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Durham e-Theses
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“Bringing the Apple and Holding Up the Mirror- A Qualitative Study of Student Engagement in Visual Art and the Navigation of Liminal Space and Transformation”

RAVENSTAHL, MATTHEW,JOHN (2018) “Bringing the Apple and Holding Up the Mirror- A Qualitative Study of Student Engagement in Visual Art and the Navigation of Liminal Space and Transformation”. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



of Liminal Space and Transformation”
The thesis focuses upon the Threshold Concept theoretical framework and Transformative Theory as a means to consider the visual art making process. Constructs within the threshold literature that are highly relevant begins with the navigation of liminal space and interrelationships between the affective and cognitive dimensions. The study identifies the dialogic element of threshold concepts, as well as semiotic theory as integral to the visual arts and the navigation of liminal space and resulting transformations. The threshold concept theoretical framework and semiotic theory informs the epistemic nature of the art making process and the understanding of art making as a vehicle for navigating the liminal space.
The thesis employs qualitative methods as a form of participant interviewing and action research that represent case studies of Rene, Aline and Jayden. The data collection uses the organic deadlines and assessment procedures of the IB visual art curriculum. Therefore, the data consists of art portfolios, written statements and sketchbook excerpts, as well as two interviews with each participant. One interview is part of the IB assessment and the second takes place after the IB assessments are over. Thematic analysis of the interviews provides larger themes and sub-themes by employing a process of segmenting. I have conceptualised larger themes and sub-themes to delve more deeply into the experiences of the young women and their respective liminal journey.
The thesis documents the liminal journey of these young women as a basis for reflection upon the art making process. A point of departure for this research is to challenge the assumption that all forms of art education result in the development of critical thinking and self-expression. Many art learning environments are as prescribed and restrictive as any academic class, reducing art to exercises in technical skill. The Threshold Concept framework and the case studies documenting the liminal journey highlight important considerations for the role of art education in schools and the domain of education.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:Threshold Concepts, Tranformative Theory, Liminal Space, Visual Art, Semiotic Pedagogy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Dec 2018 08:34

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