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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Mr Conrad Hughes

Hughes, C. (2012). Passion for Beauty: A Model for Learning. Creative Education 3(2): 334-340.

Author(s) from Durham


This essay investigates the idea that effective teaching entails a passion for the beauty of the subject matter being taught. The first part gives a summative overview of the last 72 years of constructivism with references to educational research and discussion on content, cognition and attitudes. This overview is set against the problem of increasing pressure on students and teachers in an age where university places are difficult to secure and students are not always motivated. The second part of the essay investigates the issue of student motivation. Forced learning will be discussed, the problems of trying to cater for student motivation through pedagogy and curriculum, and finally the idea of the muse, arguing that the most effective learning must involve some degree of passion for the subject from the teacher that the student integrates and appropriates. The conclusion of the essay considers passion for beauty as the core element of good learning and how this should be valorized openly and not seen as opposing constructivist pedagogy.