This chapter looks at New York City through the educational discipline known as aesthetic education (AE). It provides an example of an adaptation of this inquiry-based methodology that emerges from a freshman transition course, Discover New York (DNY) taught by the author at St. John’s University. Through an examination of classroom pedagogy within the context of the course focus – homelessness in New York City – readers gain: an understanding of aesthetic education as a powerful tool for student engagement in general; and strategies for adapting processes described in the chapter into their own educational practice. Aesthetic education is an approach to learning that has at its center the use of works of art as texts to ignite curiosity and the desire to know more. In the case of this chapter’s journey, the city itself serves as the text, the “work of art.” The chapter maps classroom activities that engage learners’ imaginations in general inquiry, and deeper investigations into the central focus of the course, homelessness, addressing as well an integral element of the course, Academic Service Learning. Finally, it invites the reader to imagine how AE methodology might prove useful to other relevant courses, contexts, and settings.
Upton, H. (2014), "Aesthetic Education and Discover New York: Inquiry, the Arts and Civic Engagement", Inquiry-Based Learning for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 325-343. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120140000002029
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