Tag Archives: VAP

On: Eisner`s Tensions

Eisners first discussions on what tension is, especially related to "The Artist" is (Eisner, pg. 17) felt every time I create something I deem valuable. It is that "psychological state that creates a feeling of mild discomfort, a feeling that can be temporarily relieved through inquiry" (pg. 17). I am however not sure if that state of discomfort comes from my own judgement or the awareness of how others may judge my work. Eisner does also mention this question in his writing. I watch my student create, step back  to reflect (still in a state of self-confidence) and then suddenly become of aware of the others, "what will the others think?"  Keeping students in a state of mind where I am working only with their own reflections is quite difficult especially when they are still to young to separate from their parents` idea of aesthetics.  This "distinguishing feature of arts-based research...uses aesthetic qualities to shed light on the educational situations we care about" (pg. 22) and opens the doors to discuss multitudes of perspectives with students. Getting students to suddenly ask "why" means getting students to care. To teach children to honestly and openly care is intriguing.  However there is a danger element, one that Eisner warns us about. There are the other elements in the educational equation that would rather have answers than a good question (pg. 22). "Changing perspective on how we see and interpret the world" (pg. 26) can be extremely uncomfortable for people who fear change or who prefer the comfort of an unchanging answer. I have found in arts research the kindergarten class is still very open to multitudes of perspectives, however the older the student the more difficult it is to see in several dimensions. As artist we live this way, practice this way and it seems natural, for others it can be painful and I think it is important to be sensitive of this as an Arts-Based Researcher. Eisner, E. 2008. Persistent Tensions in Arts-Based Research. In: Siegesmund, R. and Cahnmann-Taylor, M. eds. 2008. Arts-Based Research in Education. New York: Taylor & Francis, pp. 16-27.
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