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Benefits of an Aesthetic Education

Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy dealing with such notions as the beautiful, the ugly, the sublime, the comic. The root of the word aesthetic is the Greek aisthetike, which means perception through the senses.

Aesthetic Education is a way of regaining touch with the process of learning something new, of being introduced to a medium never known in a particular way before. It is the incorporation of the arts across the curriculum in a way that fosters a heightened awareness of and appreciation for all that touches our lives.

Since aesthetic quality is an aspect of all activity, perception, and intelligent thought, aesthetic education helps students discover new ways of looking at, listening to, moving in and speaking of their everyday experiences. And since aesthetic quality is concentrated in the arts, the study of music, dance, drama and the visual arts most directly develops aesthetic awareness. Aesthetic education opens up areas of learning too seldom experienced in school:

  • the power of a work of art to transform children and teachers
  • the partnership of student and teacher sharing insights
  • the challenge of taking risks to ask open-ended questions
  • the excitement of learning to express oneself in new ways
  • the self-esteem gained from experiences that teach self-respect and mutual respect
  • the exploration of a broad range of human relationships
  • the opportunity to combine mind and emotion, cognition and sensory experience, analysis and intuition toward understanding something as a whole

CETL's mission is to serve as a catalyst for individual and institutional growth and development in pursuit of transformative learning.

Doane University Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning