Research Projects

Maker Literacies and Elementary Education (www.makerliteracies.com)

Goal: Led By Dr. Jennifer Rowsell, we received federal funding (SSHRC Insight, 2017-22) for a research project investigating elementary and high school students' learning processes as they produce digital media with the help of art professionals and digital technology experts.

Process: We started this project in August 2017 and the ongoing focus is the different ways elementary students draw on their narrative imagination to craft comic book stories based on their reception of short stories. We have several multimodal projects lined up until 2020, and we will continue working with elementary school students as well as middle and high school students.

Outcomes for the advancement of knowledge: This research project examines how children interact with stories in order to recreate their own through animated and graphic stories. Adopting new design frameworks and working with artists will help students develop their creative agency and engagement in literacy learning.

Knowledge mobilization:

Lemieux, A., & Rowsell, J. (accepted). Chapter 34: Postcards from the field: Tracking innovation in early childhood digital literacies. In O. Erstad, R. Flewitt, B. Kümmerling-Meibauer, Í. S. Pires Pereira (Eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood. New York: Routledge.

Lemieux, A., & Rowsell, J. (accepted). Digital literacy in Canadian secondary schools. In R. Heydon (Ed.). Bloomsbury Education and Childhood Studies Handbook. London: Bloomsbury.

Presentations

Lemieux, A., & Rowsell, J. (2018, submitted). Making and the possibilities of diverse and open pedagogical thinking. Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada Conference as part of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Regina, SK, May.

Lemieux, A., & Rowsell, J. (2018). Makerspaces, makers’ places: The public ethos of maker culture in education. In Nordquist, B. Sabey, D., Leander, K., Roozen, K., Lemieux, A., & Rowsell, J. American Educational Research Association, New York, NY, April 13-17.

Lemieux, A. (2017). Unleashing youth’s reading engagement practices: Private processes, public participation. Invited presentation for the Social Justice Research Institute, 2017 Junior Scholar Workshop, Brock University, October 10.

Lemieux, A. (2017). Maker literacies. Centre for Multiliteracies Research Day. Brock University, ON, August 18.

Literacy, Multiliteracies, and Aesthetic Experiences

Goal: As principal investigator of this SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier research project, I focus on reading engagement and values awareness accessed through aesthetic encounters with literature. Based on White’s (2007, 2013) work on mapping aesthetic reception, I present the implications of a research strategy for future directions in literacy learning using response-based teaching of literature.

Process: Since 2011, I conducted research on multiliteracy and aesthetic reception in three main research sites:

a)     Greater Montreal Area High School, 108 high school students (grade 11)

b)     Montreal College, 54 CEGEP students (grade 12 & U1)

c)     Montreal High School, 72 high school students (grade 11)

In each research site, I observed patterns of reactions to artworks, I asked students to complete pre- and post-tests tracing their personal literacy habits, and a portfolio comprised of two participant-generated visual maps called aesthetigrams, their accompanying ekphrastic expressions, and short essays aiming to depict differences between chosen artworks.

Data show students’ aesthetigrams and ekphrastic compositions, as well as an overview of their reading habits as elicited in the pre- and post-tests, which together show traces of their unique phenomenological mapping processes and awareness of aesthetic experiences.

Outcomes for the advancement of knowledge: Results emerging from students’ portfolios point to the advancement of their comprehension and reactive abilities to both the film and play. While students’ first aesthetigrams show general moments of response, their subsequent visual maps reveal evidence of a (re)interpretive reading that situates the narrative within the dimensions of expectation, anticipation, and comparison. In addition, ekphrastic poems illustrate further response involvement. Researching the mapped transactions of aesthetic responses impacts curriculum studies insofar as it gives teachers and researchers the opportunity to form engaged readers and viewers. In working with this pedagogical approach, teachers have an opportunity to guide students in discovering multifaceted responses to artworks, thus honing their meaning-making skills.

 Knowledge mobilization I disseminated my research on aesthetic reception and literacy through:

Publications

White, B. & Lemieux, A. (2017). Mapping reactions for holistic learning: An introductory guide to aesthetigrams. New York: Peter Lang.

Lemieux, A. (2017). In-class film-viewing for empathy development in higher education. Canadian Review of Art Education, 43(2).

