Aesthetic matters are fundamental
for the harmonious development of both society and the individual
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with nature, creation and appreciation of art and beauty. The word “aesthetic” is derived from Greek meaning “I perceive, feel, sense”. Currently, spiritual development and aesthetic education have become prosperous elements of modern education. Educational institutions are the main social services which provide educational processes. Here aesthetic education is realized through the system of class and extracurricular training.
In general, aesthetic education is learning in, about and through the arts. Aesthetic education enables learners express their feelings and ideas, develops imagination, creativity, expressiveness and critical spirit .
Aesthetic education is an essential component in upbringing. It includes the development of aesthetic feelings, interests and taste by perception of beauty and harmony. Aesthetic feelings are formed through the experience of aesthetic impressions (enjoyment, excitement, pleasure, rapture, etc.). Aesthetic taste and the ability to judge the beauty and ugly are very subjective and correspond to the individual’s world-view. Once formed aesthetic taste will define a person’s estimation not only in art, but also in any other creative sphere, everyday life and behaviour. Moreover, aesthetic taste appears not only in reasoning, but in feelings which are difficult to “re-educate” .
The nature of distortion of beauty lies in the separation from present society, poor artistic principles and awareness-raising practice. In Orthodoxy “beauty” is inextricably connected with “good”. However, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk fairy notes that today we live in the world where notions “good” and “beauty” are divided. “Good” is the category of ethics, “beauty” has turned into abstract aesthetics. Our education should meet not only the demands and ideals of consumer society, but also the necessity of spiritual and moral rebirth on the basis of traditional Orthodox values.
Aesthetic education is a specific interaction of cognition and emotion, incorporation of the arts across the syllabus. It develops:
- art and cultural awareness;
- emotional intelligence;
- ability to critical reflection;
- decision-making ability;
- cognition, mind and emotions, analysis and intuition;
- teacher-learner partnership;
- capacity to cope with everyday life and social situations [6, 7, 11].
Aesthetic education is aimed at the formation of a creative personality, capable to perceive, feel, value and create art treasures . It promotes moral and spiritual development, adds to the individual’s openness to cultural heritage, develops aesthetic sense and need to interact with culture [1, 9]. It is intended to develop a learner’s personality and supposes a certain coordination of learner’s labour, educational and research activities .
The basic elements of aesthetic education are art, culture, thought, communication and integrative processes .
Aesthetic education is the result of sensory, imaginative perception of reality. It is focused on the formation of aesthetic feelings, needs and interests, aesthetic beauty and ideals, ability to artistic creation and aesthetic perception of the surrounding world. It is closely connected with all directions of upbringing: moral, political, legal, labour, economical, environmental, physical and ethical.
However, the formation of “pure” authentic consciousness is not the long-run objective of aesthetic education. Aesthetic education is oriented at the development of the inner world. Aesthetic education helps to change moral attitude into manner and behaviour .
Aesthetic education should be a part of the syllabus. It can be achieved while studying different subjects:
- physics (develops abilities to see, understand and feel the inner beauty of science and the process of cognition);
- culturology (acquaints with great works of art, develops aesthetic views, taste);
- literature (forms inner world, world view, moral and aesthetic ideals);
- history (develops understanding of the world, patriotism);
- law (forms legal culture and behaviour);
- foreign language (enables learners to understand another culture, enhances general culture, broadens horizons, develops mind);
- music (develops the ability to perceive and understand);
- visual art (develops the perception of reality, visual perception, imagination, spatial inference, remembrance, feelings; unlocks creativity);
- physical education (develops life long sensitivity to health issues, brings joy to oneself and others).
It is known that aesthetic education and upbringing imply a wide range of methods and approaches. For example:
- interactive methods of teaching (interaction between the participants of educational process);
- acquisition and discussion of the great works of art (visit museums, art galleries and exhibitions);
- reading literature (familiarity with artistic masterworks, historical and cultural monuments, battles, etc.);
- dialogues, discussions (develop critical thinking and evaluation skills, ability to think deeply about a topic);
- seminars (outline the features of visual thinking, artistic imagination, perception, emotional and aesthetic evaluation of artworks);
- artistic and creative contests (develop creativity and need to creative activities, aesthetic taste);
- listening to music (develops music imagination);
- going in for sports and country walks (develop the aesthetics of movement).
Undoubtedly, aesthetic education is a powerful enhancement of people’s value orientation and evaluation of beauty. It gives people artistic enjoyment and pleasure, cultivates sentiments, makes the world more colourful, enriches mind, widens outlook and promotes better development of human civilization .
Thus aesthetic education develops the ability to see and feel the beauty and harmony. It successfully combines mind and emotions, develops skills that lead to proper perception, enjoyment and evaluation of the beautiful in literature, art and life. Aesthetic education is a purposeful system to bring up a person who is able to live and work according to the laws of beauty. Aesthetic education develops learner’s taste and expressive abilities; furthers the effectiveness of educational processes and creative self-realization; develops tolerance, creativity, imagination, talent, cultural appreciation, intercultural awareness and helps learners become more globally minded.
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