Encouraging Empathy through Aesthetic Engagement
An Art Lesson in Living Compositions
University of Georgia, USA
Notre Dame Academy, USA
Citation: Riddett-Moore, K. (2009). Encouraging empathy through aesthetic engagement: An art lesson in living compositions. International Journal of
Education & the Arts, 10(Portrayal 2). Retrieved [date] from http://www.ijea.org/v10p2/.
This paper demonstrates how aesthetic engagement can encourage empathy and caring
in the art classroom. As artful inquiry, this hybrid form of arts-based educational
research and teacher research examines my own classroom practice and pedagogy
exploring how aesthetics can become a philosophy of care. Part 1 outlines the Living
Compositions Exercise, an introductory activity students play to introduce the concepts
of space, relationship, and care, and a discussion on how this is an aesthetic experience
that encourages empathy. Part 2, Inquiry into Piazza, addresses how student inquiry,
artistic critique, and dialogue can lead to self-formation through art. The outcome of
aesthetic engagement here is to promote empathetic response and action, which is
manifested through the living inquiry of the students.
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