Publication details for Prof Mike FlemingFleming, M. (2006). Justifying the Arts: Drama and Intercultural Education. Journal of Aesthetic Education 40(1): 54-64.
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
- ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8510
- Keywords: Teaching methods, Rewards, Multicultural education, Art, intercultural communication, Ethics, Drama.
- View online: Online version
- Durham research online: DRO record
Author(s) from Durham
For teachers of arts subjects, questions about justification can be tiresome in the same way that contemporary aestheticians may feel fatigue about defining art. Providing justification can feel more like an exercise in rhetoric than theoretical enquiry, induced more by political necessity than intellectual challenge. If the value of the arts is not self-evident, it is difficult to advance arguments to convince those who have no knowledge or affinity with them. Not that many educationists admit to falling into the latter category. As Eisner has said, nobody wants to be seen as a philistine. Yet to those with a deep commitment to the value of the arts in education and wider society, the arts are rarely thought to be taken as seriously as they should be. This paper will describe five approaches to the question of justifying the arts before examining the specific case of drama and intercultural education.