Approaching the renewed Finnish basic education curriculum as a potential and an option for aesthetics

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Abstract

This article provides an overview of how aesthetics is treated in the current Finnish basic education core curriculum document. Relatively little research has been conducted on aesthetics in Finnish curricula, particularly from an interdisciplinary approach. In the broader picture, the position of aesthetics and the appreciation of arts subjects in curricula has paradoxically weakened globally over recent decades, particularly in English-speaking cultures. At the same time, the significance of aesthetics has increased in postmodern culture with, for instance, increasingly more commercial brands. Finland has a broad national core curriculum, and although aesthetics (as a school subject) is not officially part of it the traditional arts subjects (arts, music, crafts), aspects of aesthetics are nevertheless involved in the curriculum. In this study, we investigate how aspects of aesthetics feature in the renewed Finnish curriculum text for basic education. Our analysis shows that only a few specific references to aesthetics can be found in the Finnish renewed curriculum. Conceptually, the lack of postmodern aesthetics is noticeable, particularly in the subject of art, where one can see features of it without the concept being explicitly mentioned. In order to successfully incorporate aesthetics into basic education curricula, we conclude that the subject needs to better reflect notions of participation, self-expression, and divergent thinking.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducare
Volume2020
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)34-52
Number of pages19
ISSN1653-1868
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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