Although the arts are often thought to be closer to the rim of education than to its core, they are, surprisingly, critically important means for developing complex and subtle aspects of the mind, argues Elliot Eisner in this engrossing book. In it he describes how various forms of thinking are evoked, developed, and refined through the arts. These forms of thinking, Eisner argues, are more helpful in dealing with the ambiguities and uncertainties of daily life than are the formally structured curricula that are employed today in schools. Offering a rich array of examples, Eisner describes different approaches to the teaching of the arts and the virtues each possesses when well taught. He discusses especially nettlesome issues pertaining to the evaluation of performance in the arts. Perhaps most important, Eisner provides a fresh and admittedly iconoclastic perspective on what the arts can contribute to education, namely a new vision of both its aims and its means. This new perspective, Eisner argues, is especially important today, a time at which mechanistic forms of technical rationality often dominate our thinking about the conduct and assessment of education.
Learning in and through the arts can develop complex and subtle aspects of the mind, argues Elliot Eisner in this book. Offering an array of examples, he describes different approaches to the teaching of the arts and shows how these refine forms of thinking that are valuable in dealing with our daily life.
"Eloquent."-Library Journal The 2005 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education"Elliot Eisner is long regarded as one of the most eloquent and best informed of those critical of the technicism dominating so many schools. At once, he is known as a trailbreaker in contemporary efforts to make the artistic-aesthetic dimension of experience central in public education's classrooms. This book reimagines the kinds of reforms needed in education, as it brings together Eisner's generative notions about learning and teaching, arts-based research, and (climactically) a conception of mind as process, a way of being in and acting upon the world. Encounters with the arts, Eisner tells us, can nurture and enrich mind in its becoming. The very idea of 'creation' in this context opens perspectives on ways of making 'mind' the beating heart of live and humane schools."-Maxine Greene, Teachers College, Columbia University "Elliot W. Eisner is the preeminent spokesperson for the arts in education. Not since John Dewey has an American scholar written with such insight, power, and grace about the arts and the development of mind. Professor Eisner reveals, through the art of his own thought, the exciting role the arts can play in the education of the nation's youth. This sensitive vision explains why the arts are justified in education on their own merits."-Michael Day, professor in department of visual arts, Brigham Young University, author of Children and Their Art"This book is an eloquent addition to any art educator's library. Eisner's greatest gift is his ability to perceive and capture, making the ineffable richly apparent. This book represents his lifetime achievement in the arts through compelling discussions by many prominent arts educators. It resonates with Eisner's work and provokes us to re-think all that we may take for granted. I highly recommend this volume for anyone interested in promoting or studying the arts in education."-Rita C. Irvin, Professor, Department of Curriculum Studies, University of British Columbia"By illuminating the various ways that making and appreciating art are cognitive endeavors, Eisner invites us to celebrate the uniqueness of art education and entices us to explore the rich connections between thinking and learning in the arts and in other areas."-Shari Tishman, Harvard University"In straightforward, accessible language, Eisner takes us deeply into the realm of the arts, a realm of unique, powerful meanings available nowhere else. A life without these meanings is a life impoverished, Eisner explains, and an education that neglects them is similarly impoverished. The arts, here, receive a cogent, richly argued justification as basic in education and in life."-Bennett Reimer, author of A Philosophy of Music Education: Advancing the Vision
Yale University Press