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Collaborative Practical Theology

Engaging Practitioners in Research on Christian Practices

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Henk de Roest

Collaborative Practical Theology documents and analyses research on Christian practices conducted by academic practical theologians in collaboration with practitioners of different kinds in Christian practices all around the world. These practitioners include professional practitioners, everyday believers, volunteers and students in theological education. The book offers rationales for setting up joint investigation groups with different ‘communities of practice’, describes a wide range of collaborative research strategies and methods and also has a clear eye for their limitations. In Christian practices faith is mediated, enacted and nurtured. The aim of the book is to improve the utility of theological research on these practices. It communicates the vision that academic research is for the people of God in today’s world.

Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology

An Evolving 18-year Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists

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Kryssi Staikidis

To expand the possibilities of “doing arts thinking” from a non-Eurocentric view, Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology: An Evolving 18-year Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists is grounded in Indigenous perspectives on arts practice, arts research, and art education. Mentored in painting for eighteen years by two Guatemalan Maya artists, Kryssi Staikidis, a North American painter and art education professor, used both Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies, which involve respectful collaboration, and continuously reexamined her positions as student, artist, and ethnographer searching to redefine and transform the roles of the artist as mentor, historian/activist, ethnographer, and teacher.

The primary purpose of the book is to illuminate the Maya artists as mentors, the collaborative and holistic processes underlying their painting, and the teaching and insights from their studios. These include Imagined Realism, a process excluding rendering from observation, and the fusion of pedagogy and curriculum into a holistic paradigm of decentralized teaching, negotiated curriculum, personal and cultural narrative as thematic content, and the surrounding visual culture and community as text.

The Maya artist as cultural historian creates paintings as platforms of protest and vehicles of cultural transmission, for example, genocide witnessed in paintings as historical evidence. The mentored artist as ethnographer cedes the traditional ethnographic authority of the colonizing stance to the Indigenous expert as partner and mentor, and under this mentorship analyzes its possibilities as decolonizing arts-based qualitative inquiry. For the teacher, Maya world views broaden and integrate arts practice and arts research, inaugurating possibilities to transform arts education.

Critical Collaborative Communities

Academic Writing Partnerships, Groups, and Retreats

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Edited by Nicola Simmons and Ann Singh

Writing comprises a significant proportion of academic staff members’ roles. While academics have been acculturated to the notion of ‘publish or perish,’ they often struggle to find the time to accomplish writing papers and tend to work alone. The result can be a sense of significant stress and isolation around the writing process. Writing partnerships, groups, and retreats help mitigate these challenges and provide significant positive writing experiences for their members.

Critical Collaborative Communities describes diverse examples of partnerships from writing regularly with one or two colleagues to larger groups that meet for a single day, regular writing meetings, or a retreat over several days. While these approaches bring mutual support for members, each is not without its respective challenges. Each chapter outlines an approach to writing partnerships and interrogates its strengths and limitations as well as proposes recommendations for others hoping to implement the practice. Authors in this volume describe how they have built significant trusting relationships that have helped avoid isolation and have led to their self-authorship as academic writers.

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Edited by David Zandvliet

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Kieu Lan Phuong Nguyen, Ho-Wen Chen, Khanh Ly Le and Xuan Hoan Nguyen

Climate Change and Agricultural Production

Hands-on Active Classroom Learning in Estonia

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Margit Säre

Culture and Environment

Weaving New Connections

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David B. Zandvliet

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Patricia Armstrong and Annette Gough