Associate Professor Peter Wright (PhD) is Associate Dean (Research) in the School of Education at Murdoch University working in the areas of Arts Education and Research Methods. He works across the Arts with a commitment to personal, social and cultural inquiry, agency, education and expression, health and wellbeing. His research interests include teaching, learning and healing in, through, and with the Arts; Artistically-based approaches to research; Creativity and Socially Engaged Arts; Drama Education; Applied Theatre; Transformational Learning; Teacher Development in the Arts; and Participatory Arts.
Central to this work is an interest in social justice, social pedagogy, and social inclusion, and the way they are mediated in and through the Arts.
Peter is an active researcher and has a long standing relationship as an evaluator with Big hART, a multiple award winning social impact of the Arts Company. He has contributed to a number of externally funded research projects including funding through National Youth Affairs Research Scheme and The Australian Research Council. He was project director for the Australia Council for the Arts/Department Education Science and Training funded National Review of Education in Visual Arts, Craft, Design and Visual Education. Peter has supervised theses in a range of areas with topics including: the intersection of the arts with religious education and environmental education; graffiti and “legal” walls; performance art as a tool for education, the development of mentor relationships in the training of musicians; arts education and the practicing visual artist; adult learning in the professional theatre; the development of Australian contemporary arts practice; an exploration of bi-cultural identity through the Arts; Indigeneity, Theatre of the Oppressed, and the role of the facilitator in community engagement and development; Musiking and unMusiking in contemporary culture. He recently received an award for International Work in Using the Arts To Advance Human Rights and Social Justice from Fordham University, New York (2011), and the Arts and Health Research Award for Excellence from Arts Health Australia (2010).
Peter is a member of the International Arts Education Research Network (Australia Council for the Arts/UNESCO), and the UNESCO LEA (Links to Education and Art) International Network of Experts in Arts Education. Recently Peter acted as an editor for a special themed issue of Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research on Performative Social Science, a reviewer for Qualitative Inquiry in Education, Issues in Educational Research, the McGill Journal of Education, the E-journal of UNESCO Observatory: Multi-Disciplinary Research in the Arts, the Journal of Communities and the Arts, and Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement.
I think of the Arts, Education and Health as three strands of a braided rope, each giving strength and support to the other in generative ways.
Peter’s current research includes international collaborations with Arts/Health and the Critical Mass coordinated from the Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham University (UK), an international monitoring and assessment project supported by the UNESCO Arts Education chairs based in Germany, Singapore, and Canada, and “Young people and arts practice: impact, evaluation, and the third space. A better way forward” (Australian Research Council).