How to train your research dragon: balancing creativity and chaos in innovative qualitative research
  • Room 305, Rolle Building

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Today's seminar speaker is Professor Bernie Carter, Professor of Children's Nursing, Edge Hill University.

In this seminar we will think about the use of some of the more innovative research methods and what added value, if any, they may bring to qualitative research (from inception of the study through to dissemination and potential impact). In particular, we will consider methods/approaches that are arts/activities-based. As well as looking at the benefits and rewards of using such methods we will explore some of the hidden challenges of adopting these methods and how sometimes a desire for creativity and difference has the potential to result in muddled and mis-shaped data. 

Working qualitatively is already notorious for having boggy places where researchers can get both methodologically lost and occasionally marooned without a clear route map for how to proceed. Working with arts-based approaches can ‘up the ante’. Just as Cressida Cowell’s character Hiccup encountered challenges when training his dragon Toothless in ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, qualitative researchers can face similar challenges, which can require thinking out of the box, adapting existing approaches, and thinking through the consequences. Whilst it is unlikely that arts-based qualitative researchers will face the challenge of being ‘flamed’, getting horribly injured, or dying, the consequences for not being alert are that our data and findings may be horribly compromised and useless.

(Note: Reading or watching or being familiar with ‘How to Train Your Dragon is not essential preparation for this seminar, although it might be the excuse you need to read the book or watch the film.)

About the speaker

Bernie is Professor of Children’s Nursing at Edge Hill University and she is the Director of the Children’s Nursing Research Unit (CNRU) at Alder Hey Children’s NHSFT. Bernie absolutely believes that research is good for the soul. Her research focuses on children and young people whose lives are disrupted by pain, illness, disability, complex health care needs and disadvantage, and the ways in which this affects their parents, brothers and sisters and family life. Much of Bernie’s research is qualitative; in particular her work is narrative, appreciative, participatory and arts/activities-based. In the last couple of years, Bernie has been working with performers and writers as a means of disseminating research findings to the wider public.

This free seminar is open to all. Please register your place via the above link.

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