Ardra L. Cole is a Professor of Creative Inquiry and Adult Learning within the Program of Adult Education and Community Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. She is also a Co-directors of the Centre for Arts-informed Research (CAIR) in the Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology.
Ardra has published extensively on life history, reflexive, and arts-informed research as well as in the area of teacher education and development. Her co-authored books include: Through Preservice Teachers' Eyes: Exploring Field Experiences through Narrative and Inquiry (Macmillan); Researching Teaching: Exploring Teacher Development through Reflexive Inquiry (Allyn & Bacon); The Heart of the Matter: Teacher Educators and Teacher Education Reform (Caddo Gap Press); and Lives in Context: The Art of Life History Research (AltaMira Press). They are co-editors of The Arts-informed Inquiry Series (Series Editor, J. Gary Knowles) which includes: The Art of Writing Inquiry (2001); Provoked by Art (2004); The Art of Visual Inquiry (2007); and Creating Scholartistry (2007) (Backalong Books and CAIR),
Ardra has helped many graduate students complete arts-informed doctoral and Master's degree theses. Graduates furnished work embodying poetic, fictional, performative, and visual arts inquiry processes and forms in addressing educational and social issues. Ardra, along with others, created several installations portraying life in the academy (Living in Paradox) that were installed in numerous professional / research conferences and institutions.
Ardra has published extensively in conventional and non-conventional academic prose and in alternative, scholarly, non-print media throughout her career as a teacher educator and qualitative research methodologist. Ardra's ongoing research (with Maura McIntyre) on care and caregiving and Alzheimer's disease involves multi-media installation-Living and Dying with Dignity: The Alzheimer's Project, performance-Love Stories about Caregiving and Alzheimer's Disease, and the World Wide Web-Putting Care on the Map (www.oise.utoronto.ca/research/mappingcare). Her current writing projects include a series of research-based novellas about the teacher education professoriate, But I Want to make a Difference and Of Dogs and Dissertations: Notes on Writing and Life. As she moves through life in the company of dogs, Ardra continues to learn about the meaning of love, loyalty, and living in the moment.