Lemieux, A. (2016). Moments de réception en lecture et en spectature : Le cas d’Incendies au CEGEP. Revue de recherches en littératie médiatique multimodale (R2LMM), vol. 3, Special Issue, « Digital writing in schools : New textualities, new outcomes ». http://www.litmedmod.ca/moments-de-reception-en-lecture-et-en-spectature-le-cas-dincendies-au-cegep

Lemieux, A., & Lacelle, N. (2016) Approches transactionnelle, subjective, et phénoménologique en didactique de la lecture. Myriades : Revues d’études francophones, 2(1), 14-28. http://cehum.ilch.uminho.pt/myriades/static/volumes/2-2.pdf

McLarnon, M., Wiebe, S., Richardson, P., Balsawer, V., Binder, M., Browning, K., Conrad, D., Fels, L., Gouzouasis, P., Human, A., Kim, A., Leggo, C., Lemieux, A., Mantas, K., Meyer, K., Morelli, S., Nellis, R., Vaudrin-Charette, J. The school bus symposium: A poetic journey of co-created conference space. Art Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 1(1), 141-173. https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/ari/article/view/25543

Lemieux, A. (2015). Think it through: Fostering aesthetic experiences to raise interest in literature at the high school level. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 12(2), 66-93.

Lemieux, A. (2013). Understanding literature through popular culture: A case study of senior high school students’ evolving responses to Quebec literature. Masters Thesis in Education and Society, McGill University. External Examiner: A. Paré (McGill/UBC), Supervisor: B. White (McGill).

Keynotes

Lemieux, A. (2016). Plural transactions: (Re)defining textual relationships with a phenomenological arts-oriented approach. Invited keynote for the 11th International Seminar of the Institut français de l’éducation de l’École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, “Teaching/learning in Arts and Cultural Education: What is precisely at stake?”  Université de Lyon, École Normale Supérieure, March 2.

Lemieux, A. (2016). Invited presentation for the Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada Conference, Subjective readings: High school students' visual maps in the literature classroom. Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, May 31.

Book Reviews Related to Research Topic

Lemieux, A. (2016). Invited review of « Le débat interprétatif dans l’enseignement du français », A. Dias-Chiaruttini. Revue des sciences de l’éducation. 42(1).

Lemieux, A. (2013). Review of Young adult literature and adolescent identity across cultures and classrooms, J. Alsup (Ed.). McGill Journal of Education, 48(1), 257-259.

Presentations

Lemieux, A. (2017). Phenomenological maps: Pathways to examine reading engagement in high school literature classrooms. Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada Conference as part of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Ryerson University, ON, May 27-31.

Lemieux, A. (2016). Mapping responses to visual and written text: Aesthetics and their implications for literacy learning. Paper presented in symposium, Rowsell, J., Stornaiuolo, A., Lemieux, A., McLean, C., & Smith, A. (Chair), “Mapping literacies, seeking mobilities: Social transformations in four contexts,” Literacy Research Association, Nashville, TN, December 1.

Lemieux, A. (2016). Fostering Equality through Aesthetic Mapping in Secondary Literacy Learning. United Kingdom Literacy Association 52nd International Conference, University of Bristol, UK, July 10.

Lemieux, A. (2016). Developing identity through aesthetic awareness in literacy education. Literacy, Language and Identity International Conference, University of Sheffield, UK, July 2.

Lemieux, A. (2016). Discussant to keynote speaker G. Barton (Griffith University Australia), Being wide-awake about literacy in the arts. 11th International Seminar of the Institut français de l’éducation de l’École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, “Teaching/learning in Arts and Cultural Education: What is precisely at stake?”  Université de Lyon, École Normale Supérieure, March 2.

Lemieux, A. (2015). Transactional spaces of learning: A study on CEGEP students’ aesthetic experiences of French Quebec Literature. Arts Researchers & Teachers Society as part of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, June 1.

Lemieux, A. (2015). Conceiving the curriculum with student-text transactions: Readers’ experiences to foster critical literacy and democratic teaching. International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, May 28.

Lemieux, A., & White, B. (2014). From visual to written arts: Fleeting aesthetic experiences revealed. Arts Researchers & Teachers Society as part of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, May 28.

Lemieux, A. (2014). Revisiting Rosenblatt’s transactional theory of reading: Implications for today’s literature classroom. Annual Symposium in Educational Studies, McGill University, Montreal, QC, April 8.

Lemieux, A. (2014). La lecture médiatique multimodale chez l’adolescent de secondaire 5 : Une étude des réactions à une pièce de théâtre franco-québécois et à son adaptation filmique dans le cours de français. Invited presentation at the 3rd Multimodal Literacy Research Seminar, Université du Québec À Montréal, Montreal, QC, December 6.

