International Journal of Art & Design Education

Thoughts about the Teaching of Aesthetics

Volume 14.1   1995



This paper suggests that aesthetic judgements can be taught and trained, and that judgements of growing sensitivity can be cultivated. If we intend to teach how to make aesthetic judgements, teaching must be compatible with very complete disagreement. Since we struggle cognitively to settle our differences we resort to argument and this must be present in teaching. General conclusions about aesthetic judgement in the arts are limited and weak: complete disagreement is never far away, and minor disagreement is endemic. After all that, can it be taught at all? An attempt is made here to suggest that teaching has an effective role to play, and its role is to make possible trained and sensitive aesthetic judgements.