The Theory of Artistic-Aesthetic Education versus Didactics of Arts

The Theory of Artistic-Aesthetic Education versus Didactics of Arts

Vlad Pâslaru (Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Moldova)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9634-1.ch004
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Teaching and learning of literature and of the arts in school is assimilated to scientific knowledge, which neglects the identity of the arts. A didactics of the arts could solve this problem. Philosophy of art shows that beauty has the capacity to capture the essence of human being and that puts the arts in a special position in the educational practice. Existence of artistic and esthetic knowledge demonstrates the need to constitute, recognize and implement a didactics of arts. The author offers a first definition of artistic-esthetic education based on examination of its gnostic origins and of the subsequent historical developments of the term and of the field of artistic-esthetic education. Principles of artistic-esthetic education as a branch of science education are used to exemplify the definition. Ideas, concepts and principles examined and developed by the author are illustrated with theoretical and praxeological developments from the East-European educational space.
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Does the human capacity to create and to receive artistic beauty, to become more cultured from artistic and aesthetic point of view increase along with the technical, scientific, social and cultural progress of humanity? Did entering the century of information and communication make the man more interested in literature and art? Did he become more sensitive to the beauty of nature, of social relations and thinking? Did beauty achieve the status of law in human life or did the use of social networks replace reading, contemplation of works of art and the beauty of direct communication with other people and nature? These questions are addressed to the audience of this chapter, school and university teachers, students and researchers in the field of art pedagogy.

At least two things give us an unsatisfactory answer to these questions: today it is significantly less read than two decades ago and theatres, and art exhibitions are visited by a smaller number of people. That artistic folklore is ignored and not practiced has became a standard for the populations of all economically and socially developed countries. As a result, the number of people who are able to decipher elementary artistic symbols and images decreases progressively, while production and use of kitsch increases progressively in all spheres of human life: non-cognition and sub-cognition produce fake, horridness and disharmony. It is not an accident that in the XXth century some of the most commonly used words have become indoctrination, terror and fundamentalism.

In the same general context it is also enlisted the modern education, which, although it identified itself in the XXth century with the concept new educations, launched on global scale by Rassekh and Vaideanu (Rassekh & Vaideanu, 1987), called to settle contemporary world problems, is not able to offer neither a sufficient training nor a correct one to pupils for the activity pertaining to artistic-aesthetic human being.

It is true that our urban, professional and family-related habitat is indisputable and more organized, more harmonious, thus more aesthetic, but the merit for organizing aesthetic living space belongs today as at the beginnings of human culture to a small number of people. Other people prefer to support the condition of servants of technologies created by the elite and to splurge in the state of goods consumers of modern civilization.

Determined in a congenital manner to live simultaneously in two existences — physical, materially conditioned, and metaphysical, continuously created by its spiritual activity — the human being becomes as such through a complex and complicated education, to which the entire world participates. A modern research of any educational issue claims a holistic approach of its phenomena. From this perspective, the appearance on the education universe of an arts didactics is favored and conditioned by a series of major factors such as:

  • 1.

    Globalization and Europeanization (Hussar, 1993), as processes that unifies the world not only economically, politically and socially, but educationally too;

  • 2.

    Progression of the freedom principle in education at the rank of modernization of educational ideal (Albu, 1998);

  • 3.

    Institution at global, European and national scale, of an educational concept centered on the educated person, on information and communication (Albu, 1998; Cristea, 2000; Cucoș, 2014; Dewey, 1992; Stones, 1966);

  • 4.

    Epistemic reconsideration of school disciplines, domains and types of education in relation to human types of knowledge (Aristotle, 1994; Gagim, 1996; Von Humboldt, 1985; Pâslaru, 2001, 2013; Radu 1989);

  • 5.

    Elaboration and implementation of the theory of artistic-aesthetic education (Burov, Kviatkovscki, 1987);

  • 6.

    Elaboration and implementation of the theory of literary-artistic education (Kushaev, 1985; Pâslaru, 2001, 2013);

  • 7.

    Elaboration and implementation of the theory of musical education (Gagim, 1996), of concepts and artistic-plastic education principles.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mukarovsky, Jan (1891-1975): Czech esthetician. He launched the concept referring to the equal importance or even more of the art receptor to the author of the work, which itself is particularly important for the creation of arts didactics.

Artistic-Aesthetic Knowledge: Type of knowledge and creativity through art images, based on a specific subject-object relation, the object of knowledge / creation (= literary / art works) has a subjective-objective form of existence, rendered by systems of images, symbols, connotations etc., the subject of knowledge occurring as such by the work of re-creating the object of knowledge in the proper vision of the author and the recipient.

Heidegger, Martin (1989-1976): German philosopher, best known by the work Sein und Zeit - Being and Time (1927) and a series of papers on the origin (= essence) of art receptor nature.

Kushaev, Nariman Azisovici (n.1938): Teacher of literature and art in the USSR / Russia, co-founder of the artistic-aesthetic education theory and the theory of literary and artistic education.

Literary-Artistic Education (LAE): The educational domain and the process of formation -development of the elevated reader in literature, endowed with literary-reading skills, character traits specific for reading activities and adequate subjective-objective visions appropriate to the national and world literary process, national oral folk creation values.

Jauss, Hans Robert (1921-1997): German academician and esthetician, the founder of aesthetic school at the University of Constance, (Germany) whose principles state how to produce art receptor formation: through the interaction of life experiences with his aesthetic ones. It is best known through Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics work .

Vaideanu, George (1924-2014): Romanian teacher, director of the Institute of Educational Sciences (Bucharest), Chief of Structures and Contents Department of Education at UNESCO, secretary general of the International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), consultative structure beside UNESCO, and Secretary General of the National Commission UNESCO for Romania. By his doctoral thesis (1966) he launched the concept of school aesthetic culture , but through his book: “The content of education”. (elaborates in al. with Rassekh), Paris, 1987, translated into English and Chinese, proposes a coherent conception about new education .

Art Receiver: The second subject creator of the art work. According to notorious authorities on philosophy and aesthetics (Heidegger, Mukarovský), the work of art cannot exist if it is not perceived. At reception, the reader-listener-contemplator etc., deciphering its system of images by interacting the own life and aesthetic experience, it adds a proper value to the work, called value in actu . Art didactics is by definition planned to base on artistic, aesthetic and scientific principles the formation- development of art receiver. As a cult receiver of literary and artistic works, the human individual achieves the highest possible level of development into his own being.

Institute of Art Education of the USSR APS: The oldest Research Institution of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR / Russia (1929), whose researchers, in the 80’s of the last century, founded arts education and arts didactics. Among the disciples of the institution is the author of this study, who in this institution took his first PhD in Art Pedagogy in 1983.

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