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Aesthetic Education: Hammering at Mutual Development between Inner World and Outer World
Yunyun Luo Ph.D
Professor of Aesthetics
Philosophy Department of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
This theory system is one of achievements of some relative research items (include “Today’s social human condition and aesthetic education of teen-age” that is the major program of The Ministry of Education P.R.C from 1996 to 2000, “Reform and practice of the aesthetic education didactical content and curricular system in university and college face to 21 century ” that is the research program of Beijing Normal College, etc), it is the concentrate and materialize of the last word of aesthetic education at home and abroad presently .
The put forward of this curricular system based on The Ministry of Education P.R.C about pattern of person with ability face to 21 century, according as the essence and character of aesthetic education (namely aesthetic education is the entia of sense education, interest education and personality education), the developmental earmark of teen-age body and mind, the situation of our country and multi-analysis principle.
In the concrete, this curricular system looks on the new century’s aesthetic education course of school as a group of courses (just as the intellectual education course not only one topic but makes up of many topics), those course group run through the whole process of education (from the elementary school to the university), it includes the primary channel as well as the secondly classroom, activity and appreciatory courses as well as theoretic courses; it content relates to classical works of various nation, culture and type, bring up the artistic creativity of teen-age, as well as the essential knowledge of aesthetic, aesthetic education, history of art, artistic criticize and aesthetic culture.
Among this curricular system, we set up our courses aim of grade school as sense education (a keen sense and inspire sensibility and imagination), interest education (form exalted aesthetic spice during the aesthetic enjoy) at high school and personality education (to unify sense and rational, mold fine personality) at college and university.
Keyword: aesthetic education, diathesis education, sense education, rational education, interest education, personality education, curricular design of aesthetic education.
Yunyun Luo, Assistant Research Professor in Institute of Modern History of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences , 1989-1992
Assistant Research Professor in Institute of Literature of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences , 1992-1995
Associate Research Professor in Institute of Literature of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences , 1995-2002
Professor in Philosophy Department of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
Aesthetic Education: Hammering at Mutual Development between Inner World and Outer World
The distinguished American black leader Martin Luther King once published an essay titled “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” on the problems of American society in 1967, the year before he was assassinated. There is a profound logion in it. He said: “we have to span the great gulf fixed between scientific progress and moral advancement through our persevering efforts with huge enthusiasm. Today, one of the most serious problems in human being is that we meet with poverty in our spirit which vividly contrasts with richness in technology, as people’s material lives become richer and richer and their spirit lives get more and more indigent. Everyone lives in these two worlds: inner world and outer world. The inner world owns the core of spiritual aim expressed by arts, literatures, morality and religion; by contrast, the outer world is an integration formed by equipment, technology, mechanism and instrument which we live on. The present problem of us undoubtedly shows that we allow ourselves to be bankrupt in inner world resulted from outer world. In other words, we allow instrument to transcend the living aim. … If without corresponding growth in soul, the strengthening power of materials would imply the increscent disaster. When the outer world conquers the inner one, gloomy rainstorm will come into being.” Nowadays in 21st century along with the progressive richness in material and the progressive diversification in mind, do the Chinese people face the same puzzle that we can not develop our internal and external world simultaneously? From the current development of the modern aesthetic culture, in my opinion, this situation does not exist.
