Rendering Generalist Primary Teachers’ experiences of becoming pedagogical through making and responding in visual art

Year: 2021

Author: Brooke, Sarah, MacDonald, Abbey, Hunter, Mary Ann

Type of paper: Pre-Recorded Individual Paper

Pre-recorded presentation link: Australia, it is widely acknowledged that many generalist primary teachers (GPTs) enter the teaching profession with a paucity of arts-related skills (Brooke, 2014). Further to this, GPTs often report adverse experiences in their own art education (Garvis & Pendergast, 2011) which is known to contribute to a lack of confidence and competence in their teaching of art (Chapman, 2015). Before meaningful strategies, support mechanisms and interventions can be developed to address these deficits, we must better understand the enablers and inhibitors central to GPTs’ lived experiences of nurturing confidence and competence for teaching visual arts.This presentation examines insights drawn from the shared experience of four art teacher collaborators engaging in shared experiences of making and responding in and through visual art. Through autoethnographic and a/r/tographic inquiry (Irwin & de Cosson, 2004; Sameshina, 2008) this project asks researchers and participants to unearth, articulate, analyse and make meaning of their experiences of becoming pedagogical (MacDonald, Baguley & Kerby, 2017). Working with teachers in Tasmania’s North-West region, this research ascertains how GPTs perceive their own participation in visual arts making and responding experiences, and the ways these implicate upon their sense of professional confidence and competence. This presentation shares how participants were supported and encouraged to expand their pedagogical problem solving capacities in the context of making and responding in and through visual art practice.Entwining storied and arts-based narratives of individual, collective and collaborative participatory experience allow us to articulate perceived developments in visual arts pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and the potential these experiential ‘making’ and ‘responding’ experiences have for GPTs’ professional learning. In this presentation, we offer our meaning made of GPTs’ ebb and flow narratives that capture how a sense of confidence and competence in teaching the visual arts unfolds on the North West Coast of lutruwita/Tasmania, Australia. The research reported upon in this presentation offers tangible examples of and evidence for the ways in which GPTs cultivate PCK both in and through a visual arts practice-led process.