Date of Award

1992

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

School

School of Education

First Advisor

Tony Monk

Abstract

Since 1986, the offering of art in secondary schools as a Tertiary Entrance Examination subject has secured its position as a school subject. However, there is increasing pressure on art and on other subjects offered in secondary schools in Western Australia, to demonstrate a contribution to Australia's social, economic and cultural priorities. In an increasingly competitive educational environment, all subjects need to negotiate viable positions as courses of study. As a result of the implementation of the Better Schools Report 1987, school-based decision-making groups have been established to assume responsibility for matters which had previously been the concern of a centralised decision-making body. These school-based decision-making groups will be responsible for the determination of school policies for the whole curriculum and for each subject. Decisions made in favour of or against offerings in the area of art/ craft may be influenced by the decision makers' perceptions of the effectiveness of the art teacher. These perceptions may be a primary source of information about the subject and the way in which it is taught. Due to the likely impact of perceptions of value on the decision making process, it is important to investigate non-art teachers' perceptions of an effective art teacher. It is likely that membership of the school based decision-making group may not always include representatives from every subject area, and if this is the case, then it becomes necessary to ensure that all such decision-makers are properly informed of subject specific needs and concerns. A qua1itative approach has been selected as a method of data collection and analysis as the study aims to construct a wen-grounded and descriptive picture of what non-art teachers perceive to be the characteristics of an effective art teacher. The study is bounded by both site and sample to include, ten non-art teachers selected from five metropolitan secondary schools. To avoid an overload of information, the principal research instrument used was a structured interview schedule, consisting of open-ended questions and a set of statements to be ranked on a scale of one to twelve. The data was analysed by allocating responses to pre-determined categories of effective teacher characteristics, tabulating this data using matrices, and finally, drawing and verifying conclusions. Outcomes from the study have also been compared to a theoretical framework, developed from the literature, for teacher effectiveness. Although the size of the sample precludes the possibility of making generalisations from the data, the tentative conclusions drawn and the feedback given to secondary art teachers will lend significance to the study. Individual art teachers may respond to the research findings and make decisions to pursue an active role in either changing, or reinforcing the perceptions of effectiveness held by non-art teachers. The findings may also form a basis for subject advocacy if art teachers consider the possible consequences of their behaviour and interaction within the school community. The relationship between perceptions of teaching effectiveness and the perceived status of a subject within the school may become a focus for further research.

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Art Education Commons

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