The imbalance between the development of substance and spirit, science and morality, sensibility and sense (logos) has been exited for long. At the beginning of this century, the improvement of science and technology and the modernization of our society were ended up with the limitation of human beings’ individual full development. The limitation provoked Herbert Marcuse to realize that there was danger for the industrial society to cultivate human beings into “one-sized” persons. From then on, many humanists had realized the tremendous damage brought by the separation of sense from sensibility and the unilateral over-emphasizing of the development of individuals’ personality. And those humanists voluntarily shouldered the heavy burden to liberate humans’ sensibility. The Chinese aesthetic scholars especially had realized deeper: to the Chinese people, who had been deprived of the sensibility and aesthetic right and whose nation’s aesthetic quality had been degraded to an unprecedented degree through the ten-year catastrophic culture revolution, liberating people’s world of sensibility oppressed for many years by aesthetic education and promoting the perfection of the individual personality was an urgent and compulsory obligation. However, what I have to remind you of now is that there is a new imbalance between the development of substance and spirit, science and morality, sensibility and sense in the new transformation period of our society. Currently we have to prepare ourselves for avoiding the other new kind “one-sized man”, namely the persons who indulge themselves in the world of sensibility, who only pursue and enjoy the happiness from sensibility and who have lost their own rational thinking and the grasp of art and life.
The modern-society culture environment has proposed a new requirement for the teen-age’s aesthetic education, and a new requirement for the theory researching on beauty research at the same time. The environment requires an explanation on a series of theories like the essence of aesthetic education, which has Chinese style and which is new and modernized, according to the change of the time spirit and the ultimate goal of quality education. These following of this book are to be an attempt on this aspect.
Ⅰ.Essence of Aesthetic Education
We always think that we have different ideas towards aesthetic education in different eras. The quick development of aesthetic education in our country is closely related to the all-round advance of our quality education. So, we cannot abandon the background of quality education to re-explain aesthetic education. What is education? Education is a purposeful, organized and planned social practice to cultivate people. In the modern society, depending on this essence and function, education gains its important status and plays a very important role in economic, society, culture development and the improvement of human beings. In fact, to cultivate people is to change their potential into reality maximally, that is, to separate people’s potentials of learning, being nice, love-pursuit and growing-up healthily and then make all of these have a full and harmonized development.
Since The Central Party Committee and The State Council gave instructions on and transmitted the <Action Plan of Vitalizing Education towards the 21st Century > by the Ministry of Education in 1990, our country has begun a hot round education reform. The reason why quality education becomes a hot-issue again draws many people’s academic interests and attentions. As we know the word “Quality” was originally a physiological and psychological concept, which meant the dissected and physiological characteristics people own by nature which come from inheritance, so it also could be called “inherited quality”. And the concept of quality in modern education contains both this congenital natural endowment and the possibility for people to develop in society, culture and other aspects. The concept of quality we are talking about here refers to the summation of development potential people may and should realize, including both the congenital and acquired factors; it is relatively stable, but it can develop and be modified as well; it is a must for individual development, and it is common need for a certain society; it can be classified into many categories like physical quality, psychological quality, social culture quality, and it is a comprehensive integration.
The proposal on the idea of “Quality-oriented education” applies well to our nation’s historic task of modernized construction and improvement of the whole nation’s quality. To us, the idea of “Quality-oriented education” should mainly contain the followings:
1. Quality-oriented education should put the all-around improvement of the comprehensive ability of the educated as its basic tasks; it should set the students’ full development in moral, intellectual, physical, aesthetics and labor education as the goal. That is to say, education does not only means teaching, developing one’s ability and dealing with exams, but also means improving the students’ qualities of all aspects as a whole, which is more important, as a complete unit.
2. Quality-oriented education should emphasis the students’ entity position and initiative role during course in educating and should emphasis that the education receivers must include all students, which makes them study creatively and develop actively.
3. Quality-oriented education should treat the students’ healthy growing-up as an important educational value orientation. More than educate people who have certain knowledge and who are able to work, education should cultivate such people who are physically and mentally healthy, who can create material and spiritual riches and who have all-around individual characters. Therefore, besides knowledge and technology, students should have better physical quality, moral quality, aesthetic quality, psychological quality and humane quality, which are the most fundamental.
4. Quality-oriented education is also a way to promote people’s modernization by education. Quality-oriented education should specifically measured by people’s modernization and prepare the students with the respective qualities, which can help them ready for the modern society and construction of a modern country.
