on the thin line between art and research, the learning curve it creates for researchers, its value in terms of creating understanding and its capacity to engage participants makes it a worthwhile endeavor to invest in.
Coemans, S. & Hannes, K. (2017). Researchers under the spell of the arts: Two decades of using arts-based methods in community-based inquiry with vulnerable populations. Educational Research Review, 22(1), 34-49. Elsevier Ltd.