International Journal of Art & Design Education

Postgraduate Teacher Education (Art and Design): ‘Wising–up or Dumbing-down’?

Volume 19.3   2000



This research is part of an on-going investigation into student teachers’ perceptions of theory and practice within Initial Teacher Training [ITT] and beyond. Respondents were drawn from a number of specialist ITT providers, and supplemented from other sources. [1] The enquiry grew out of earlier research into examination courses in Key Stage 4 and teachers’ dependency on ‘orthodox’ approaches and content. [2] The likelihood of challenging or breaking down this dependency seemed to rely on student teachers’ ability to critique current practices and speculate as to alternatives, which is made more problematic because of the drastic reduction of time allocation in ITT. [3] This report in part is predicated on the belief that the enforced, crude division of time spent in, and out, of schools polarises theory and practice in the minds of students. This, in turn, tends to undermine the opportunities to explore and experiment with teaching and learning styles, and the degree to which students value and employ theory and make use of, and extend, their subject knowledge. [4]