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Arts for All: Exploring inclusivity in arts education

There are many shared themes and ideas across the fields of arts-based and inclusive research: the arts have the capacity to connect different communities, provide a means of expression, and promote wellbeing at individual and social levels. Researchers into inclusivity often draw on arts-based methods to promote engagement or capture ideas and perspectives.

In November 2022, the Arts-Based Educational Research and the Inclusive Education special interest groups (SIGs) held a joint webinar, ‘Arts for All: Exploring Inclusivity in Arts Education’. This event brought together the membership and themes of both SIGs to explore how arts education can promote inclusivity. Following the webinar, presenters were invited to contribute to a BERA Blog special issue. This special issue includes contributions from researchers at different career stages, independent researchers and international perspectives. The authors share a vibrant palette of arts-based methods, and explore common themes of voice, identity, expression and inclusion.

This issue’s contributions explore:

  • an inclusive method utilising multiple art forms, which provided a mode of personal creative expression for young participants with special educational needs and disability
  • an action research study on how music education can overcome linguistic barriers and provide a sense of participation and belonging for students whose first language is not English
  • urban street art as a method for exploring voice and identity in young people in alternative education
  • how different musical traditions and practices shape musical learning from an international perspective
  • action research from the University of Kumamoto where students document and celebrate their diversity through a collaborative media project
  • how open-ended play in a creatively engaging environment built confidence and inclusion, and reminds us of the impact on young people of the loss of this kind of creative social interaction during Covid-19 lockdowns.


Profile picture of Adam Hart
Adam Hart, Dr

Lecturer in Music Technology at University of Salford

Dr Adam Hart is a lecturer in music technology at the University of Salford. He has a background in secondary education and audio programming, and his research interests involve digital technology, musical communication and creative pedagogy, and...

Profile picture of Janet Hoskin
Janet Hoskin, Dr

Associate Professor at University of East London

Dr Janet Hoskin is Associate Professor of Education at the University of East London, teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Her research interests include exploring the lives and experiences of disabled children and young people,...

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