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Teaching and learning aesthetics: A qualitative study of the implementation of aesthetics in a middle school art class

Purdue University
Publication Date
  • Education
  • Art|Education
  • Secondary
  • Design
  • Education
  • Philosophy


This research investigates teaching and learning aesthetics in a middle school art class. This study is motivated by the lack of current research promoting teacher understanding of the concept of aesthetics and methods of teaching aesthetics successfully. A historical account of aesthetics in art education is included along with a review and description of some of the prominent aesthetics theories and art critical methods used in the classroom.^ This qualitative study employs a researcher-created, philosophical, and inquiry-based model to teach an aesthetics unit to an eighth-grade art class. From a phenomenological perspective, the day-to-day unfolding reality of this learning experience is described and analyzed. Results shed light on the nature of aesthetics understanding in children, on the relationship of aesthetics learning to a discipline-based art education curriculum, and on how teaching and learning aesthetics affects and is affected by the overall learning environment typical in public schools. ^

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