Soft Boundaries: Re-Visioning the Arts and Aesthetics in American Education

By Claire Detels | Go to book overview

Notes
1.
As I will further discuss in chapters 1 and 3, "aesthetics" is a highly contested term with many different meanings and associations. Standard dictionary definitions tie aesthetics to the study of "beauty," which was the focus of the first inquiries in aesthetics in the eighteenth century. Since then, however, the practice of aesthetics has widened to include inquiries into sensory perception in general, with emphasis on perception in the arts. In this book I have suggested the definition "the practice of making sense of sensory experience." It is short, simple, and somewhat poetic, as I think a definition of aesthetics should be.
2.
Neil Postman, The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School ( New York: Knopf, 1995), pp. 19-36, especially p. 31.
3.
Howard Gardner has made this point repeatedly in his work. See, for example, his Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice ( New York: Basic Books, 1993), p. 16, where he defines and describes seven types of intelligence that should be engaged in education, including musical intelligence, bodily kinestethic intelligence, logicalmathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence.
4.
Philosopher Mara Miller made this point in a panel on "Mainstreaming Aesthetic Education" at the 1997 Santa Fe, N.M., meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics. Also see Charles Fowler, Strong Arts, Strong Schools ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 112-18; and David Elliott, Music Matters ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 207-12 and 291-94. Incidentally the term "American" in this book is shorthand for "pertaining to the United States of America," while perhaps more multiculturally correct, is too awkward for regular use here.
5.
Ernest Gellner, Plough, Sword, and Book: The Structure of Human History ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), pp. 44-45.
6.
Charles Van Doren, A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future ( New York: Ballantine Books, 1991), p. 141.
7.
See R. Freeman Butts, A Cultural History of Education: Reassessing Our Educational Tradition ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 1947), pp. 460-525, for further discussion

-145-

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