Formative aesthetics and the contradiction of teaching

Conferência Aberta com John Baldacchino

  • 11 Dezembro 2019
  • 4:00 PM
  • Aula Magna da FBAUP

While we often assume that teaching art is inherently to do with a formative aesthetic, this needs to be qualified by the context of teaching itself and more so the inherent paradox that it carries as a pedagogical “practice”. Beyond the rather facile question “Can art be taught?”, the responsibility and implication of teaching (as such and not limited to art education) carries both a challenge to what we mean by “aesthetics” in a schooled context, and more so what do our pedagogical values consist of. Here I will explore and interrogate with you what we often assume as being “givens” in teaching, and how these are challenged when the issue of a “formative aesthetic” comes in. More so, we need to bear in mind that a “formative” aesthetic is not always or only concerned with “teaching art” but with a wider concern for aspects of formativity which we often identify with learning, unlearning, growth, development, understanding, and all of those assumptions by which we tend to define education as such. A particualr focus on the idea of “form” and the “formative”, will help us open up this horizon into several possibilities which more often than not come to us as a surprise, and by which we also challenge what (and how) we regard ourselves to be and do as teachers (and artists).

Organization: i2ADS/FBAUP and MEAV — Mestrado em Ensino de Artes Visuais no 3º Ciclo do Ensino Básico e no Ensino Secundário — (FPCEUP/FBAUP)

John Baldacchino is Professor of Arts Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also served as the Director of the Division of the Arts between 2016 and 2019. A graduate of the Universities of Malta (B.Ed) and Warwick (MA and PhD) he was a member of faculty at Columbia University in New York, and the universities of Dundee, Falmouth, Robert Gordon and Warwick in Britain. A specialist in art, philosophy and education, he is the author of many journal articles, reviews and catalogue essays, and journalistic contributions. To date he authored fourteen books, which include Education Beyond Education: Self and the imaginary in Maxine Greene’s Philosophy (2009); Makings of the Sea (2010), Art’s Way Out (2012), John Dewey (2014) and Art as Unlearning (2018), the latter including several papers that he originally presented at the Facultade de Belas Artes at the University of Porto. He is the editor of Histories and Philosophies: The International Encyclopaedia of Art and Design Education (Wiley 2019). His new volume, Educing Ivan Illich: Reform, Contingency and Disestablishment, will be out in 2020.