Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Australian Journal of Teacher Education

Article Title

A Research Base For Art Curricula In Teacher Training Institutions


Author #1


In the early 1970's, Eliot Eisner, Professor of Art and Education at Stanford University, conducted a study which was designed to gain a clearer picture of the achievements and attitudes of college and university students in the visual arts. He developed two instruments - the Eisner Art Information and Art Attitude Inventories (Eisner, 1972, pp. 146-1521 _ which could be used to test students' accumulated knowledge of the visual arts; and their attitudes towards, and involvement in, the visual arts.

His conclusions, based on the results of this study, indicated that U.S. schools had generally failed to provide students with the art education which he thought was desirable. It was found that students' knowledge of their culture contained in the visual arts was severely deficient; and their attitudes were based on narrow opinion and shallow foundations.

It is interesting for those involved in art education in Australia to speculate on the degree to which these findings might be coincidental with student achievements and attitudes in this country. Eisner's findings certainly strike a familiar chord with candid observations made by teachers of the visual arts in Australia. In order to determine the general achievements and attitudes of incoming student teachers into the Institute of Advanced Education at James Cook University, the author designed a series of tests which were used to indicate the achievements of students in terms of their knowledge and skills in the visual arts and the attitudes which they held towards this field. The information obtained in the author's opinion, is most helpful in the development of courses which most appropriately prepare student teachers for the role of teaching art in the schools.


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