Lemieux, A. (2013). Reacting to Quebec drama: High school students' responses to literature as a way to improve literacy. Canada International Conference on Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, June 25.

Lemieux, A. (2013). Understanding literature through popular culture: A case study of senior high school students’ evolving responses to Quebec literature. International Journal of Arts & Sciences’ Conference, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, May 20.

Lemieux, A. (2013). Experiencing Incendies: Sparking senior high school students' interest in literature. 12th Education Graduate Students’ Society Conference, McGill University, Montreal, QC, March 15.

Literacy and Multimodality

Goals: In this FRQSC-funded research initiative, led by Dr. Nathalie Lacelle (UQÀM), we worked with 50 high school students to increase their text comprehension and literacy practices through the means of digital media. In addition to reading traditional text-based narratives, students used videos, apps, computers, iPads, MP3s, and board games to complete their work. We guided them given our extensive background in digital media implementation in language classes.

Process: Students worked in groups and individually. Through reading questionnaires and other response-induced prompts, students used multimedia to show their comprehension of the texts and to produce additional transfictional narratives in relation to what they had read. Their learning acquisition was framed within the cross-curricular competencies as prescribed by the Québec Ministry of Education.

Outcomes for the advancement of knowledge: Data showed that students felt the multimodal tool they used were useful for producing transfictional writing as part of the project. Further, individual writings showed personal engagement with the read narratives through traces of subjective and phenomenological reactions. For detailed outcomes, see Lemieux & Lacelle, 2016.

Knowledge mobilization: We published results from our work on transfictionality in Language & Literacy and Myriades:

Lemieux, A., & Lacelle, N. (2016a). Mobilizing students’ interpretive resources: A novel take on subjective response in the literature classroom. Language and Literacy, 18(3), 50-68. https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/langandlit/article/view/25652/21025

Lemieux, A., & Lacelle, N. (2016b). Approches transactionnelle, subjective, et phénoménologique en didactique de la lecture. Myriades : Revues d’études francophones, 2(1), 14-28. http://cehum.ilch.uminho.pt/myriades/static/volumes/2-2.pdf

and I co-authored a book chapter on historical fiction as taught through comic books as multimodal texts:

Lemieux, A., & Guénette, M.-F. (2016). Entre histoire et fiction : la Rébellion des Patriotes en roman et en bande dessinée pour la jeunesse québécoise. In B. Louichon & S. Brehm, Fictions historiques pour la jeunesse en France et au Québec (pp. 271-295), Special series « Studies on youth literature », Presses universitaires de Bordeaux. ISBN: 1030000719.

We presented our research at the Rencontres des chercheurs en didatique de la littérature, at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Meeting, and in our multimodal literacy research group at UQÀM (LITMEDMOD/UQÀM).

Lemieux, A., & Lacelle, N. (2016). Créations multimodales transfictionnelles: Quels enjeux et quelles retombées pour la didactique du français? Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada Conference as part of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Calgary, AB, May 31.

Lacelle, N., & Lemieux, A. (2014). Dispositif encadrant des pratiques de multilecture d’univers narratifs en contexte secondaire. 15es rencontres des chercheurs en didactique de la littérature. Sherbrooke University, Sherbrooke, QC, May 8.

Lacelle, N., & Lemieux, A. (2014). Diversifier les supports médiatiques pour l’enseignement de la littérature. 4th Multimodal Literacy Research Seminar, Université du Québec À Montréal, Montreal, QC, April 4.

Book Reviews Related to Research Topic

Lemieux, A. (2013) Review of Multiliteracies: Beyond text and the written word, E. F. Provenzo Jr., et al. (Eds.). Teachers College Record [online version], http://www.tcrecord.org/17018.

Other information regarding our work can be found on the LITMEDMOD lab website: http://litmedmod.ca/

Material Culture and Identity Development

Goals: In this SSHRC-funded project, I worked with aesthetics expert Dr. Boyd White (McGill), Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Research Dr. Pauline Sameshima (Lakehead), and collaborative arts-based research scholar Dr. Anita Sinner (Concordia). Our main goal was to investigate the crafted artefacts made by undergraduate teacher candidates, in order to unveil layers of experiences that constitute their professional and personal identities. Our McGill research site focused on “identity boxes”, a term we coined to define the created sculptures of pre-service teachers about their identity reflections.

Process: As part of a mandatory undergraduate philosophy of education course, we asked students (n=60) to create an identity box as an assignment option (the other option was to write an essay about their teaching philosophy). With their box, students had to write an accompanying commentary detailing the box’s elements and their significance. We set up a photo booth, which was used to capture visuals of students’ individual boxes. Qualitative data was analyzed through Atlas.ti.

