In search of an aesthetic pathway: A/r/tography of young children's encounters with drama improvisation

Ka Lee Carrie HO

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


Aesthetic education has become an essential domain in worldwide curricula to facilitate children's creativity and imagination. In Hong Kong, aesthetic education is a developmental objective in the early childhood education curriculum. It is usually fostered through arts education but literature reveals that not every art activity can convey aesthetic experiences. In this study, Deleuzo-Guattarian concept of rhizome, aesthetics and drama improvisation were used to form a theoretical framework. A/r/tography as an arts-based methodology was used to study the aesthetic process of six fluent Cantonese-speaking children, aged 3-5 years, as they participated in five drama improvisation workshops. Data were gathered using video recordings, focussed discussions, children's art journals, and reflective journals. A/r/tographic analytical devices of contiguity and excess were used together with Deleuze's concepts from theatre of multiplicities as a mapping strategy to identify similar data and locating surprises across the 22 co-created drama improvisation scenes. Thereafter, nine categories were identified and then regrouped into three themes: the exercise of decisiveness, introspectiveness, and empathy. Such finding revealed that both tangible and intangible environments were equally important for creating young children's aesthetic encounters. While tangible environment is referred to a safe environment, the intangible environment is identified as teacher's perspective and power relations. Young children's cognitive and sensory exercises, as well as the ethics of self-consciousness building were recorded. The recordings demonstrated the results that such activities can transform the life of a child. The research recommends teaching for aesthetic experiences using teacher as co-improviser approach for the educators. Thus, this evidence-based research promotes fostering aesthetic education through aesthetic encounters in a collaborative and improvisational approach for young children of Hong Kong. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Hong Kong Institute of Education
  • LAM, Mei Seung Michelle, Supervisor
  • LO, Wai Luk, Supervisor, External person
Award date11 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Aesthetics
  • A/R/tography
  • Deleuze
  • Drama
  • Early childhood
  • Alt. title: 美從何處尋:幼兒透過即興劇的美育經驗和回應
  • Drama -- Study and teaching (Early childhood)
  • Improvisation (Acting)
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 2015


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