It is obvious to realize that for the final purpose of quality-oriented education, aesthetic education is essential. Based on this, the Central Party Committee and the State Council list aesthetic education in our policy for education again. Confirming this clearly helps us to define value pointing to and task of teenagers’ aesthetic education further. It is not exaggerated to say that aesthetic education plays a quite important role in the transformation from exam-oriented education to quality education. Our understanding to teenagers’ aesthetic education should combine the great background of educational reform of our country first. It is one of the basic content of carrying out the policy for education of our country in an all-round ways to pay attention to aesthetic education, implement aesthetic education. To bring out the teen-age’s potentials effectively, we have to promote their development in aesthetics; to improve the teen-age’s general quality; we must always keep it in mind to enhance their aesthetic quality; to improve the teen-age’s moral, psychological and humane qualities, so we have to depend on aesthetic education. In other words, we can really attach importance to the students’ aesthetic education by putting really emphasis on quality-oriented education; only after we have a full and deep understanding of it can we have a clear understanding of its essence, function and task for the teen-age’s aesthetic education. And the improvement of the knowledge of aesthetic education helps us grasp of the connotation and range of quality-oriented education better. Aesthetic education is one of the fundamental factors contained in modern people’s qualities, which is relatively independent and has positive influence in the improvement of moral, psychological and humane qualities. Therefore, the quality-oriented education without aesthetic education is incomplete, not overall.
On this basis, we continue to know about the unique nature of aesthetic education and functional question so that we can get a relatively more distinct clue. That is, aesthetic education is an organism, a comprehensive system project, which especially shows up as the integration of sensibility education, taste education and personality education.
1. Aesthetic education is a kind of sensibility education
Aesthetic education has direct and interior relationship with human sensibility. Sensibility contains human instinct, desire and feelings, is the most important part of human nature. And the meaning with original aesthetic education is the education of the sensibility, emotion —“sensibility education” exactly shows that it has most basic and characteristic factors.
Generally speaking, aesthetics is the balanced point between sensibility and sense; aesthetic education is also an educational course of the mutual harmonization between sense and sensibility, feelings and intellect. However, comparatively speaking, in various kinds of education forms, aesthetic education relatively overweighs perceptually with sense and feelings which its special character of quality, function and regularity, and its special value in the modern science and industrial times are rooted in. Under the domination of scientism and rationalism, our educational theories always describe individual’s growing-up as a process from sensibility to sense, from material sensibility to abstractive thinking. Therefore it makes us form a kind of illusion that the task of education seems to bring about an advance in people’s reason and to develop people’s latent ability of thinking. Really, the individual has a development orbit from perceptual to rational to grow up; one of the important tasks of education is to improve people’s rational ability constantly. But people are the entities of perceptual and rational, spirit and flesh, so people’s development should regard development of the overall one, the whole as the goal. While training people’s rational ability, we should not ignore or abandon the cultivation of people’s perceptual ability (such as intuition, imagination, etc.). Proceeding from this basic principle, education should refer to both of sensibility and sense. But, in the field of our present education, there is something usually being ignored seriously such as acumen of sensibility, development of intuition, cultivation of imagination, the promotion of experience strength, etc. Therefore, aesthetic education is ignored —a lot of people even bring those aesthetic educations, which incline to sensibility and emotion, into mandatory rational education track. Truly, this view does not tally with particularity of aesthetic education at all.
