A snapshot of visual arts education in Tasmanian K-6 classrooms.

Year: 2015

Author: Baker, William, Astell, Sarah

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper reports the analysis of a 2013-14 survey of Tasmanian general early childhood and primary teachers regarding their use of the visual arts in their classrooms. The sample for this survey consisted of primary schools in the Department of Education, Catholic and Independent systems in Tasmania, and whilst there is a reported bias in these data due to the optional nature of participation it is possible to draw conclusions based upon the findings. Data indicated that the vast majority of respondents positively valued the visual arts in their practice, they were included at least once per week in their classrooms and the majority of respondents integrated the visual arts with other curriculum areas when taught. Pre-service training, self-efficacy, practicum experience and ‘valuing’ of the visual arts all played a role in determining the amount of visual arts taught in classrooms. Finally, these data suggest that school support for the visual arts does affect its inclusion. Those who rated school support as ‘very well supported’ or ‘supported’ (10, or 24.4%) had a teacher or senior staff member who supported the visual arts, they also had better resources, a better budget, and they enjoyed more collaboration with other staff.