Beyond Control and Rationality: Dewey, Aesthetics, Motivation, and Educative Experiences


by David Wong - 2007

Contemporary perspectives in psychology and education characterize ideal students as rational and in control of their thinking and actions. The good student is often described as intentional, cognitive, metacognitive, critical, and reflective. I begin with a brief history of control and rationality to establish how “The Tradition” is deeply rooted in philosophy, religion, and, in general, the story of Western civilization. Although these qualities are indeed important, I suggest that powerful educative experiences can neither be fully explained nor evoked if learners exercise only logical reasoning and self-control. I call on the aesthetic philosophy of Dewey and others to propose that transformative, compelling experiences require not only the rational, intentional processes of acting on the world, but also the non-rational, receptive process of undergoing. Dewey’s aesthetic experience, as described in “Art as Experience,” integrates both the rational and non-rational, and self-control and its opposite. In the implications section, I propose that anticipation—the imaginative sensing of possibility—as an important new motivation construct because it captures the aesthetic qualities of engaging educative experiences. I also discuss conditions that could support these kinds of experiences in the classroom. I conclude with a few provocative ideas: a new view of autonomy, the essential role of faith in education, value without work, suffering is passion, and responsibility redefined.


To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Sign-in
Email:
Password:
Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
 
Purchase this Article
Purchase Beyond Control and Rationality: Dewey, Aesthetics, Motivation, and Educative Experiences
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
$12
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
$25
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.
$210


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 109 Number 1, 2007, p. 192-220
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12740, Date Accessed: 5/31/2020 6:38:26 AM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review