Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Rachel Heydon


This small-scale, qualitative, exploratory case study investigated the effectiveness of holistic arts approaches in a junior classroom setting. Specifically it sought to elucidate how sensory-based arts pedagogical strategies contribute to grade six students’ engagement during arts and integrated learning experiences. The study examined individual and collective responses to sensory-based arts learning in an Ontario public elementary school classroom. Through case study methodologies, observation, interviews, writing, and art samples, the study explored how students made authentic connections between their sense awareness, their arts processes and their learning. Drawing upon educational theorists such as Eisner and Dewey, the study attended to how multiple modes of experience contribute to students’ learning and engagement. The project examined the value of cultivating multiple ways of making meaning and the vital role that the mind-body connection and sensory awareness can play in learning, exploring, expressing, and engaging with the world.