Incorporating the Aesthetic Dimension into PedagogyReport as inadecuate

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Australian Journal of Teacher Education, v38 n10 Article 2 Oct 2013

This paper reports on a case study that was undertaken to discover not only the belief and intent behind the everyday opportunities that four exemplary teachers offered their high performing students but what activities they incorporated into their everyday lessons in an attempt to make sense of how aesthetic experiences may enhance learning. The paper explores the importance of understanding the effects of practical aesthetic experiences on learning as identified by pragmatist philosopher and educator John Dewey. It is assumed here that every classroom experience is an aesthetic experience that may be positive (i.e. educative), negative (i.e. miseducative) or benign; it will affect the students in some way. This recognition is crucial to avoid unintended miseducative practices and alternatively embrace positive aesthetic learning practices and rituals. Adopting an aesthetic pedagogy in the classroom does imply taking the "scenic route" of learning but it does not necessarily compromise or work against the current dominant practice of high-stakes testing and measured outcomes. It alternatively claims to positively enhance these compulsory and measured outcomes for students in that they can critically engage with these practices.

Descriptors: Aesthetics, Teaching Methods, Case Studies, Educational Philosophy, Learning Activities, Outcomes of Education, High Stakes Tests, Secondary School Teachers, Educational Practices, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Attitudes, Interviews, Mathematics Instruction, History Instruction, Science Instruction, Technology Education, Foreign Countries, Qualitative Research, Observation, Semi Structured Interviews

Edith Cowan University. Bradford Street, Mount Lawley, West Australia 6050, Australia. Web site:

Author: Webster, R. Scott; Wolfe, Melissa


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