1st Edition

Arts-based Research Methods for Educational Researchers

By Meng Tian Copyright 2023
    96 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Arts-Based Research Methods for Educational Researchers is a book for early-career and established scholars who aim to use the arts to spark new ideas and empower participants in educational research. It will allow readers to conduct arts-based research in their own projects.

    The book starts with a brief history of the arts in research, going on to provide an in-depth understanding of the philosophical foundations of arts-based research — different research designs, material preparation, ethical considerations, data collection, analysis and reporting. Chapters highlight the impact of arts-based research, how it can be used to facilitate positive changes in educational research, practice, and policymaking. Tian suggests avenues for those who want to further develop these methods, guiding readers to reflect on their positionality and ethical issues involved in the research process.

    This insightful book is ideal for early career and experienced educational researchers who use qualitative methods in their inquiries. It offers a reader-friendly guide to methodology for scholars, educators as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students.

    1. A New Way of Seeing and Conducting Educational Research  2. Ontological, Epistemological, and Axiological Foundations  3. Research Designs, Preparation, and Ethical Considerations  4. Research rigour and data collection  5. Reporting, interpreting, and discussing findings  6. Impact of arts-based research methods and controversies surrounding them  7. Future development and conclusion


    Dr Meng Tian is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her interest lies in applying innovative research methods to study complex leadership, power, and social justice issues in education.



    ‘This book offers a passionate and persuasive case for using arts-based research methods in educational research. Filled with many different practical examples it shows how arts-based methods extend the repertoire of research approaches and open new research routes for attending to relationships, affects, bodies and language. In showing how arts-based methods help promote rigour in research, contribute to decolonising knowledge, shift hierarchies of knowledge-power relations, and inform policy making, it makes an important argument for arts-based methods as a form of research activism.’

    Carol A. Taylor, Professor of Higher Education and Gender, University of Bath, UK

    ‘Based on the author’s ‘hands-on’ experience, this book provides a much-needed, accessible text on the power and possibilities of arts-based methods. It explores their transformative potential and how they can facilitate the agency of research participants and reframe power relationships. Whilst shining a light on the value of arts-based methods, Dr Tian does not shy away from exploring controversies and risks that researchers need to be aware of in using these methods. The result is an invaluable text for those new to and for those experienced in arts-based methods.’

    Philip A. Woods, Professor of Educational Policy, Democracy and Leadership, University of Hertfordshire, UK

    ‘Exactly the kind of critically oriented, unique, and insightful book that set the stage for Art-based Research Methods for Educational Researchers grounded on enriching articulation of both ontology, epistemology, and vast research close-to-practice in using this methodology as a form of advocacy and activism. This deep, comprehensive, solid, and thorough foundational book is highly recommended for instructors, postgraduate students, and practitioners alike for a deeper understanding and use of art-based educational research.’

    Khalid Arar, Professor of Education and Community Leadership, Texas State University, USA.