On Methodological Accounts of Improvisation and “Making with” in Science and Music

in Why Science and Art Creativities Matter

Abstract

Donna Haraway calls us to create new ideas and new ways of thinking, and new kinds of stories to think with, because the old ones are failing to address the most pressing issues of our time. Such a shift relies on different concepts of what these terms mean, and creating new tools, concepts and ways of being with people, materials and environments. This chapter thinks with Haraway to explore how doing research differently in one research project (exploring teaching as an improvisatory act with music student teachers) has enabled the researcher to develop different stories about research, the role of a researcher and ultimately the role of a teacher. It challenges three interrelated assumptions about educational research and practice: the dominance of humanism, the linearity of process and the dominance of the linguistic. In their place, it explores research as improvisation, as making with materials, senses and forms. It considers how we can shift from a humanist, abstracted epistemology to a flattened onto-epistemology which focuses attention on being, on the entanglements of humans and materials, and on a pluralist knowing arising from all the senses.

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