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Mapping Holistic Learning

An Introductory Guide to Aesthetigrams

Boyd White and Amélie Lemieux

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.


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Chapter Five: Applications with CEGEP (18–20-Year-Old) Students (Amélie Lemieux)


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Applications with CEGEP (18–20-Year-Old) Students


We saw in Chapter 4 that the play and film Incendies were used in a study with high school students. In this chapter, I present the applications of aesthetigram research with post-secondary college (CEGEP) students, who are between 18 and 20 years old.

Acknowledgement: I would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for supporting the research presented in this chapter. This chapter was translated in English by permission of Revue de Recherches en Littératie Médiatique Multimodale (R2LMM), who holds the French rights.

—Amélie Lemieux


Recent studies focusing on students’ subjectivities when interpreting texts have been oriented towards reader phenomenology (Lemieux, 2015; Lemieux & Lacelle, 2016; Lewkowich, 2015, 2016a, 2016b; Pantaleo, 2013; Sauvaire, 2013, 2015). Congruently, a report from the Quebec Ministry of Education has established that teachers had difficulty adopting teaching strategies that (1) stimulated readers’ reactions to text, (2) called for readers’ opinions when they read, and (3) allowed for alternative critiquing of the narrative through the use of “mental images” (Brehm, 2008; Lewkowich, 2015, 2016a, 2016b). Most literature teachers still prefer using traditional methods (Pierce, 1977; Todorov, 1982), a lot of which ← 101 | 102 → have been discussed in a recent special issue published by R2LMM. This chapter continues this discussion, and suggests an alternative to...

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