John Dewey and the Lessons of Art

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Philip W. Jackson

View Inside Format: Paper
Price: $24.00
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What do the arts have to teach us about how to live our lives? How can teachers use art's "lessons" to improve their teaching? This provocative book examines John Dewey's thinking about the arts and explores the practical implications of that thinking for educators. Philip W. Jackson draws on Art as Experience, the philosopher's only book on the subject, and less well-known observations scattered throughout Dewey's writings to consider the nature and power of art and its relation to education. For those unacquainted with Dewey's thought as well as for Dewey specialists, this book provides rich insights into how the arts might inform educational practice.

Jackson introduces the basics of Dewey's aesthetic theory and then looks at the ways in which single works of art can profoundly affect the individuals who either make them or come to them as readers, listeners, or spectators. He considers the experiences of many writers—music and art critics, authors of self-help books, poets, and philosophers—to explore the transformative power of the experience of art. In a concluding chapter on the educational relevance of Dewey's views, the author focuses on two instances of flawed educational practice, showing how a more conscientious application of Dewey's view of the arts could have improved the learning experience.

Philip W. Jackson is the David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Education and Psychology at the University of Chicago. He is the immediate past president of the John Dewey Society.

"Jackson presents a useful and . . . insightful review of John Dewey’s systematic consideration of the arts. . . . Jackson examines Dewey’s theories on how the arts might help people live their lives differently. He also asks teachers of all kinds to consider how they might use the ‘lessons’ of art in their role as educators. . . . This book makes a sound addition to commentary on the writings of John Dewey and to the fields of curriculum studies, educational philosophy, and arts education."—Choice

"Philip Jackson's searching meditations on Dewey and art are of abiding interest for all of us who care about how we experience our lives, how we think about our lives, and how we nurture and nourish our children."—Howard Gardner, Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Co-winner of the 1998 Critics’ Choice Award given by the American Educational Studies Association
ISBN: 9780300082890
Publication Date: February 9, 2000
224 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4