Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Democracy, the Arts, and Aesthetic Education

  • Heidi WesterlundEmail author
  • Lauri Väkevä
  • Tuulikki Laes
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-532-7_685-1


Creativity; Esthetics; Experience; Growth; Politics; Social equality

This contribution examines how aesthetic education can be framed in terms of democracy and how this framing can characterize the role of the arts in education as a distinct endeavor. The claim is that arts education is more than teaching the student(s) to judge the aesthetic value of art works and learning to appreciate the refined efforts of genuine artists or, indeed, the criteria for professional artistry. Each of the presented three perspectives on democracy in arts and aesthetic education transcends the simple association of arts education being a branch of aesthetic education and envisioning aesthetic education as a significant way to inhabit the public space in society. In each of the perspectives, democracy means more than a political form or a way of securing the rule of the people over decisions that influence their lives. Rather, democracy is characterized by a constant effort, which means that...

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This research has been undertaken as part of the project The Arts as Public Service: Strategic Steps towards Equality (ArtsEqual) funded by the Academy of Finland (project no. 314223/2017).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi Westerlund
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lauri Väkevä
    • 1
  • Tuulikki Laes
    • 2
  1. 1.Sibelius AcademyUniversity of the Arts HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.CERADAUniversity of the Arts HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Leonard Tan

There are no affiliations available