Below are examples of research questions that typify the major concerns, topics, and foci of the Elliot Eisner SIG. We especially encourage research from emerging scholars and others who seek to invigorate and bring new conceptualizations to the following:

  • What are the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities of creating a culture in which educational criticism and connoisseurship function as a form of evaluation in schools? How could such a school culture be created on local, national, and/or global levels?
  • What kinds of aesthetic experiences are had in schools, and how do they influence engagement, imagination, and meaning-making for students and teachers? How might educators foster aesthetic experiences to enhance learning in various content areas?
  • Eisner pointed out that curriculum should invoke "multiple forms of representation."  Are such forms of representation equal in importance? Should one teach toward the strengths or weaknesses of students?  How might a balance be achieved? Are there times in which a form of representation is simply irrelevant? How does attention to various forms influence the intended, operational, and received curriculum?
  • How do CCSS (Common Core State Standards) influence the intended, operational, and received curriculum of schools in urban and rural communities? When viewed through the lens of Eisner's school ecology, how do CCSS affect the totality of schooling?
  • Eisner presented educational connoisseurship and criticism as involving dimensions of description, interpretation, evaluation, and thematics.  Some researchers have taken artistic license within this method and replaced verbal description with other forms of representation such as photographs, installation art exhibits, and surveys.  How do the processes of interpretation, evaluation, and thematics vary across forms of representation? Further, how are the processes of Eisner's qualitative inquiry amended when utilizing such varied forms in data collection and analysis?
  • Eisner's ideas lead toward two opposing interests in art education: an integrated approach to art education and discipline based art education.  How might these two approaches be reconciled using Eisner's ideas as an over-arching framework?
  • Eisner stated that "practical judgment based on ineffable forms of understanding should not be regarded as irrational.  Such judgment might reflect the highest forms of human rationality."  By "ineffable" did he simply mean inexpressible in propositional language? Or inexpressible per se?
  • How might we reconcile Eisner's empirical conceptions of reality and representation with other metaphysical and philosophical perspectives?