International Journal of Art & Design Education

An Enquiry into Primary Student Teachers' Confidence, Feelings and Attitudes towards Teaching Arts and Crafts in Finland and Malta during Initial Teacher Training (pages 75–87)

Volume 33.1   2014



Arts and crafts are connected with a variety of emotions, and the prospect of teaching these subjects could be a source of other emotions, not necessarily positive. This study explores the feelings and attitudes of student teachers towards arts and crafts prior to any training within their degree course and examines any changes that occur following the courses. Theories of emotion and confidence are used to outline the approach of the study. This article describes the results of a survey performed in two countries, Malta and Finland, and highlights how student teachers feel degree courses in arts in Malta and in textile crafts in Finland, designed to include a strong experiential element, affect their perceptions of their own competence and confidence to teach the subjects. The method of content analysis was used to identify categories related to emotions and confidence. Altogether 53 student teachers from the University of Helsinki and the University of Malta participated in the survey in academic year 2010–11. Our findings support previous research showing positive effects on attitudes and confidence when training provides authentic artistic processes and experiences even though learners bring with them diverse experiences, and consequently experience diverse emotions, attitudes and perceptions towards arts and crafts as well as diverse levels of confidence to teach the subjects.