Educational Aesthetics

By Cinquemani, De la Rosa & Quinn

  1. Educational aesthetics is NOT Aesthetic Education which could be defined in any number of ways, perhaps a representative way would be Maxine Greene’s (1991):
    1. “an intentional undertaking designed to nurture appreciative, reflective, cultural, participatory engagements with the arts by enabling learners to notice what is there to be noticed, and to lend works of art their lives in such a way that they can achieve them as variously meaningful.”

  2. Rather than focusing and facilitating aesthetic values as content for class; we envision Educational Aesthetics as concerned with form and more or less disengaged with content.
  3. As such, we propose Educational Aesthetics as a conceptual framework that borrows heavily from several existing approaches to explore the educational experience from a purely aesthetic point of view; one that centers on the affective, relational,mediatic and spatial conventions inherent in education.
    1. From Mcluhan’s brand of technological determinism we borrow the notion of media’s message being independent of the content they deliver. By this we mean to say that we choose to focus on, to use Mcluhan’s words, the way that education as all other media “works us over” from a phenomenological point of view.
      1. To understand education as a medium with a message independent of lesson plans, curriculum, objectives and outcomes.
        1. Through its space.
        2. Through its delivery.
        3. Through the relations it fosters.

Works Referenced:

Greene, M. (1991). Aesthetic literacy. In R. A. Smith & A. Simpson (Eds.), Aesthetics and arts education (pp. 149-161). Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

McLuhan, M. (2004). Understanding media: the extensions of man. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. (Original work published 1964)

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