As “sensibility education” the aesthetic education being, it educates the side of sensibility and also is the indispensable supplement to the rational education, meanwhile it uses the symbolic means to educate people in order to keep vitality and directness of sensibility. More importantly, aesthetic education is such an education shaping healthy personality, improving life quality, and promoting the society and culture health towards the modernization through liberating and promoting people’s sensibility. This characteristic of aesthetic education, concretely embody in two respects: “sensibility outlet” and “sensibility distillation”. The so-called “sensibility outlet” refers to leading the educated to release their emotion in the civilized and healthy way during the course of aesthetic education, which would make their passion obtain freedom. That is to say, in the course of modern education, it is not simply to oppress human being’s emotion, by contraries, in order to let the educated grow up healthily it should let them get proper expressing which fits the healthy way. So what the aesthetic education wants is to liberate people’s sensibility from the state of emphasizing rational suppression excessively and ignore perceptual development, and to release people’s sensibility out of numb and obtuse state, to resume it sensitive, vivid and abundant again. And the so-called “sensibility distillation”, is to, through aesthetic education activity, make people’s sensibility from the unconscious depths to the top layer, to rise people’s emotional aspect from the animal to the human nature even more, from biological competence to the level of sociology, so that it really makes the sensibility up to hominine. Only on the basis of this kind of promotion, the human nature could radiate the brilliant rays. In fact, why is it able to sublime the sensibility? A chief reason is that because it itself is beyond-utilitarian and non- practical, in other words, to spring of human being’s sense organ, to open-up of human being’s imagination, to inspiration of human being’s emotion, aesthetic education does not guide them into certain use value of the real target or themselves, but to make people obtain certain degree of freedom and depth through aesthetic activity in aesthesia in target, and to show the intension with human nature, and to become real people’s aesthesia —This is exactly a basic meaning of competence distilling to human nature from level of animal too.
In the modern society it is significant to emphasizing aesthetic education as “sensibility education”. First of all, in the industrialized society, the division of human nature has already spread all over a great deal of fields of the human society, because of which there are various kinds of spiritual diseases appearing therefore the serious perplexing problems come forth along with the social development, and become the great obstacle while realizing modernization. If let it go like this, modernization is not only impossible to realize, also prospect of human even turns to the dim state. Although there are many reasons can cause the division of human nature, and undeniably, lack of such educations for a long time can also be the one of these important causations, so without aesthetic education, such self-conscious education, it will be absolutely impossible to make the deep wound of the human nature division up. Secondly, such lack of sensibility education for long still causes another serious consequence, which is that when rational controlling is weakened, when sensibility obtains the loose time, but because sensibility cannot express and display itself correctly, then it would appear inclination of degrading and materialization easily, and fall into the wrong road into which sensibility sinks. In other words, during the process of that we are constructing socialist spiritual enlightenment with Chinese characteristics, it is far from being enough to only liberate and lead off sensibility, while liberating and leading off, there must also be sensibility distillation, namely there is aesthetic education.
2. Aesthetic education is a kind of taste education
“Taste” as an aesthetic concept, means a kind of ability to distinguish, choose, judge and enjoy the aesthetic targets, it is some psychological tendency which the people show in the aesthetic activity. Its appraising form, based on the emotion such as “liking” or “not liking”, determines the choice of the things correctly. It is embodied in the preferring or choosing aesthetically of the individual, also the common aesthetic inclination of certain community. Certainly, in more extensive sense, taste is not limited to the aesthetic activity strictly; a person’s taste is directly related to his life attitude and relevant value ideals, liking or repelling, is always determined by his basic life value orientation. In this sense, taste education is a kind of life education.
Concretely speaking, the so-called “taste education”, is some indicator works aiming at the individual interest, that is namely to guide people’s interests from low grade to senior grade. At this meaning, there is the close relationship between aesthetic education and people’s tastes.
Obviously, “taste” relates to the fact that people are perceptual. If people’s sensibility only remains perceptually on the animal or the biological level, then, it can only be a kind of low taste. So, to guide “taste”, must be on the foundation, namely starting from perception. But such guide in people, is unable to be enlightened with administrative decree or morals by education way to achieve anticipated purpose obviously, “to guide people by understanding, can only let them know what it should be done at most, or how to do it, but finally whether done or not by the person who is guided, there is no relation. The more what has been known of, the less what has been done. It is easy to excite people with emotion, just like magnetic force to draw the iron, how large magnetism of weight, how does it guide large iron of weight.” Administrative decree, or education by morals mainly aim at reason of people, they just act on taste indirectly, not directly. Aesthetic education proceeded from sensibility, could directly guide the taste of people.
