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ERIC Number: EJ818659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1464-7893
Aesthetic and Artistic; Two Separate Concepts: The Dangers of "Aesthetic Education." Perspectives
Best, David
Research in Dance Education, v5 n2 p159-175 Dec 2004
In this essay, the author notes a danger concerning the general approach to teaching about the arts through improper use of the concepts "aesthetic" and "artistic." Observing that both concepts are often used interchangeably, with "aesthetic" being seen as the more generic term, the author argues that these concepts are separate and should be treated accordingly, especially by educators. He defines each concept and its proper application. The concept of aesthetic, while applicable to other areas beyond the arts, describes an appreciation for or enjoyment of an art form without really understanding why. It is an appreciation that simply exists in its own right. By contrast, the concept of artistic refers to an ability to appreciate and discuss various proposed interpretations of an art form, especially one that has been studied over time to have developed both perception and understanding. The danger in using these concepts within an educational framework stems from the real possibility that the criteria placed on them may be employed either inappropriately or in ways that fail to fully consider the arts. Under current usage, the author notes that each concept makes unsupportable assumptions Aesthetic, for example, is often thought of as a "general aesthetic" and applied to works of art, where it assumes a metaphysical air that is rarely questioned and hard to explain. By contrast, artistic is often associated with issues relating to a feeling of enjoyment or appreciation within oneself for one of the art forms (e.g., dance, art, drama, and poetry) rather than understanding how the art itself reflects the outside world that served to influence its creation. Examples are offered that show how potentially destructive such inappropriate concept usage can be, including one where a college proposes to cut back its Visual Arts program because "the students' aesthetic education was catered for in their dance." The author concludes that a thorough and proper understanding of these concepts is an important educational goal because the arts in general give expression to conceptions of the whole range of human conditions. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A