Helle Winther1 & Mathias Sune Berg2
1 Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen,
2 University College Copenhagen
Can children’s creative drawings and pictures be used as empirical data? Can research data be transformed into a concert with live music and song? Can a research film or a lecture be in the form of a theatrical play, a performance or a dance? The answer is yes. Arts-based research (ABR), arts-based educational research (ABER), and Performative Social Science is a creative and innovative research wave which has gained much international impact and attention. This article concerns how creative and artistically-inspired research sources may be used at the Bachelor degree level and in research projects in many fields of education. We describe what arts-based research methods are, and give examples of how poetry, music, dance, drama, visual art, design, and film may be used as creative research methods. We also discuss why it is especially meaningful to include artistically- and esthetically-inspired research methods in both sports education and professional courses of education.
These methods make it possible, in fact, to involve both the hearts, minds, and bodies of children, youth and adults. This then opens a unique possibility to explore the person as body, their sensuality, and their lived experience, which can be difficult to access only through language. This is especially true for research about learning, being, and development processes in sport and movement, or projects, which focus on relational issues.
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HELLE WINTHER is an Associate Professor, Ph.D. in dance and movement psychology at the University of Copenhagen and a trained dance movement psychotherapist. She is also leader of the research group Embodiment, Learning and Social Change, Her research and teaching is focused on dance, dance movement therapy, movement psychology, and The language of the body in professional practiceShe is deeply inspired by arts-based, performative, phenomenological and practice-based research methods. She is also actively involved in research networks within arts-based research methods and Performative Social Science.
MATHIAS SUNE BERG is an Associate Professor, PhD. at the Department of Teacher Education, University College Copenhagen. Mathias teaches Sports and he is a development consultant at University College Copenhagen’s PlayLab, which is part of the National Playful Learning Program. Mathias´ research is focused on teachers´ leadership and children’s self-assessment practices in school as well as arts-based, creative research methods.
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