There are realistic meanings to emphasize that the aesthetic education is a kind of taste education. First, from the angle of taste-forming, it is not born by nature but the result of the environment, result of culture; second, from the angle of taste-essence, it separates altitude from inferiority, beauty from ugliness, and good from evil, so, to aesthetic education, it is necessary to educate and guide; third, from the angle of taste-function, it is related to life so that it can affect the life quality and the life assessment. So taste must be an indispensable factor in life. “Taste is the origin of acting. When taste does exhaust, the activity follows to stop. It seems that there is no fuel in the machine room so that it cannot send out the steam, no matter how well it performs, if stopped of non-fuel, it will get rusty, and produce a lot of harmful material. If someone loses being interested at some taste, frankly speaking, he is living an impatient life, though that guy stays in this world reluctantly, only an utterly worthless person as the dead-alive person, if the whole society is like this, that society is as if being of tuberculosis, which could have already been declared to death by doctor. ” “Taste is the motive power of the life, if lost, life becomes meaning of none.” Especially in the age of teenager, aesthetic education seems even more important as taste education that educates, for “to the youth, it is the densest to be interested at any tastes, all day seeking for fun, if not guiding them to the high-grade tastes, they would go down in the opposite way.”
In recent years, with the gradual change of China’s social cultural environment, in particular, with the rise and development of mass’ culture, some vulgar cultural as a consumption has some developmental trend as well. This phenomenon has formed and exerted a certain passive influence on the mass, especially teenagers. Briefly saying, present aesthetic taste contains two negative aspects: “indulgency” and “fleshliness”. “Indulgency” means regarding indulging in material comfort as only purpose in life, just pursuing instant happiness and satisfaction, and scorning to take even a glance at spiritual and surmounting things; they are eager for the need of material life but indifferent to the spiritual life; they pay more attention to external aspects and ignore the training of inner heart. And “fleshliness” pursues sense organic excitement and satisfaction blindly; such taste only stays in the level of physiology which just seeks for venting except for spiritual sublimation, their culture life is reduced to the level that simply meets the instinct desire. These influences are harmful to the advance of level of the mass’ tastes; therefore, it is vital to emphasize aesthetic education as a kind of taste education at present.
3. Aesthetic education is a kind of personality education
As a psychological category, “personality” refers to people’s synthesis of different psychological characteristics mainly. In pass, because of the rationalistic influence on the understanding of “personality”, people think that in the course of shaping personality, development of reason (or development of ethics reason, or development of cognitive reason) is the most important factor in personality so that reason becomes the essential core, and the perceptual factors are repelled in personality. After entering the 20th century, people began to realize gradually that reason is not the only factor of personality-shaping. The humanism psychologists once put forward the concept of “healthy personality” In order to show the strong discontent to “rational man” and “morbid man”, in their opinion, psychology could find out how extensile to the end mankind can extend and develop his own ability based on studying the healthiest personality.
What is “healthy personality”? We consider “healthy personality” as such a self-organism which is unified, harmonious, has coordinates ability, creativity and abundant emotion. It has such several essential features:
(1) Integrality. The healthy personality is such a kind of personality of integrality. First of all, integrality means being overall wholly. That is to say, healthy personality is the result from which all the key elements of personality fully develop as much as possible, but not just one-sided outstanding personality in a certain aspect. Secondly, the integrality requires that all the key elements of personality are unified organically wholly. Development of logical thinking cannot suppress the development of thinking in image but promote the development of it instead; richness of emotion cannot impact the tightness of reason but enrich its creativity instead; enhancement of moral cannot limit variety of imagination but enable imagine deeper instead. In other words, there is harmony and unity inside the healthy personality of integrality, but not the splitting contradiction.
