The Epistemic of Aesthetic Knowledge and Knowing: Implications for Aesthetic Education Curricula and Rational Pedagogy in Nigerian Secondary Schools

By Aghaosa, Ike P. | Education, Winter 2015 | Go to article overview

The Epistemic of Aesthetic Knowledge and Knowing: Implications for Aesthetic Education Curricula and Rational Pedagogy in Nigerian Secondary Schools


Aghaosa, Ike P., Education


Introduction

Epistemological aesthetics like philosophical aesthetics harbors numerous issues and arguments most of which often lack consensual agreement. The plausible reason for this is not un connected with the way the aesthetic permeates almost all aspects of human life and knowledge. It is this plethora of ideas, argument and issues as was noted elsewhere (Aghaosa, 2013), not only make aesthetic and epistemological aesthetics not only a mine field of a arguments but also an interesting thought provoking area of scholarship.

Specifically with respect to epistemological aesthetics, the first argument to confront, is what exactly is the aesthetic, among the phenomena, subject (spectator) and experiences (emotions) and other sundry issues about natural and artificial phenomena that should count as aesthetic experiences. Some of These arguments have been dwelt extensively upon in earlier explorations. (Aghaosa, 2014)

Among the many other arguments in epistemological aesthetics is that of aesthetic knowledge and how it should be classified, evaluated, and packaged as experiences for cultivation in school learning. What aspects of the cognitive faculties of human learning does aesthetic knowledge apply for cultivation? In the layman term, is aesthetic knowledge consisting mainly or solely, the cognitive, (intellectual) or the psycho motive, and the affective domains of learning or all of them. If solely for specifics, which amongst the aforementioned domains is principally addressed by aesthetic knowledge? If for all, in what dosage(s) and order, does it occur? It is pertinent to mention that because of this confusion about what type of knowledge epistemologically is aesthetic knowledge-whether prepositional i.e. 'Knowing that' or procedural--'knowing how' there are also fall outs from this. First among these centre on the status and classification of the various components of aesthetic learning in schools' curricula. Enmeshed in it also is the question of time allocation to aesthetic learning subjects. What amount of time should be allotted respectively to the theoretical and practical aspects of aesthetic learning endeavors? These confusions in the extreme do sometimes end up creating apathy and subsequently, neglect of aesthetic learning activities in schools. There are also some other opinions which aver that since creative art, and other allied aesthetic subjects are often inborn and natural talents among learners, they should be given only salutary or symbolic attention in schools' academic activities. For these people aesthetic learning activities lack intellectual depth and should be the preoccupation of intellectually dull students. A counter argument to this is from serious professional practitioners of the various aspects of aesthetic endeavors who are strongly of the view that aesthetic learning encompasses serious intellectual and practical works - the prepositional as well as the procedural aspects of learning and knowledge.

In addressing some of these arguments and their fall- outs, it is pertinent for any critical teacher to pause and reflect about what epistemologically are esthetic learning experiences and how should they be classified and evaluated for curriculum and pedagogy? In effect, the problem of this intellectual exercise was to ascertain what epistemologically constitute aesthetic knowledge; and how should the various aspects of aesthetics knowledge be packaged and cultivated in learners. In other words, what are the prepositional and procedural aspects of aesthetic knowledge and their implication for aesthetic curricula and rational pedagogy?

The purpose of this paper was to epistemologically analyze aesthetic knowledge in terms of modes of, and appropriation of knowledge. This is to enable aesthetic practitioners and teachers know the underlying modes of knowledge and principles of learning involved in any aesthetic learning encounter.

The significance of this paper would be determined by the extent it could help achieve: clarity of the fundamental concepts, and issues involved in the categorization of aesthetic knowledge and learning; deepen awareness about the various modes of aesthetic knowledge and their curricula and pedagogical implications for rational teaching and learning; and help make aesthetic knowledge and learning more learners- and teacher-friendly. …

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