The Sandcastle Classroom

An Aesthetic Perspective of the Classroom as Temporary Art


  • Eric William Mishne Ohio University



This essay positions the classroom as a work of art. More specifically, the author suggests that the classroom is a form of temporary art not unlike a sandcastle. Relying heavily on John Dewey’s Art as Experience, and finding auxiliary support from authors such as Elaine Scarry, Drew Leder, and Kenneth Burke, this essay argues that art and teaching occur simultaneously and are inseparable. Comparing teaching to building a sandcastle and other types of art, an examination of the role of the teacher as an artist, the course content as the message, the space of the classroom as the medium, and the students as the audience build the foundation for this artful perspective of teaching. Finally, the collaborative experience of the teacher and student illustrate the long term effects of this aesthetic perspective reinforcing the value of purposeful and artistic classroom instruction and course creation.


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How to Cite

Mishne, E. W. “The Sandcastle Classroom: An Aesthetic Perspective of the Classroom As Temporary Art”. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, vol. 5, no. 6, June 2017, pp. 80-97, doi:10.31686/ijier.vol5.iss6.699.