Duncum, Paul
D.25 | Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 11:00 - 11:30, Room D1
Aesthetics, ideology, and popular visual culture in art education
Study of popular visual culture must focus equally upon its aesthetic attractiveness, its sensory lure, and its oftentimes dubious social ideology. The terms aesthetic and ideology are addressed as problematic and are defined in current, ordinary language terms: aesthetics as visual appearances and their effects and ideology as a style of thinking. Aesthetics is viewed as inherently ideological as it is a primary means by which ideology is inculcated. A call to abandon the term aesthetics from the art education lexicon is rejected in light of how central the aestheticization of economics, politics and everyday life has become. A comparison is drawn between Schillerís view of aesthetics as a means of social control and the current use of aesthetics to inculcate the late capitalist ideology of continual consumption and thus ensure socio economic stability. Learning about Classroom Teaching of Visual Culture While a great deal of literature in art education offers suggestions for the teaching of popular visual culture, this paper critically reviews the descriptions of actual programs carried out with students kindergarten to undergraduate level. Comparisons are made between what is reported in art education with reports from media and social studies education. Specifically, the paper addresses the following four questions: What is counted as successful? What explanations are offered for success? What percentage of students are judged to have achieved success? What explanations are offered for a lack of success?
print page back to selective list