Acknowledging the power relations at play between researcher and participant is an essential element in ‘doing’ inclusive education research. This provides a starting point for recognising the difficulties in employing biographical approaches where reinterpretation of the personal can provide a powerful context for reading the implications of inclusive and exclusive educational practices. Taking a researcher/participant joint reading of a research text, this paper examines the ways in which our understandings of inclusionary/exclusionary educational experiences are made and re-made in light of particular power relations. Drawing on Paulo Freire’s notion of ‘praxis’, the paper employs a dialogic approach where talk, reflection and action take the potentially inert research text and render it useful. What emerged from a joint or ‘dialogic’ reading was a reaffirmation of principal concerns about engagement with learning in relation to literacy that had been masked by an original emphasis on research questions relating to drawing practices and exclusive approaches to art education. Emerging from this reflection is an exploration of the links between literacybased educational experience and art education as a peripheral yet inclusive environment. The paper concludes with an exploration of the possibility for ‘action’ where biographical experiences of education are brought back into an educational context to create challenging and potentially transformative experiences.
- art education