(2) Coordinativity. The healthy personality has the proper attitude and enough ability to deal with the mutual relationships between self and others, self and society, self and nature. Among them, “love” is taken as a basic means to manage those relationships. As we know, love is such an attitude seeking coordinative mutually with external world (including that nature and human), it is similar to the aesthetic attitude, unselfish, hearty and open; love is the inner needs of the healthy personality, The person with it inclines to talk with people and exchange information, regard the realization of love as a kind of unselfish happiness, regard the course of love as the purpose, never ask for anything through love.
(3) Creativity. The healthy personality is a kind of personality that can be lasting and creative. Creativity can generally be divided into two aspects: One refers to creativity and technical ability in specialty, the other one refers to the conscientious consciousness and ability which is constantly realizing and upgrading life and living as a kind of active life-vigor; it is the essential feature of the healthy personality.
(4) Sensibility. The healthy personality is a kind of personality that is beautified and aesthetics-being emotionally and deeply. Its emotion is so emotional and sensitive as to experience uniquely with the environment and self. And, it is not merely the straight sense type that this kind of emotion is experienced, but also after-tasting type, namely it can re-taste some emotion experience, thus make the emotion rise to the level of “pondering”. Meanwhile, healthy personality still has good aesthetic ability to appreciate and express and holds the more graceful artistic work, also has the ability to show intrapersonal life aptly. So, a person with healthy personality often “appreciates repeatedly, and with curiosity and innocence feels family happiness……such as every sun-setting, every flower, every baby, every body”, so as to obtain infinite enjoyment in living.
In a word, actually, “healthy personality” is a kind of intact personality. Just in this meaning, the molding of healthy personality obviously has close relations with aesthetic education. First of all, aesthetic education introjects to healthy personality while molding through promoting people’s development of sensibility. Here, what we need to declare clearly is that the so-called “healthy personality” in fact transcends all the past “one-sided” personalities, crosses beyond the “simply rational man”, surmounts the “morals man”, and exceeds the “simply perceptual man” too; it is coordinated with sensibility and sense so that it can be unified as a kind of intact personality. That is to say, to the healthy personality, only rational development is not enough, it indeed needs people sensibility and reason develop synchronously from which could form personality of health. Just from this point here, aesthetic education introjects to the work of molding of healthy personality. This is mainly because of that, compared with intellectual education and moral education, aesthetic education is of a perceptual character, it attaches importance to people’s aesthesia and emotion, it aims at the sensibility and emotion while carrying on to people. In personality education, in the course of shaping healthy personality, it cannot be proceed without perceptual dimensionality, namely dimension of aesthetic education. If lacking the course of aesthetic education for long, people’s sensibility and emotion can not be cultivated and enhanced, such person would lose ability to communicate with outside environment, and he has to seal himself in a narrow and small personal circle, and can not see wider world beyond this circle at all. Meanwhile, aesthetic education educated as a kind of personality, is not merely participated in molding the healthy personality from the perceptual aspect which develops people, but still in the way of mixing sensibility and sense alternately which is not intellective to promote the forming of healthy personality. For example, through aesthetic education people can be trained and received the attitude, ability and demand of love, can be trained to pursue the values of high-grade life, and their creative developments can also be promoted, emotions can be enriched as well. All these are contents of molding healthy personality.
Secondly, aesthetic education introjects to healthy personality through promoting sense and sensibility developing with each other in harmony. Construction of healthy personality, not only needs rational participation but also perceptual joining, even more to be organic integration of these two. Here, compared with other educational forms, aesthetic education possesses its own uniqueness. Aesthetic education not only possesses the characters of the sensibility, not only promotes the development of people’s perceptual and emotion, the more important thing is that it seems to be a bridge connecting people’s sensibility and sense. Johann Christoph Friedrich Von Schiller ever said clearly: “There are different educations including some promoting the health, some increasing the knowledge, some enhancing the ethic, also some improving ability to appreciate beauty. The purpose of the last kind education aims at training our sensibility and emotion to reach harmony as much as possibly.” This is also exactly what purpose of aesthetic education is.
