Chapter 13

Adults, Appreciation, and Participatory Arts Education

By Danielle La Senna

ABSTRACT: Arts appreciation courses for non-artist adult learners are a neglected area in the field of arts education. While adult students make up most of the contemporary arts audience, there are challenges to teaching this demographic. Adult students span 80+ years in age and have vastly different educational demands; most younger adults want greater interaction and participation, while many older adults prefer a “sit and listen” classroom. Participation and engagement are necessary for arts appreciation, and as the adult population shifts, more participatory pedagogical models will be necessary to accommodate the next generation of adults and the changing arts landscape of the future.

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