International Journal of Art & Design Education

Learning to be an Art Educator: Student Teachers

Volume 22.1   2003



Visual Art educators are keenly aware of the significant contribution art can make to the growth and development of young children as it provides unique opportunities for personal expression and creativity. However, while it is acknowledged that art contributes to the development of the whole child, the link between thought and practice is often tenuous. Hence the question needs to be asked, what do student teachers really think about art and art education. This longitudinal study aimed at an exploration of student teachers prior experiences, existing knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, perceptions and interest in the visual arts. One hundred and ten B.Ed. (Primary) students enrolled in two compulsory Visual Arts Education units of study were surveyed in March 1999 and then in October 2001 to ascertain how they interpreted the term visual arts; how this related to visual arts education (if, in fact it did); where they would position visual arts amongst the other five key learning areas of the primary curriculum; and ultimately how they felt about the prospect of teaching visual arts in a primary school context. The findings of the research revealed a number of significant differences between the initial data (March 1999) and the final data (October 2001).