Putting the Jigsaw Together: Using the Authentic Learning Framework in Teacher Education

By Deirdre Russell-Bowie.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

Face-to-face hours for preservice arts education have decreased significantly over the recent years and many institutions struggle to adequately prepare their generalist teachers for teaching the arts in schools. Much arts education research has highlighted the situation of these non-specialist primary teacher education students as having little confidence in their own arts ability and their ability to teach children the arts. Added to this, problems such a lack of resources, confidence, priority, time, knowledge and experience appear to inhibit the regular teaching of the arts by generalist classroom teachers. This paper details a case study describing how one Primary Teacher Education course responded to these challenges. Key problems to teaching the arts in the classroom were identified, then learning experiences planned to respond to these were devised and implemented with a focus on using blended learning experiences. The subject was also firmly based on the Authentic Learning framework as espoused by Herrington, Oliver and Reeves (2003), in that it ensured the students’ learning experiences, both online and face-to-face, were authentic, ill-defined and complex as well as allowing the students to examine the task from different perspectives, to collaborate and to reflect. Although more face-to-face hours are still a necessity to provide students with in depth training in arts education, most students exited this course indicating that the blended learning experiences helped them become more confident to teach primary arts education.

Keywords: Primary Arts Education, Teacher Education, Authentic Learning Framework

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp.61-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 792.842KB).

Dr. Deirdre Russell-Bowie

Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Deirdre Russell-Bowie has been lecturing in Creative Arts Education for over thirty years and has authored a prolific number of music and creative arts books and other publications. Her research interests include developing children’s self-esteem through the arts and preservice and inservice teachers’ attitudes to, and practices in arts education as well as technology mediated arts education. Her PhD thesis investigated the state of music education in NSW and she has also written 32 books and numerous national and internationally published journal articles and conference papers. In 2001 Deirdre won the prestigious national Australian Award for University Teaching in 2001 as well as University awards for community service and research.


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