Arts-Based Inquiry with Art Educators through American Freeform


  • Jason Cox



arts-education, larp, freeform


In my dissertation, Educational Communities, Arts-Based Inquiry, & Role-Playing: An American Freeform Exploration with Professional & Pre-Service Art Educators, I explored one application of larp as arts-based research. This paper summarizes that experience, and in so doing presents opportunities to researchers interested in pursuing similar goals, methods, and concepts. My research focused on the creation of a community of play formed with professional and pre-service art educators. This community used a series of American freeform games to examine how participants thought and felt about relationships in educational communities, such as schools. Doing so presented an opportunity for embodied reflection and discourse that encouraged a reaching out towards perspectives other than the participants own, which made barriers of understanding within educational settings such as time, location, and social status more permeable. American freeform was
ideal for this purpose because it had few rules, encouraged players to draw on real-life experiences, presented techniques that incorporated both player and character perspectives, and was geared toward a style of play that was culturally appropriate for our
group. The experiences provided a reflexive illustration of our understandings of the systems we occupied in our daily lives, and the techniques seem ripe for application in teacher preparation and development courses. As one participant said, “There is no
textbook, there is no traditional class, that would have provided that learning.”




How to Cite

Cox, J. (2016). Arts-Based Inquiry with Art Educators through American Freeform. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 27–31.