The importance of positive arts experiences and self-efficacy in pre-service primary teacher education

Year: 2014

Author: Geoffrey, Lummis, Julia, Morris

Type of paper: Refereed paper

With the impending introduction of the Australian Curriculum in the arts, there is cause to reflect on primary pre-service teacher education courses, and how effectively they prepare graduates to facilitate the curriculum. Reflecting on pre-service teachers’ experiences in the arts, at both entry and graduation of their degree, may afford insight into improving arts instruction in Bachelor of Education. A two-year mixed methods study (2013-2014) was conducted with first and fourth-year Bachelor of Education primary students at a Western Australian university, to determine students’ arts experiences and their self-efficacy to teach the arts at graduation. This paper reports specifically on the first-year data collected, and suggests that pre-service teachers have limited experiences in the arts prior to completing the core units in their degree. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, and some interview observations are presented to contextualise these findings. The research emphasised the role of self-efficacy in sustaining students’ personal and professional engagement with the arts.