Defending aesthetic education

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    In this paper, I offer a defence of aesthetic education in terms of aesthetic experience, claiming that aesthetic experience and art appreciation is a vital component of a flourishing life. Given schools have an important role to play in helping prepare young people for their adult lives, it is crucial they should consider how best to equip students with the means to achieve a flourishing life. It is on these grounds I defend arts education as compulsory across the curriculum. In order to adopt this position, I firstly critically engage with two competing defences of including the arts on the curriculum on the basis of firstly, the role art has to play in supporting self-expression, and secondly, a defence of the arts in relation to their role in supporting moral improvement. After explaining why these arguments fail to do the work required to defend aesthetic education as thoroughly as is needed, I turn to the defence based on aesthetic experience because it allows for a defence of the arts to be made on the basis of art’s distinctive value.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
    Early online date25 Aug 2021
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2021


    • Aesthetic education
    • aesthetic experience
    • expressivism
    • moral education
    • art education
    • character educatio


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