resources for teaching || research-oriented art teachers: implications for art teaching

Download Resources for Teaching || Research-Oriented Art Teachers: Implications for Art Teaching

Post on 23-Jan-2017




2 download

Embed Size (px)


  • National Art Education Association

    Research-Oriented Art Teachers: Implications for Art TeachingAuthor(s): Lynn GalbraithSource: Art Education, Vol. 41, No. 5, Resources for Teaching (Sep., 1988), pp. 50-53Published by: National Art Education AssociationStable URL: .Accessed: 16/06/2014 12:24

    Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

    .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


    National Art Education Association is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to ArtEducation.

    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:24:05 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • a

    Ric Weinstein, photographer.

    00 00

    kel H C

    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:24:05 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • rt teachers possess a sound professional background and training in their artistic specialties. Many are

    practicing artists and experts in their field. Yet art education involves more than the study and practice of art; it involves an understanding of the changing issues that confront us in art teaching, and in teaching in general. Art education needs well-informed educa- tors, as well as competent practitioners of art.

    If art teachers are the instigators and managers of knowledge in the art classroom, their roles are onerous. They must not only be current in the disci- pline of art, but also responsible for teaching its content in innovative and subtle ways.

    Art education must recognize research that deals with the instructional strategies of art teachers, and how these strategies are influenced by teacher motives, choices, and expectations, as well as by subject content. For example; if art education is to become dis- ciplined-based (Greer, 1984), art educa- tion researchers and art teachers need to gather information about how it can be actually taught and evaluated in classrooms. The four designated areas within disciplined-based art education, creating art, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics, (Qetty Report, 1985), are conceptually distinct and encompass a variety of teaching objectives and strategies. In addition, art teachers teach

    in diverse ways. As Eisner (1983) succinctly argued, excellent teaching (in general) involves more than a generic set of teaching skills. Discipline-based art education may require a new set of teaching skills and strategies that go beyond those previously exemplified in art teaching. Art educational research may need to look at these issues and develop a body of research on teaching the four strands.

    Over the last 10 years or so, a sub- stantial body of knowledge has been generated by the research on teaching (Wittrock, 1986) and art education. However, as Koehler (1979) has pointed out, very little research has been done on the actual processes involved in teaching art.

    General research findings suggest that teachers' attitudes to research and its possibilities have been fairly negative (Short & Szarbo, 1974). In general, teachers know very little about research practices and lack research skills (Krahmer, 1976). Few carry out any systematic studies. The research community itself may have fostered some of this indifference by its distance from classrooms and its absorption with theory and complicated terminology. Teachers have not been encouraged to

    explore the possibilities of research, and what it might offer.

    Both art and education, each has its own distinctive thought patterns which require a certain conceptual framework and understanding by researchers and subjects. Nevertheless, implicit in the nature of all research is the search for new knowledge and the exploration of content. Most educational research has been quantitative in that data is re- corded, results are tabulated and statistically tested. However, research on teaching can describe the quality of classroom life and the interactions of teachers and students in a more natural- istic and qualitative way.

    This paper proposes that art teachers become more informed about current research on teaching art and responsible for initiating research on teaching in classrooms. These tasks can be facili- tated by involvement in research and by becoming in a broad sense "researchers" (Stenhouse, 1975), and part of the established research community. The search for artistic content and the ability to critically reflect on one's teaching seem vital in the professional develop- ment of any art teacher. Moreover, these tasks must be supported by a more research-based preservice and inservice art teacher education within colleges and universities.

    Art Teachers and Research There seem to be three possible ways art teachers can become involved within the research community and acquire new knowledge about teaching. First, teachers can act as the subjects and/or collaborators of educational research. Second, teachers can utilize research findings in classrooms. Third, teachers

    Art Education/September 1988 51


    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:24:05 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • K

    can conduct research and incorporate it into teaching.

    Art teachers as research subjects The gap between what we know and what we do is evident especially in research and practice (De Vault, 1965). The gap may be bridged, if some teachers volunteer as subjects of research and/or as collaborators. For example; teachers can record data, respond to surveys, be interviewed, take part in case studies, allow video cameras in classrooms, implement innovative curricula, and allow narra- tive written descriptions of teaching.

    Questions can be raised that focus on art teachers' instructional decision- making, such as how do art teachers plan for creative art activities?; why do they often prefer individualized instruction?; how will they incorporate strategies for teaching aesthetic sensi- bility into their curriculum? and how do they put to use pedagogical knowledge from their training programs?

    Art teachers putting research into practice Teachers can utilize research recom- mendations within classrooms, putting theory into practice. Teachers can sift through the research and incorporate relevant findings. Research provides a variety of options to reflect upon (Griffin, 1984), for example, the large body of recent research on teaching (Good, 1983; Egbert & Kluender 1984;

    Wittrock, 1986). Information can also be gained from published reviews on teacher planning (Clark & Peterson, 1986; Shalveson 1983), models of teaching (Kilgore, 1984), classroom organization and management (Brophy, 1983), and preservice teaching (Koehler, 1985).

    There is a long history of research in art education. Some recent research that has direct implications for art teaching includes, for example: artistic develop- ment stages in children's art (Efland, 1985; Hardiman & Zerich, 1985); exceptional children (Art Education, mini issue, November 1984); instruc- tional models (Clark & Zimmerman, 1979); art questioning strategies, (Hamblen, 1984); discipline-based art education (Clark & Zimmerman 1981; Greer 1984); art historical research (Korzenik, 1985); curriculum develop- ment (Studies in Art Education, Summer issue 1984); supervison (Eisner, 1982); and qualitative educa- tional research (Eisner, 1984).

    Art teachers as researchers Knowledge gained from discovering how others teach and manage class- rooms can encourage teachers to develop individual research programs.

    Teachers can, for example, inquire as to integrating aesthetics into their pro- grams, or alternative instruction by teaching art history, as opposed to studio art. Art teachers acting in school environments can undertake research. Research need not always be quantita- tive or statistical. It may be descriptive and naturalistic. Moreover, teachers can conduct interviews, surveys, evalu- ations, and case studies, observe art teachers, develop curricula, and establish a network of art teachers who are working on similar problems.

    Teacher involvement in research can foster personal and professional development over and above the ac- quisition of teaching skills and content knowledge. Being in a position similar to students can lead to a fuller under- standing of the inherent characteristics of learning situations. Personal develop- ment is necessary, if we are to upgrade the status of the teaching profession. Independent research will encourage questioning and focus on how teachers function in and out of the classroom.

    Some General Considerations Utilizing research requires a willingness to make appropriate changes, despite the costs in time and effort. Any teacher's day leaves little room for extra activities. Help must come from schools and universities. Art teachers who conduct research need to be given release time, inservice training, and credit for what they do, as well as the