About Arts-Based Methodology
In Dr. Paul Hart’ class about research methodology yesterday, I just encountered the comparatively new arts-based methodology and was wondering how to transcribe visual data for further analyzing. When I started to read the assigned paper of Immigrant parent–child interactional dance duets during shared art-making experiences, I found that it’s just a very good example for me to study. In addition to get a clear understanding about the whole research process and the findings and reflections, for me, this article is a very neat and decent research article with a format that I can follow and think how I can develop my paper after doing a research.
Arts-based methodology has an advantage that the same data can be used for interdisciplinary research. When I was reading the discussion, I came to think that the different child-parent interaction patterns can also be explained by communication and psychology, or other disciplines. Then I read to the last sentence goes like:”The discussion about the intersubjective openness of the mind as expressed in the instances of attunement, mirroring synchronicity and turn-taking, and evidenced in the patterns of parent–child interactions described here, adds to the growing body of literature on multiple ways of being and learning imbedded in the landscape of space and cultural meaning.”(p.47) BRAVO!!
In this research, the art-making workshop was recorded to videos and photos. Every small body or facial action is captured. It was so vivid when reading and my imagination was aroused during the reading experience. The mirroring pattern and synchronicity pattern are something that usually happen, however, the research gives them a “distancing effect”. This research revealed a dynamic process of child-parent interaction and it went beyond what was seen as an ending picture. During this dynamic process, we could definitely feel the unseen part must be the deeper cause and we couldn’t help to think about what was it. Then it comes to my second point.
The discussion part made strong points with a comparative educational perspective.
This research applies materials instead of language to mediate involvements to avoid a western, white, middle class dominant mode of preschool activities. Participants with diverse cultural and educational backgrounds performed naturally in these situations and revealed their styles of how the parent and child get along with each other.
Not every family is use a western way. As I lived with a western, white, middle class family of two lovely daughters, every time I feel different when I step into a Chinese immigrant family which also has two girls. Everyday I hear dialogues like
“-Dad, come here! – How about you come here!”
“Where is my hugs and kisses?”
“Go play in your room! Papa need to play this video game!”
“-I love you! -I love you, too.”
Those ways of communication illustrate the cited Rogoff’s summarize in the paper that “In Euro-American families, interactions are individualised and dyadic and, even in
large group situations, are largely verbal and face-to-face. The face-to-face interactions
preferred in Western families resemble and support the back-and-forth sparring of a
verbal dialogue (Rogoff 1990).” (p.46)
This is different from my culture. A picture came into my mind as when I was young, my parents taught me how to write characters. Every time I encountered a character that I didn’t know how to write and ask for help, my father or mother might walk to my back and use his or her right hand hold my right hand and started to write. I think I can still recall my feeling when this motion happened since it happened frequently during my childhood- a big hand surround my hand and a stream of warmness started from my hand to my whole body. Although there is not much talk between my parents and I, I still feel their love, care and guidance to me.
I think my experience mentioned above illustrate the Rogoff’s understanding of non-European cultures. “In many non-European cultures, consistent with an orientation to the group, people are more likely to interact with multiple partners, often in embodied ways, and these encounters are usually side-by-side or more distant. ” I am not used to say “I love you”directly, I feel natural to tell my parents “Be careful of the changing weather” “Go to bed early” “Don’t worry about me” to express my care. Chinese parents, I think, is apt to either yield to or directly command their children.
I feel true with the body and eye contact comparison. It’s very interesting to read Rogoff’s comparison which jumps out of the American-European frame and examines different cultures with understanding instead of taken-for-granted critics.