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Critical Review of "preparation and Risk in Teaching Aesthetics" by E. Louis Lankford

Autor:   •  August 27, 2012  •  Essay  •  583 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,288 Views

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Critical Review of

"Preparation and Risk in Teaching Aesthetics"

By E. Louis Lankford

In his article "Preparation and Risk in Teaching Aesthetics" (1990) American Professor of Art Education, E. Lois Lankford makes a compelling case for art educators to include the study of aesthetics in art as an essential part of their curriculum. Lankford's article corresponds to a university program that he created to assist art educators in this regard. This purpose is evident in the accessibility of Lankford's writing and in the comprehensive pedagogical guidance his article provides prospective teachers.

Lankford, referencing Hamblen's "Approaches to Aesthetics in Art Education" (1988), advocates the use of an aesthetic inquiry model as being particularly well suited to the study of aesthetics. Applied within a classroom, this approach involves participation, questioning, and exploration and an openness to alternate outcomes. Lankford advises that this model is delivered most effectively when teachers create lessons that allow for planned uncertainty. Using this method, teachers introduce new concepts and problems to the students followed by carefully constructing open-ended questions that promote high-order thinking and provide students with the opportunity to challenge their preconceptions and formulate new ideas.

Rather than viewing aesthetics as a means to obtaining absolute definitions on what constitutes art, Lankford concurs with Weitz (1956) and Hamblen's (1988) philosophy of embracing the inherent ambiguity and conflict within the study of aesthetics as its integrating principle. Lankford states that whilst intentionally exploring uncharted territory with students can involves risks, it is essential in developing their capacity for inquiry and problem solving, skills which he believes to be "…fundamental to curriculum development in art education"(p.52). Using the planned uncertainty approach should not be viewed as an opportunity for teachers to avoid having to prepare, as Lankford clarifies,

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