Arts-based research is an approach to curriculum inquiry that looks to the arts instead of to the social sciences for its investigational and representational strategies and its epistemological premises. This form of inquiry has been used to explore a wide range of curriculum commonplaces, such as curriculum guides, textbooks, and other materials; elements of the hidden curriculum; the curriculum-in-use; and so forth. This entry focuses on the term's origins: its growth in acceptance; forms of arts employed by arts-based researchers in curriculum studies; and the premises, purposes, and design elements associated with this form of curriculum evaluation and research.

Origins and Growing Legitimacy

The term arts-based research was coined by Elliot Eisner of Stanford University in the 1990s. It has an antecedent in Eisner's earlier notion of ...

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