Embracing resistance and asymmetry in pre-service teacher aesthetic education

Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 9 (3):322-338 (2010)
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This narrative account describes and analyzes the story of resistance to aesthetic education in an undergraduate pre-service teacher education program. After carefully listening to the students’ resistance to the Lincoln Center Institute’s aesthetic education component of their student teacher experience, the author designs a curriculum initiative to address the questions of relevance and application of aesthetic education in pre-service teacher preparation. This article follows the initiation, development, implementation, and evaluation of the aesthetic art initiative. Framed by Young’s understanding of ‘asymmetrical reciprocity’, the author suggests that three layers of asymmetry — instructor asymmetry, departmental asymmetry, and institutional asymmetry — may have influenced the pre-service teachers’ engagement with aesthetic education. This autoethnographic account asserts that embracing resistance and asymmetry may be important to the development of aesthetic education with pre-service teachers, and also yields insight into the ways contextual features of higher education may influence educational experiences



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