Deepening connections: Technology as a path to aesthetic Knowing

Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on New Trends in Teaching and Education

Year: 2021


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Deepening connections: Technology as a path to aesthetic Knowing

Jan MacLean



Theories that stress the importance of imagination and creativity as a means for personal and cultural change (Eisner, 2002; Greene, M. 1995; Wilson, M.A., 2007) challenge educators to find ways to incorporate everyday experience as a way to encourage social change, aesthetic awareness and environmental consciousness. As a university educator of new and emerging teachers I have taken this task to heart over the course of my career and designed a number of projects that focus on modeling how the arts can be utilized to instigate societal transformation. However, as a result of scholarly and artistic exchange with Dr. Ming Liang a colleague from China, I began to question the Western notion that in order to instigate positive social change we must “do” something. I wondered if more profound change might arise from subtler engagement with our surroundings. Following this line of inquiry, I designed a project that asks students to observe, record, document and respond through technology, reflective writing and art to a part of nature they encounter as part of their everyday life. In this paper I will describe the “Adopt a (Binary) Tree” project and discuss how approaches that balance the notion of “doing” with the concept of “being” might be utilized to encourage aesthetic and written literacy while inspiring personal and cultural connection inside and outside of the classroom.

Keywords: art; creativity; culture; ecology; education.