Type of Document Dissertation Author Harrell, Linda A. URN etd-11112007-154320 Title Beginning Art Teachers in Florida: Perceptions of Their Preparation to Teach Art Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Art Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Tom Anderson Committee Chair Ithel Jones Committee Member Lisa Waxman Committee Member Marcia Rosal Committee Member Keywords
- Art Teacher Preparation
- Art Education Programs
- Art Teacher Training
- Art Education
Date of Defense 2007-10-26 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate how well prepared beginning art teachers felt they were to perform the jobs they now do. The research question for this study was: How do beginning art teachers in the state of Florida describe, interpret, and evaluate their Florida-based teacher training program and what do they suggest for its improvement? To examine the issues of art teacher training and current teaching practices, this study was triangulated, including a survey of beginning art teachers who teach in the public schools of Florida and observations and interviews of three selected teachers in light of a description of art education programs in Florida universities and colleges from which the teachers graduated. Through survey responses, the 47 participants in the study reported that they valued the practical knowledge presented during their teacher training over the theoretical. It also was found that beginning art teachers teach the skills they feel best prepared to teach and that studio production is the preferred mode of art instruction. The teachers in this study were more often influenced by the teacher supervising their internship during their teacher training than by their professors or other education courses, and the classroom observations and internship were perceived as the most valuable component of their training. The participants also described problems they encountered in teaching, which they were not prepared for, of which the most frequently cited were lack of respect and support for the arts in K-12 schools and lack of sufficient funding.
Participants in this study suggested ways that university/college art programs might be improved to provide art teachers with the skills, knowledge, and experiences that will better enable them to successfully meet the demands of teaching. The most frequently offered suggestions were longer internships and more classroom observations, more studio classes, more pragmatic skills and less theory, and more preparation in classroom management. Implications for the design of art teacher training programs suggested by the results of this study involve more extensive collaboration between the universities responsible for the training of teachers and the K-12 schools and between their respective faculties, a re-examination of how studio, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics are taught in the art education programs, and an examination of standards used to select highly qualified supervising teachers for internships. As a result of the findings of this study, it is proposed that more art methods coursework, particularly in studio art, should be required to better address the needs of prospective art teachers. It is also proposed that training is needed in arts advocacy to address the problems experienced by art teachers in schools.
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