International Journal of Art & Design Education

Experiencing Clay: Inquiry-based Learning and Assessment for Learning

Volume 29.3   2010



This article presents an examination of the effects of using an inquiry-based learning pedagogy to teach ceramics to pre-service teachers (my students) at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. At the beginning of the study the students were asked to conduct experiments on the properties of clay. The results indicate that half of them were able to transfer the knowledge and inquiry skills they had acquired from the experiments to their subsequent artwork production, but that the other half could not. I realised that the students needed more guidance to bridge the gap between their initial inquiries and their subsequent artistic creations. This could be done by explaining clearly the objectives of the inquiry-based learning activities; employing strategies of assessment for learning: that is, setting explicit assessment criteria; involving the students in self-assessments; and focusing more on methods of knowledge transfer and ways of bringing about improvements.