Developing Confidence: Visual Art Teaching in a Primary School
In New Zealand specialist courses in the arts at undergraduate level, and one year diplomas in teaching have been reduced. Visual art advisory time allocated to primary school teachers has also been reduced. As a result teachers' confidence in teaching visual art is under threat. This study focused on a group of generalist primary school teachers as they worked to develop their confidence in the teaching of visual art. They worked as a non-hierarchical collaborative group, using action research to analyse the voices of the children in their school, and to reflect on their own practice. Following their reflections they used their developed confidence to develop a visual art self-assessment system. Their developed confidence in teaching visual art enabled them to offer support in the teaching of visual art to other teachers within the school. However, the narrow focus of the study did not allow exploration of why the participants were motivated to develop their expertise in the teaching of visual art. The limitations of the data also failed to reveal whether the participants were able to sustain their collaborative working relationship after the study ended. The study recommends further research into the long-term sustainability of teacher collaborative groups and the motivation that enables teachers to develop their confidence in the teaching of visual art.