The Western Australian art and crafts superintendents’ advocacy for years k-12 visual arts in education
Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
School of Education
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to record Visual Arts education in Western Australia (WA) as it underwent significant change between 1967 and 1987, in administration, policy, curriculum and professional development. Design/methodology/approach – A narrative inquiry approach was utilized to produce a collective recount of primary Visual Arts teacher education, based on 17 interviews with significant advocates and contributors to WA Visual Arts education during the aforementioned period. Findings – This paper underscores the history of the role of Western Australian Superintendents of Art and Crafts and the emergence of Visual Arts specialist teachers in primary schools, from the successful establishment of a specialist secondary Visual Arts program at Applecross Senior High School, to the mentoring of generalist primary teachers into a specialist role, as well as the development and implementation of a new Kindergarten through to Year 7 Art and Crafts Syllabus. It also discusses the disestablishment of the WA Education Department’s Art and Crafts Branch (1987). Originality/value – The history of primary Visual Arts specialists and advocacy for Visual Arts in WA has not been previously recorded. This history demonstrates the high quality of past Visual Arts education in WA, and questions current trends in pre-service teacher education and Visual Arts education in primary schools. © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.