Responsive Inquiry: Employing a Musical Metaphor to Conceptualize an Arts-Based Research Strategy for the Electronic Field

In: Perspectives on Arts Education Research in Canada, Volume 1


This chapter formulates an alternate approach to seeking knowledge based on a melding of oral and literate traditions with that of the technologies of the electronic field. Patterns of Western thinking characterized by objectivity, the separation of parts into wholes, and the organization of hierarchical structures can no longer operate in isolation from the realities of the modem age. The electronic field has created a global village where many of the traits of oral cultures have resurfaced, such as immediacy, spontaneity and holism that have created a new dynamic in the workplace and in our nation’s schools. In our research, we need to ensure that we produce new knowledge through systematic inquiry that is both relevant to practitioners and significant for the development of the education profession in a changing and dynamic world. Responsive inquiry offers the potential for addressing this need. This research strategy operates at a meta-cognitive level and re-conceptualizes the multi-dimensional as a unified whole. It offers researchers a coherent method to respond to educational challenges and impact on the field in a significant way.