A survey of ways to upgrade teaching effectiveness in elementary art education

Art education has had a low priority in elementary school curriculums. The average elementary classroom teacher's lack of training and experience in art education causes dependence on stereotype approaches, dittos, copying, and tracing in place of original art experiences. In addition to the above, "formula" projects and the "laissez-faire" method of teaching art often prevail in the elementary classroom. Elementary school teachers must constantly be encouraged to nurture children's creative art expression; visual and tactile perception; aesthetic judgment; conceptual growth, and awareness of art heritage. Furthermore, economic pressures in education have also adversely affected educational programs in the humanities, particularly art. Art specialists and art programs have become severely limited. Although the Art Education Framework for California Public Schools was adopted to improve art education, the components of the program have not been effectively implemented. The major purpose of this survey was to investigate and attempt to discuss specific ways to upgrade teaching effectiveness in elementary art education. By means of the survey questionnaire, four professional groups of educators involved with children, made specific recommendations for upgrading teaching effectiveness in elementary art education. The thirty-five survey participants consisted of elementary classroom teachers, art specialists, elementary principals, curriculum consultants, and college and university faculty in randomly selected areas of Los Angeles County. Professional literature and recent data on elementary art education was correlated with the survey results obtained in this investigation. (See more in text.)

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