Language, identity, and relations : We gaze as visual-literacy and arts-based inquiry in teaching

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Boschee, Jana
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
The project discusses and shares the creation of a social fiction, entitled We Gaze, which presents themes and images significant to curriculum and pedagogy surrounding and connecting literacies, identity, and relationship from the point of view of an observer of daily life, a teacher, and a participant in society. This arts-based inquiry is situated between narrative and relational knowing (Clandinin, Murphy, Huber, & Orr, 2010; Knowles & Cole, 2008) researching from within the stories and phenomenon being studied. The multi-modal text interposes a non-verbal vocabulary (Rahn, 2007); addresses identity being tied to missed and mixed messages of words; and amplifies the individual stories and relationships of an ordinary life in the struggle to connect engrossing and separate lifeworlds (van Manen, 1990). Drawing from arts-based and multi-literacies research in education, phenomenological and hermeneutic philosophy, literary and fine arts, some of the truths of being human are explored. These encompass disclosure, honesty, identity, privacy, relatedness, creativity, as well as the life of the text. Included throughout are pedagogical implications of observing and creating artfully. Attending thoughtfully to one’s stories and the stories of others, as revealed in verbal and non-verbal literacies, is critical to fully becoming human. Found within the narratives, images, and poetry, as well as in the intertextual spaces (Sumara, 1995), the inquiry reveals how the vulnerability implicit in sharing text allows for authentic relation with the world.
arts-based inquiry , multiliteracies , life writing , a/r/tographical , artist/researcher/teacher , multi-modal