Eisner SIG Newsletter

Spring 2016

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Elliot Eisner SIG

The purpose of the Eisner SIG is to promote scholarship that applies, extends, critiques, and reinvents Eisner's scholarly contributions and core principles towards the overarching aim of school improvement.
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Message from the SIG Chair

Dear Eisner SIG Members,

The program for the 2016 AERA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. is now online and our sessions can be found below. I think you will agree with me that each presentation looks both timely and thought-provoking. Also, note that the Eisner SIG is excited to be featuring Dr. Joel Westheimer at our business meeting. He is University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa. He is also the education columnist for CBC radio's Ottawa Morning and Ottawa Today shows. His latest book is What Kind of Citizen? Educating Our Children for the Common Good. To learn more about Westheimer, please visit joelwestheimer.org or follow him @joelwestheimer.

Additionally, there will be an annual Arts SIGs’ Reception, which the Elliot Eisner SIG is pleased to support. It will be held Sunday, April 10 from 9-11 pm at the Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Court NW, Washington, DC, 20008. For more info, please visit www.hillyerartspace.org.

Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to all of our EE SIG members. I know that each year I look forward to the collegiality and revitalization that I find at the AERA Annual Meeting. What’s great about our EE SIG is that I can find perspectives and people that matter to me greatly all in one organizational place. You each bring fresh, insightful, and eclectic ideas, as well as energetic leadership, to our larger educational landscape. Learning from you helps me become a better educator. I’m sure that many of you feel similarly, and if so, let’s all strive to bring more people into our fold. Please spread the word about our SIG!

I look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C.

Best Wishes,

Bruce Uhrmacher

Professor of Research Methods and Education

Morgridge College of Education

University of Denver

Eisner SIG Chair

Eisner SIG Sessions:

Saturday, April 9, 2016

2:15-3:45 pm: Eisner in Perspective: An Eclectic Imagination for Contemporary Education,

Roundtable Session, Convention Center Level Two, Exhibit Hall D, Section A

Presenters: Kathryn L. Shively, Ball State University; Aaron Samuel Zimmerman, Michigan State University; Derek Gottlieb, University of Basel; Valerie J. Janesick, University of South Florida. Chair: Christy M. Moroye, University of Northern Colorado

6:15-7:45 pm: Elliot Eisner SIG Business Meeting featuring Dr. Joel Westheimer,

Convention Center Level One, Room 159A

Sunday, April 10, 2016

10:35-12:05 pm: Eisner in Mind: Fresh Perspective on Inquiry and Education,

Paper Session, Convention Center Level One, Room 153

Presenters: Liora Bresler and Kimber J. Andrews, University of Illinois; Miriam Leah Gamliel and Laya Salomon, Yeshiva University; Merrie Koester, University of South Carolina; Jehanne Beaton, University of Minnesota; Erica Rosenfeld Halverson, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Chair: Bruce Uhrmacher, University of Denver; Discussant: David J. Flinders, Indiana University

The Eisner SIG welcomes Joel Westheimer

Saturday, April 9

6:15-7:45 pm

Convention Center Level One, 159A

Washington, D.C.

Poetry Matters

By Valerie J. Janesick

University of South Florida

Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. ~Carl Sandburg, Poetry Considered

I am introducing this new column to our newsletter to bring something of the beautiful to our SIG readers, a reminder of Elliot Eisner’s appreciation of the arts and the beauty they bring to our everyday lives. I use poetry with my students in all classes and I am including here my own poetry, and poems from current and former students. Since Aristotle argued that poetry is truer than history, writers have been using poetry to depict life as we experience it. For me as a qualitative researcher, I have been thinking about ways to use interview transcripts and other written words in new ways. Because poetry may capture the miraculous, the surprising and the essence of everyday life, why not use poetry to represent that interview data, data from the researcher ‘s journal, and other texts such as emails, Facebook posts, etc.? Poetry uses the words of everyday life and goes further with these words in terms of using metaphor, possibly rhyme, and various rigorous structures, to call our attention to the meaning of life. Poetry is a way to find out what a person means to say. The rhythm, the beat, and the sound of poetry may awaken us to the beautiful in life and makes us tap into our imaginations. I am using Identity poetry and found poetry to find meaning in transcripts and various historical documents in research projects. Identity poetry is useful for researchers to identify their role in the research project and its roots. Found poems are most often poems constructed from interview transcripts and documents and rearranged into a poem. See this example of a found poem from an article about critical pedagogy.

Artistic Pedagogy

By Valerie J. Janesick

Some think that pedagogy critical

Must always be analytical,

But finding metaphors poetic

Can seem almost heretical.

Let’s think about research artistical.

This found poem was created from the TQR website, when The Qualitative Report celebrated it's 25th anniversary online.

Celebrating the Qualitative Report

By Valerie J. Janesick

Making sense of qualitative data

Transforming methodology

25 years of hard work




We rejoice in this time and space.

(January 2015)

See this example of Identity Poetry from doctoral candidate Maggie Saturley.

A Qualitative look at where I am from…

By Maggie Saturley (edited)

University of South Florida Doctoral Candidate

I am from critical friends,

From feedback carousels and sticky notes.

I am from narrative writing and stories.

I am from joining in and knowing the I.

I am from do unto others

As you would do unto me.

I’m from collecting data and making meanings

From themes and constant comparisons.

I am from its clear as mud

To reading between the lines.

…I am from these moments.

Lessons learned in the search for meaning.

Here are some haiku from Assistant Professor, Michigan State University, Dustin DeFelice (2012) who wrote these poems in his dissertation project studying disappearing languages of Mexico. Here he thinks about methodology. Haiku is usually seventeen syllables.

My Study

My super study

Surprises, strengths, savvy and


On Translations


Hmmm, Que Hago- Which to use

I hardly know when.

On Text Analysis

Text Analysis

Cyclical and immersive

Looking for essence.

ABER Preconference: Exploring New Materialism & Arts-Based Research

Thursday, April 7

For more info, please contact:

Richard Siegesmund, ABER SIG Chair

Newsletter Contributions

Would you like to contribute to the next Eisner SIG Newsletter? We'd enjoy hearing how you are applying, extending, and/or reinventing Eisner's scholarship. Please send submissions to Jodie Wilson.
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