Therefore aesthetic education develops people’s sensibility and sense synchronously. On one hand, it makes human nature perceptual in order to avoid inclination of materialization and degradation during the course of “sensibility outlet”; On the other hand, it makes human nature rational to prevent from irrational trend owing to excessive dilation. Such result is neither from suppressing sensibility nor suppressing sense. But through various methods, let sensibility possess the contains of civilization and humanization, and let sense get moist to change its “grey” property; there is perceptual support so that sense can base on the solid foundation, as sensibility can hover in the sky when guided and supported by sense. That is to say that aesthetic education is favorable to both people’s sensibility and sense, and its final purpose is to unify and coordinate these two factors in order to get synchronous development. So aesthetic education not only relates to the sensibility but also to the sense; this character becomes the indispensable means to mold the healthy personality.
In the modern society, it is very significative to mold the healthy personality by aesthetic education. Regarding to the west, the modernization has already been being done for many years which also has made the enormous achievements. But at the same time, the western modernization appears a lot of disadvantages as well. Eric Fromm once pointed out, in the western modern society, contrasted sharply with abundance of the material wealth, spiritual pauperization becomes more and more serious. Daisaku Ikeda, who is one of famous Japanese scholars, also says, “The billow of the times of ‘the modernization’, have improved people’s living standard on the material, but have caused the low grade and vainness on spirit. In a word, because ‘modernization’ sets focal point to a large number of material productions, the efficiency and rational distribution, and the material life is improved, but sacrificing the spiritual civilization to pursue the richness of material will cause spiritual emptiness.” He points out that modernization affects human nature in two aspects: “On one hand is shown as pursuing the truth with reason, never satisfying; on the other hand is shown as the pursuit of the material and the present desire. Pursuing the truth results to injure the nature, and lose the heart that is revered of the real rhythm formed by everything in nature; and pursuing the desire results to make the respect and admiration and enterprise of lofty human nature that traditional ethics establish all gone. As a result, just as a lot of intellectuals pointed out in the past or now, they think not merely people’s spiritual dignity goes close to the danger, even human survival.” Nowadays, the crisis appearing in the course of western modernization, in fact, is the crisis appearing in the development of human being which is from the unilateral development of human being. If we want to exceed the western modernization and construct the modernization with Chinese characteristics, we have to carry on aesthetic education from paying more attention to human’s spirit and putting more strength into construction of healthy personality on.
Viewed from situation of our country again, since reform and opening-up, our country also begins the modernized long-march of difficulty and lengthiness. In this specific period, there is a vacuum from the human’s own development: on one hand, people can’t shape the modern person with the traditional ideal of personality again, because it has already been far from meeting the needs of the modern’s development, the disadvantage of traditional personality is shown more and more distinct today; on the other hand, new ideal personality is also forming, so some people do not know with what criterion to put forward the effective request to people in today, the development of people lack of the clear system of goals. These make our education course not enough for the system to the cultivation of personality. Compared with development of the contemporary China’s social material progress, people’s own conditions are obviously more worth worrying. If during the course of our modernization, without the strong concern about people’s condition, without a large amount of input, we will take some detours where the western modernization once passed by again probably in our modernization, so we cannot really construct such a modernization with Chinese characteristics. It is obvious that, while being modernized, in this transitional era, focusing on construction of healthy personality then to further call on participation of aesthetic education is of great and far-reaching significance.
In sum, aesthetic education can be independent and tenable, owing to that it can distil perceptually, and guide taste and perfect personality. In other words, aesthetic education is not single and plane, but a comprehensive organism: the sensibility education is the foundation, the taste education is the medium, and the personality education is the aim. These three factors supplement mutually as integrally as that none of them can be separated from each other. Should saying, the protrusive property of teenagers’ aesthetic education is shown here as well as above.
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