Arts every day: teachers' conceptions of arts education in elementary school
This study examined teachers' conceptions of arts education in elementary schools and the ways in which those conceptions informed their orientations toward teaching the arts on a daily basis in the classroom. The investigation considered teachers' sources and conceptions of the arts and arts education, and their conceptions of teaching, students and the teaching context. Three main orientations toward teaching the arts were identified: creative arts, production arts, and academic arts. A multiple case study design was utilized. Six teachers, identified as teachers who taught the arts everyday, were selected on the basis of their primary orientation. Data were gathered through four structured interviews and three observations with each teacher. The research was guided by the following questions: (1) What are the sources for teachers' conceptions of the arts and arts education? (2) What are their conceptions of the arts and arts education? (3) What are their conceptions of teaching, students and teaching contexts? (4) How do their conceptions inform their orientations? (5) What are their orientations towards arts education and how is seen practice?Ten propositions emerged from the analysis of the data: (1) childhood experiences and formal education direct future experiences and shape conceptions and orientations; (2) teachers who have had formal education in an arts discipline are likely to adopt an academic orientation; (3) beliefs of what knowledge teachers consider most important to teach are unique to the primary orientation; (4) teachers value the arts most as vehicles for self-expression and (5) as enabling the learning of other subjects in addition to the arts discipline; (6) orientations do not depend on one conception of teaching; (7) attributions of student success are consistent across orientations but (8) conceptions of personal characteristics the arts develop are tied to primary orientation; (9) teachers conceive of contextual variables as impacting their teaching practices in the arts; and (10) teachers who teach the arts everyday contribute to their schools in important ways.
- Education - Seattle