Pre-service Visual Arts Education in an Australian Context

By Joanna Barbousas and Karen Maras.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

The role of the artist as concept and practice is one way that mobilises the formation of knowledge in the visual arts. The development and design of authentic visual arts curriculum in the primary school setting addresses the role of the artist as discourse of the field. This paper reports on a Visual Arts Education pre-service primary teacher program. Pedagogical approaches toward developing knowledge and understanding in art teaching are grounded in modelling the conceptual and practical dimensions of artists’ practice. Pre-service teachers are inculcated into mapping the conventions, strategies and procedures of art practice and draw on this research to develop Visual Arts learning activities for children. The development of representational knowledge and skills in children involves consideration of the intentions of artists and how they develop relationships with audiences, subject matter and properties of artworks. This conceptual ‘tool kit’ represents a framework for generating and structuring explanations of visual arts content and provides pre-service teachers a means for sequencing learning in Visual Arts curriculum towards the development intellectual autonomy.

Keywords: Visual Arts Education, Primary Education, Children’s Learning in Art, Authentic Curriculum, Artist Practice

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp.683-694. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.274MB).

Dr. Joanna Barbousas

Lecturer, School of Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Joanna Barbousas is Senior Lecturer in Professional and Educational Studies in the School of Education at the Australian Catholic University. Joanna’s experience as a Secondary Visual Arts Educator and a researcher of teaching practice provides her with a range of school contexts to draw from in both her teaching and research practices. Joanna develops and implements teacher education courses within graduate and post-graduate primary and secondary degree programs. Her expertise in the areas of effective teaching practice, social and cultural perspectives that impact on education, and discourse formations in education, inform her teaching and research interests. With a particular emphasis on post-structural theories, Joanna draws from a critical perspective in examining and mapping the formation of concepts and practices in education. Joanna’s ongoing research interests focus on pedagogical practices in the Twenty First Century. Theoretical dimensions of global issues and the surplus of visual technologies affect the framework of contemporary teaching practices. These contentious issues are examined in her publications and continue to inform her research and teaching.

Dr. Karen Maras

School of Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Karen Maras is a lecturer in Visual Arts Education in the School of Education NSW, ACU National. She specialises in teaching curriculum design, assessment and evaluation in art education in teacher education courses. Karen has also worked in curriculum development at state level after a 12 year period of teaching in the secondary school context. After completing a Masters of Art Education at University of New South Wales, Karen’s further work at doctoral level focuses on the cognitive dimensions of aesthetic understanding and critical development in art. She investigates the nature of children’s beliefs about pictures in art and how these can be mapped in the reasons children give for picture meaning and value.


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