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At once provocative and inspiring, Against the Flow is a work of polemic from an internationally respected writer and thinker on arts education. Peter Abbs argues that contemporary education ignores the aesthetic and ethical as a result of being in thrall to such forces as the market economy and managerial and functional dictates. He identifies the present education system as being inimical to creativity and authentic learning and instead, narrowly focused on the quantitative measuring of results. This absence of a creative and ethical dimension in education has implications for art making in wider society. Art is shown as emerging from, and appealing to, the ironic postmodernist sensibility and mass media-led culture, while being devoid of philosophical significance.
This book opens up a fresh and timely debate about the vital power of creativity in modern education. Drawing on examples from modern poetry, literature and visual art, it is an eloquent and passionate argument for the need to develop ethical and aesthetic energies to confront the growing vacuity of contemporary culture.
|Pt. I||The poetics of education||7|
|1||The arts, postmodern culture and the inner dynamic of authentic education||9|
|2||On the spiritual in art, culture and education||26|
|3||The rise and fall of the new arts paradigm in education||44|
|Pt. 2||The poetics of culture||63|
|4||The three faces of wisdom: literature and the arts as radical routes to understanding||65|
|5||The creative word and the creative life: a cultural map of autobiography from classical Greece to the postmodern crisis||85|
|6||Music, metaphor, meaning: a poetics before and after postmodernism||106|
|7||Thirty-nine notes towards a new metaphysical poetry||117|
|8||Art against the Zeitgeist: on the work of four contemporary art-makers||130|