Outcomes for the advancement of knowledge: Results from this study showed how creativity informs pedagogic practices for teacher-educators. Further, it gave epistemological traces indicating how visual art-making and creative writing provide a way to interrogate situated knowledge in relation to classroom experiences. Finally, our research provided ways in which participant-generated artefacts can be utilized to question meta-narratives that shape understandings of teacher identity development. Ultimately, this study contributed specialized insights into arts-based educational research on teacher perceptions’ of their identity, and their impact on career satisfaction and teacher attrition.

Knowledge mobilization: Our latest results were published in Learning Landscapes:

White, B., & Lemieux, A. (2015). Reflecting selves: Pre-service teacher identity development explored through material culture. LEARNing Landscapes, 9(1), Special Issue “Professional Development in Education: Pushing the Boundaries of Possibility”, 267-283.

We presented our work at the International Visual Literacy Association Annual Meeting, at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Annual Meeting, at the Canadian Society for Education through Art, and at the National Art Education Association.

Wicks, J., Lemieux, A., White, B., Yi, S., & Esmat, R. (2017). Epiphanies of change through artful becoming(s) in teacher education. National Art Education Association Conference, New York, March 3.

White, B., Sinner, A., Lemieux, A., Wicks, J., Walker, C., Yi, S., Esmat, R. (2016). “The ‘I’ of today is not the ‘I’ of yesterday”: Ontological understandings of pre-service teacher development through arts-integrated research. Canadian Society of Education through Art Conference. Victoria, BC, October 21.

Stock, V. R., Sameshima, P., Lemieux, A., White, B., Wicks, J., Sinner, A. (2016). A collaborative arts-integrated investigation into pre-service teacher identity development. Arts Researchers & Teachers Society Annual Meeting, as part of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Calgary, AB, May 30.

White, B., & Lemieux, A. (2015). Visual artifacts as pathways to investigating pre-service teachers’ identities. International Visual Literacy Association Conference, DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA, November 3.

White, B., & Lemieux, A. (2015). Material culture and pre-service teacher identity development. Arts Researchers & Teachers Society, Canadian Society for the Study of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, June 2.

Literacy, Arts, and Sustainability

Goal: My work on literacy, arts, and sustainability particularly addresses the impact of establishing a Little Free Library (LFL), which is a locally-crafted wooden box in which books are freely exchanged, on a Canadian university campus with the intention of finding accessible avenues to literacy learning. In documenting the building process, I produced a series of reflections that include text and photography. Adopting artful and critical stances toward schooling and literacy, we explored learning as a community endeavour. Through this collaborative, reflective and reflexive research process, we demonstrated how a LFL can contribute to social, cultural and critical dimensions of community research and theorizing through literacy, both in local neighbourhoods, and in a university context.

Process: We adopted artful and critical stances toward literacy learning through a community endeavour. Important to our research project, was to: a) have a sustainable and artful process; b) advance literacy and multiliteracy throughout this initiative; and c) be inclusive to McGill’s and Montreal’s two main linguistic communities: French and English. As such, we created the first bilingual LFL.

Outcomes for the advancement of knowledge: Contributing to this initiative, we demonstrated where universities might play a stronger role by providing books in more accessible and community-oriented ways. In response to how many books are left unattended, or abandoned, either outside of an office, outside of the library, we maintained an organized set of ethos which included: (1) using recycled materials to build the library; (2) creating an eco-friendly space for books that are recycled or often left on benches, outside of offices and in random locations of university hallways; and 3) to contribute to art, literacy and learning for sustainable development by addressing the collective sharing of knowledge.

Knowledge mobilization: We published our results in a book chapter and through two oral presentations at national conferences.

Publications

Lemieux, A., & McLarnon, M. (2018, in print). Interconnecting literacy and environment: introducing a crafted library to a university campus. In Hasebe-Ludt, E., & Leggo, C. (Eds.). Canadian Curriculum Studies: A Métissage of Inspiration/Imagination/Interconnection, Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Presentations

Lemieux, A. & McLarnon, M. (2016). Visual literacy and community engagement: The case of a Little Free Library. International Visual Literacy Association. Montreal, QC, October 6.

McLarnon, M, & Lemieux, A. (2016). Reimagining print literacy through outdoor locales: A crafted library on a university campus. 7th International Outdoor Education Conference, Cape Breton University, Cape Breton Island, NS, July 6.