Term of Award

Fall 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Delores Liston

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Dan Rea

Committee Member 3

Kathryn Richardson-Jones

Abstract

This study begins with the construction of a bridge that symbolizes the philosophers that impact this study: John Dewey, Elliot Eisner, Maxine Greene, and Delores Liston. The bridge is the beginning of a journey where I analyze the concepts of aesthetics and community. This in-depth analysis culminates with the study of a school that successfully incorporates aesthetics and community into its curriculum. The study is based on a methodology known as portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot, 1997) where relationships and community involvement are important elements in telling the story of a school. In order to fully paint this portraiture, interviews were conducted, observations performed, and work samples collected. This study takes education from the negative realm where it seems to be housed during a time of standardization and test scores and brings light and hope with concepts such as community and aesthetics. The school portrayed, Porter-Gaud School, is a prominent private school located in Charleston, South Carolina. The Porter-Gaud School campus houses grades kindergarten through twelfth and is a coeducational, college preparatory day school with ties to the Episcopal Church. The school is a successful academic institution with a focus on education, socialization, spirituality, athletics, and artistry. With a focus being on aesthetics, this dissertation cannot merely be written. Website links have been created to paint this portraiture with an aesthetic lens. Student artwork is displayed among these sites as well as pictured in the paper. Photos of the arts and performances are portrayed to visually show the importance the school places on aesthetics.

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