Instrumentalism and the clichés of aesthetic education: A Deweyan corrective

Education and Culture 24 (1):pp. 6-19 (2008)

Abstract
When we defend aesthetic education in instrumental terms or rely on clichés of creativity and imagination, we win at best a pyrrhic victory. To make a lasting place for the arts in education, we must critique the transmission model of education and the instrumentalist view of life that undergirds it. To help us perceive anew the nature and value of the aesthetic, I explore John Dewey's distinction between recognition and perception. Through a series of examples drawn from painting and poetry, I embody Dewey's theory and describe a number of artistic strategies for interrupting recognition and cultivating perception.
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DOI 10.1353/eac.0.0020
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