Deweyan Artistic-aesthetics Experience in Visual Arts Education: A Re-examination

Victor Ming Hoi Lai, Francis W L Yu

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapter


The project aims to re-evaluate the relevance and application of John Dewey’s aesthetic theory of “learning by doing” in local context, in particular the enhancement of direct experience in visual arts education. It is especially important as students are exposed to more advanced study in visual arts, both in breadth and depth. Such experience differs from traditional fine art education, which requires an art academy and its staff to have a fresh eye on visual arts and its education.

According to Freedman (2003), art education has historically been based on the concept of fine art, such as the skills and production of art, history, criticism and aesthetic, making the approach to curriculum an “academic” one, as “formal and technical qualities are considered to be the most important connecting concepts between art objects” (p.18). Efland (2007) further discussed the role of fine arts in contemporary education, and that the task educators pursue is not to teach fine arts in its own remote and separate way, but “. . .to help students become critically attentive to the cultural meanings that images convey for the purpose of understanding society and culture. . .” (p.41). Thus, the everyday life, meanings, context and exploration of different mediums are emphasized in visual arts education rather than purely pursuing skills or techniques as in fine art education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies on Teaching and Learning
EditorsAtara Sivan, Dennis Wai Keung Chan, Eva Y W Wong
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherPearson Education Asia
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9789882324121
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

User-Defined Keywords

  • Dewey
  • Aesthetic experience
  • Painting
  • Tertiary education


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