Touching the inexplicable: Poetry as Transformative Inquiry


  • Michele Tanaka University of Victoria
  • Vanessa Tse University of Victoria


Transformative Inquiry, poetic inquiry, teacher education


Educators must attend carefully to personal beliefs in order to lessen the perpetuation of harmful norms occurring in schools and schooling. Our purpose here is to focus on how a particular process of creating poetry influences disruptive encounters, such as homophobia and privilege, thus working to change long held patterned ways of knowing. The type of poetry described is rooted in the philosophy of Transformative Inquiry (TI). Where poems are not pat answers, but unravelings and reweavings of enduring educational concerns. In poetry we see an elixir of mystery and certainty, a powerful orienting towards the pain of others: we are changed, and in turn, we change our teaching. TI poetry is a powerful act, permeating the boundary between professional and personal, calling forth the textures of being which sculpt our dispositions both in life and in practice so that educators may respond with integrity to the needs of students.



Author Biographies

Michele Tanaka, University of Victoria

Assistant Professor

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Vanessa Tse, University of Victoria

MA student

Department of Curriculum and Instruction