Community Support for Teacher Learning in Visual Art

By Ian Bowell.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In New Zealand primary schools teachers’ confidence in teaching visual art is being threatened by a reduction in traditional sources of support. Pre-service teacher education courses have reduced time allocation to courses in the arts while government funding for specialist primary visual art advisors has been withdrawn. This contraction of traditional support for primary school teachers is threatening the confidence teachers have in their teaching of visual art. This article examines a pilot project in Wellington, New Zealand, which provides community support to provisionally registered teachers (PRTs) in order to develop their confidence and expertise in the teaching of visual art. The project has set up a collaborative community which includes City Gallery Wellington and Toi Poneke (Wellington City Council, City Arts Centre), Pataka (Porirua City Gallery and Museum), Raroa Normal Intermediate School and Victoria University Wellington. As well as providing practical workshops the ‘expert’ groups also provide mentors to support the PRTs as they develop their expertise in the use of visual art in their teaching. The process of mentoring takes place in both face to face and online environments. The online setting also provides support for the PRTs as they are able to share and develop visual art teaching resources. This two year project commenced in February 2010 and data in the form of interviews, questionnaires and observations is being collected and analysed throughout. This article examines the preliminary themes emerging from the analysed data.

Keywords: Community Support for Teacher Learning, Confidence in Teaching Visual Art, Visual Art Teaching in Primary Schools

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.235-246. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 643.536KB).

Ian Bowell

Lecturer: Visual Art, School of Education Policy and Implementation, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

With experience in pre-service and in-service teacher education, Ian has a background in visual art education in both the primary and secondary sectors. Also a practising artist having exhibited in New Zealand and the U.K. Current research interest is the relationship between Museum and Gallery education and schools, investigating the link between student achievement and engagement following a Museum or Gallery LEOTC visit. Current research project focusses on developing community support to increase primary school teachers confidence in teaching visual art. President of ANZAAE 2007-2009.


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