The exegesis, auto-ethnography and the ethical management of reflective practice in a tertiary setting

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Defining research methodologies within the creative practices has been a controversial and fraught issue throughout Australian tertiary programmes. Academics appropriate existing conceptual theoretical paradigms to greater and lesser degrees; while other academics argue that ‘practice’ itself is the heart of the research, putting practice-led research forward as the discipline’s core methodology. The latter is harder to argue in terms of a government funding model, causing ongoing frustration throughout the Australian academy. Attempting to create a third approach, this paper argues that ‘enactive methodology’ within practice-led and creative higher degree research is also applicable and viable, potentially providing solid models akin to scientifically reproducing ‘results’. Subsequently, this paper also looks briefly at the ethical imperative of supervising students interrogating their own trauma narrative in a tertiary institution, flagging a pedagogical model of ethical supervision. Focussing on written long form trauma narrative through the HDR supervision process, this paper interrogates six enactive methodologies utilised by four students within their creative component, then interrogated in the exegetical component of candidate research constellating notions of: living with an alcoholic parent; death of a parent; child sexual abuse; and life as a child refugee.
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