Education as Barrier to Experience

To read Adorno is always a pleasure, though not unmixed with pain. The painful bits are the best—at least any artist who can feel a dissonance should think so. Looking back at an earlier post about art education we might find these words relevant:

“The problem of making everything pedagogical is a general one, familiar to pedagogy as well. To this way of thinking it is more important how a thing is presented to people, and who takes care of its communication and popularization, than what is going to be presented to them. Again and again, one can encounter the excessive and compulsive concern about this.”

Back in the day one might have found an individual in education who worried about it, but not now. The pedagogical mentality is unquestioned and dominating, not to mention domineering. Children are instructed in this mentality from earliest years, and art is treated as an empty category. It’s assumed that “the arts” are a social good, but the notion that a particular work of art has a particular value that can be nominated gives immediate offense, at least in my neighborhood. The plague of bureaucratic thinking spreads from the school system into every corner. I hope some student reads this and feels the pain.


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