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Visual culture as an area of educational research

Visual Culture as an area of Educational Research

The research unit 'Visual culture as an area of educational research' is housed at the Department of Curriculum Research at, DPU, Aarhus University.

The research unit aims is to develop educational research with a particular focus of the formative and educational role and function of the visual in late modernity.

The research unit engages in project where educational anthropological approaches are applied to examine the meaning and function of the visual in an educational context.

'The visual' denotes three separate fields:

  • Visual phenomena, i.e. what we look at, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, public and private settings and so on
  • visual events, which comprises the entire viewing situation, as it plays out in the relation between the viewer and the visual phenomenon
  • visual culture as a strategy of reflection, which is characterised by a use of different variations of scientific interdisciplinarity and trans-disciplinarity.

Thus, visual culture serves as an educational field that allows for a broad understanding of other aesthetic practices, which are seen as interactive components in the exploration of the visual. This includes, for instance, sound, text and performativity.

The research unit primarily explores:

  • Didactical approaches in the field of visual culture.
  • Educational anthropological studies of sense-based rationales in visual orientation strategies.

Asthetics 2.0 - didactics, visuality, perfomativity

Aesthetics is an important aspect of pedagogics, and has been so since the 1960s, when work began to develop concepts such as aesthetic formation, aesthetic learning processes and others. The field pedagogical aesthetics now face new challenges, including cultural liberation and the emergence of interactive media, which have led to a new demand for a reassessment of 'the aesthetic' in connection with formation and education.

Aesthetics 2.0 is based on aesthetics' historical, philosophical and didactical influence on the visual and media pedagogics, and attempts to question the relevance of the concept in late modernity. How can aesthetics be related to contemporary notions of didactics, visuality and performativity? Do new aesthetics replace the old, or are new layers and dimensions gradually added on top of the existing concept?

Three researchers from the research unit 'Visual culture as an area of educational research' at the Danish School of Education/University of Aarhus use an open and discursive approach to present their views on how to view aesthetics and pedagogics in new ways. The seminar is aimed at researchers, students, teacher trainers and anyone else with an interest in the aesthetic aspects of pedagogics.