Aesthetic curriculum may be thought of in myriad ways. It refers to teaching aesthetics as a branch of philosophy, using aesthetic ideas to teach and understand the arts in education, or applying aesthetics to inform and teach the general curriculum. Lastly, aesthetics has also been used to study curriculum. To understand these varied orientations, theories and curricular implications of major philosophers will be examined, along with key features of each of the aforementioned orientations.

The word aesthetics changes meaning over time and according to the interests of the writer using it. Sometimes aesthetics is associated with the senses, and at other times discussions about taste and beauty dominate. Still in other writings, aesthetics and art are almost interchangeable, the former referring to an engaged experience and the latter referencing a product or consummate experience.