Toward a Theory of Aesthetic Learning Experiences

Dec. 28, 2009

Source: Curriculum Inquiry, Volume 39 Issue 5, Pages 613 – 636 (December 2009)

The purpose of this paper is to reveal ways to provide the opportunity for students to have aesthetically engaged learning experiences.

Using John Dewey's ideas from Art as Experience as a framework, the author uses aesthetic theory to show how such ends can be reached. In addition, the author suggests six themes that teachers can draw upon to help students attain engaged learning experiences.

The themes are elaborated upon fully in this paper. The themes include connections, active engagement, sensory experience, perceptivity, risk taking, and imagination.

In addition to providing engaged learning, the upshot of providing aesthetic learning experiences is likely to include student satisfaction, an increase in perceptual knowledge, episodic memory retention, meaning making, and creativity and innovation.

Dewey, J. (1934). Art as experience. New York: Perigee Books.

Updated: Jan. 31, 2010