International Journal of Art & Design Education

Exploring the links of Visual Arts and Environmental Education: Experiences of teachers participating to an in service training programme

Volume 23.3   2004



An in service teachers training programme was designed aiming to encourage art teachers to learn through theoretical and artistic experiential activities in a specific environmental setting (Lemithou l environmental education center, Cyprus). The programme was based on the use of the environment as an educational resource, and sought to develop participants’ environmental perception through artistic activities. Teachers (N=12) from public nursery, elementary and secondary schools, with particular interests and backgrounds in visual arts were invited to participate. The present study is particularly concerned with participants’ artistic work inspired by the environment in three different settings of the area: 1) natural (e.g. forest) 2) the rural-building (e.g. the village) and 3) culture and tradition (e.g. myths and people).

Qualitative methods based on observation; diary reports and photographic material were applied on a case study basis. Results revealed teachers’: 1) abilities in integrating environmental aspects in their artistic work, 2) positive attitude and interest for environmental art, 3) abilities in enhancing their personal power of artistic expression based on their experiences and the word around them. The findings highlight the significance of artistic experiential activities (hands on activities) and critical enquiry in developing teachers’ environmental perception.