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Research Network for Arts Based Learning & Education (nABLE)

Research network for Arts Based Learning & Education (n-ABLE)

What is Arts Based Learning & Education?

nABLE begins with the premise that creativity is a universal human capacity that can be nurtured and cultivated through artful doing and making. We are all creative and we can all ‘do art’, even this is manifested across a huge variety of contexts. Contrary to popular belief, art is not only something done by those we call artists; it is, or can be a mode of practice available to all of us. Arts Based Learning & Education reclaims creativity, art, artistic practice, artful behaviours, and the arts, in the service of human flourishing. It involves promoting creativity and imagination in Higher Education (especially Arts & Humanities), offering alternative aesthetic forms of knowledge production, and seeking to enable (nABLE) personal and collective transformation and emancipation. 

 For many, both producing and consuming art provides a vital form of reflexive practice, a means of understanding our selves, our relationships with others and with the ‘other’. As such, academic interest in art and the arts should not be confined to any one discipline or field of practice, nor should it be circumscribed by an interest in ‘art for art’s sake’. Arts Based Learning & Education focuses on the role of art and the arts in our lives more generally, asking how our engagement with, and through, them as ‘live inquiry’ might enable us to better understand the world around us in new and valuable ways. Although the developing literature draws a distinction between research carried out by those who are also ‘artists’ in their own right, our approach to this research network is more embracing and inclusive. Arts Based Learning & Education can be undertaken by anyone who is open to the possibility of looking across traditional disciplinary boundaries – whether as artist, researcher, teacher, ‘a/r/tographer’ (Springgay et al, 2008) or ‘scholartist’ (Knowles et al, 2008).

For more information about nABLE please contact Dr Nick Wilson


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