The aim of this study is to reveal the cognitive structures of visual arts preservice teachers related to aesthetics. The study group consists of 110 visual arts preservice teachers who have taken the aesthetic course at Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen University. The data of the study, in which qualitative research approach was used, was obtained through word association test. The data were analyzed by content analysis, and conceptual categories were formed. In this context, pre-service teachers participating in the study derived 758 words related to aesthetic concept. The words that were reported commonly by at least two participants were included in the study. Words that repeated only once, the irrelevant and meaningless words were not included in the study. Within the scope of the study, 709 of 758 words derived by the preservice teachers were used. This constitutes 93.5% of the total words. 91 different words included within 709 words were collected under 9 conceptual categories through content analysis. These are: 1. The Topics of Aesthetics, 2. Definitions of Aesthetics, 3. Aesthetics Experience, 4. The Source of Aesthetics, 5. Characteristics of Aesthetics, 6. Aesthetics Theories, 7. Aesthetics Attitudes/Behaviors, 8. Aesthetics Judgment, 9. The relationship of aesthetics with other sciences. Accordingly, the topics of aesthetics and definitions of aesthetic constitute a large part of the cognitive structures of preservice teachers regarding the concept of aesthetics. It was found that the preservice teachers do not have sufficient cognitive structure for important subjects such as aesthetic attitude and aesthetic judgment.
Keywords: Art Education, Aesthetics, PreserviceTeachers, Cognitive Structure