An Introductory Guide to Aesthetigrams
Mapping Holistic Learning: An Introductory Guide to Aesthetigrams introduces the concept of aesthetigrams. These are participant-produced visual maps of aesthetic engagement. The map-making strategy was originally developed by one of the authors, Boyd White, to assist him in understanding what his university-level students were experiencing as they interacted with artworks. Such interactions are, after all, private, individualistic, and fleeting. How can a teacher foster student/teacher dialogue that might lead to enhanced engagement, much less do research, without a concrete record of such engagement? Aesthetigrams provide that record.
Recently, the strategy has been adapted to other fields of study—the teaching of literature, and philosophy for children, as well as the writing of poetry. Boyd White and Amélie Lemieux are persuaded that the strategy could be expanded into other disciplines. For example, might it not be useful for a teacher to know what a student is feeling and thinking as she struggles with a mathematical concept?
Mapping Holistic Learning is divided into three sections. Chapter 1 addresses the theoretical framework that underpins the authors’ research. The second section, Chapters 2 to 5, provides examples of aesthetigram usage within the formal education environment, in art and literature classrooms. The third section, Chapters 6 and 7, introduces two recent experiments in informal settings—one in an adult poetry workshop, the other in a philosophy-for-children workshop. It is not necessary to follow the book in chronological order. Readers are invited to attend to the chapters that most closely address their individual interests.
Chapter Four: Recent Developments: Aesthetigram-Making in the Literature Classroom (Amélie Lemieux)
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Aesthetigram-Making in the Literature Classroom
Acknowledgement: I would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for supporting the research presented in this chapter.
As we saw in earlier chapters, our epistemological stance is phenomenology based. It derives from phenomenological hermeneutics, on the premise that phenomenological accounts always precede any hermeneutical mediation (Ricoeur, 1981, 1992; Van Manen, 1990, 2014). We have previously written articles on the scope of phenomenology in addressing aesthetic experiences in visual art and museology (White, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014) and literature (Lemieux, 2015; Lemieux & Lacelle, 2016). In this chapter, we frame this epistemology through the documentation of case studies showing three high school students’ responses to literature, as documented in their aesthetigrams, ekphrastic poetry writings, and other response-induced questionnaires.
AESTHETIGRAM-MAKING IN LITERATURE CLASSES
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