(2013) Critical thinking in Older Adult Education: The Contribution of Aesthetic Experience

in Theory

This paper argues that the skill of critical thinking is necessary for older people and that the exploration of works of art is one of the main ways that lead to the empowerment of critical thinking. The paper outlines a process of ‘transformative learning through aesthetic experience’. It discusses a European Grundtvig Project, ARTiT, and illustrates from it the stages through which aesthetic experience can stimulate and confirm transformative learning. Crucial issues which arise in the process are considered. Finally, the process and its outcomes are grounded in a detailed case-study of a group of 15 older people, in a day centre outside Athens, questioning, debating and learning critically about family relationships in the context of a work of art.


International Journal of Education and Ageing Vol. 3, No. 2, 137-150, October 2013, ISSN: 2044-5458


Keywords

Works of art, critical thinking, transformative learning, aesthetic experience.

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