Incorporating the aesthetic dimension into pedagogy: enhancing engagement and exploration in teacher and student learning

Scott Webster, Melissa Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21 - 33
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Journal of Teacher Education
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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