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The Higher Education Teaching Research Nexus Episode#5: Learning by Doing – practice-led research and pedagogy

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Version 3 2022-10-19, 00:41
Version 2 2022-10-19, 00:37
Version 1 2022-10-16, 23:45
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posted on 2022-10-19, 00:41 authored by ELLIOTT GYGERELLIOTT GYGER, Thomas CochraneThomas Cochrane, Christopher DeneenChristopher Deneen, GARY CAZALETGARY CAZALET, CHANTAL MORTONCHANTAL MORTON, KATE TREGLOANKATE TREGLOAN, GAVIN BUSKESGAVIN BUSKES

“Learning by Doing – practice-led research and pedagogy” 

Discussion led by A/Prof Elliott Gyger, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music from a performing and creative arts practice background and how it applies in other fields.

Prompts:

1.  There is a dichotomy in many aspects of tertiary teaching between imparting disciplinary knowledge and skills, and fostering individual research inquiry.  These two complementary tasks may sometimes be attempted within one subject or course, but are often separated – perhaps most clearly in the division between postgraduate coursework degrees and research degrees.  Is practice-led research one possible way to bridge this division?

2.  Creative practice in the arts (and presumably other disciplines) may be analysed as a process with several stages:
– development of concept
– making (including writing, designing, building, editing, rehearsal, etc.)
– the outcome (artwork) itself, whether as artefact or action (performance) or both
– reception, evaluation, impact
Which stages of this process can be the focus of practice-led research and teaching? Where exactly does the research element reside – in the practice itself, or reflection upon it? And how do these parallel activities in other forms of research?

3.  Is the inherent subjectivity in practice-led research a dangerous flaw or a distinctive strength? How is this acknowledged in practice-led teaching? 

Some background reading:

David Gauntlett – “What is practice-based research?”

(blog, 26 March 2021)

https://davidgauntlett.com/research-practice/what-is-practice-based-research/

(an informal, conversation-style introduction to the topic, and a good place to start)

Lelia Green – “Recognising practice-led research … at last!” 

(Hatched 07 Arts Research Symposium, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, April 2007)

http://www.pica.org.au/__oldsite_2011/downloads/141/L_Green.pdf

(a brief reflection on the implications of changes to Australian government policy around the definitions of research)

Andrew McNamara – “Six rules for practice-led research”
TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs, 2012(S14), pp. 1-15

https://eprints.qut.edu.au/54808/15/McNamara.PLR.pdf

(a more skeptical evaluation of potential pitfalls in practice-led research methods, especially as applied by and for research students)

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