Toward Connectedness: Aesthetically Based Research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, I suggest that aesthetics is at the heart of both artistic experience and qualitative research, and that artistic processes, in particular, the space surrounding art experiences, can illuminate significant aspects of qualitative research, including data collection, data analysis, and writing. Examining the ways in which the arts provide rich and powerful models for perception, conceptualization, and engagement for both makers and viewers, I highlight their potential to cultivate habits of mind that are directly relevant to the processes and products of qualitative research. I focus on the research goal of empathic understanding which is based on an I-Thou connection within an aesthetic, cognitive/affective space. These dialogical relationships are intensified by the expectation to communicate to an audience, creating a tri-directional relationship. I conclude with reflections on ethical implications for aesthetically based research.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-69
JournalStudies in Art Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006


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