For years I tried to smuggle in creativity as the shy guest on a high table of scholarship and proper learning and teaching. With time I realised that if I were to make real changes in the way learning and teaching, and research, I had to be bold and embrace creativity and beauty.
Aesthetics and creativity are related cousins, but the notion of beauty has been misunderstood and neglected in higher education. Similarly there is a divorce between ethics and aesthetics, even though in its origins the two terms are related. Aristotle referred to the human goal of living a good life: eudomonia, where beauty and ethics complete a person. For me it’s all about “bonito living” and idea that I’ve been exploring both in my practice as artist and educator. Living beautifully is a way of merging ethics and aesthetics in the daily life: the aim of being good with living a joyful life: a caring, generous, optimistic, healthy life. A life where all around us speak of beauty: from our way to design our slides, tell stories, or dressing for that lecture on gender 🙂
Unfortunately, we have equated “beauty” with “art” and “good art”, being such considerations silly ways of excluding and denying the democractic and free aspects of everyday aesthetics (Dewey!).
This accessibility is provided by creativity in HE and it’s possiblity of transforming lives in learning and teaching. A bold attitude and a brave heart are both beautiful and necessary!