This study re-examines integrative approaches to traditional literati's education and explores the modern condition of Korean vision regarding the modern Cartesian perspective as a posed problem. The Cartesian perspective is a dichotomy with a rational self-centered perspective, supported by a text-based education system, but it has enhanced students' left brain laterality ignoring the harmonious both brain's development of reason and emotion, and brought rationalization and marginalization of visual ability which are symptoms of visual immaturity. The modern condition has continued to degenerate this traditional harmonious way of seeing up to the present day along with losing the symbolic meaning of images.
As a result of these large-scale cultural shifts, not only has the Eastern tradition of educating literati disappeared but the role of art has also become separated from everyday life, and become stifled without adapting to today's context. Losing traditional values means losing oneself as a cohesive whole. Koreans have lost their way of seeing which was previously unified within a monistic universe along with the changes from traditional ways, even though one's visual ability is connected to their perceptions and cognition.
We must start from a critical point of view to review the causes of this situation in terms of its historical, socio-cultural, and educational contexts. An educational goal is to find a way to solve this modern visual immaturity, which is the eyeless state in terms of Buddhism. Traditional education can play a role not only in relation to educational goals, but also as a means to recover the Korean identity and their way of seeing. To achieve the harmonious unification of the left and right hemispheres of the brain, we need to reinforce the right hemisphere of the brain in this left brain-centered educational environment.
The main focus of this dissertation is to reconstruct this lost vision and to develop the right hemisphere of the brain, which is people's latent ability in their true nature. These two goals can gain from recovering the role of Eastern literati's Shishuhua (poetry, calligraphy and painting) education. Shishuhua unified philosophy/writing and art/drawing and painting is literati's tool for learning and expressing their thoughts through symbolic meaning of a nature. Indeed, traditional education is Shishuhua practice. It provides a unifying worldview to solve the problems of modern times and is the way to teach visual self-expression which is the role of art as visual literacy as a contemporary conversion.
However, literati's Shishuhua tradition is already dead. To recover its role, we have to deconstruct the Cartesian, self-centered way of seeing and revitalize the role of traditional art as visual literacy. That is, it is to deconstruct the modern construction and reconstruct the lost vision and symbolic meaning within a mind and body connection. It is not to teach how to make a good art but to teach how to see well in our school curriculum.
In conclusion, this dissertation proposes an emergence of self-expressive visual education. Issues of reeducating teachers and discussion for further implementation of visual self-expressive education are explored and described.