"You need to be able to go to PD... you need that kick!" Primary school teacher perceptions regarding support needs in the teaching of the Arts

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Journal Article
Musicworks: Journal of the Australian Council of Orff Schulwerk, 2020, 25, (Availability: <> ISSN: . [cited 21 Dec 20].), pp. 6-18
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Educators in Australian primary schools are mandated to teach in several learning areas in their classrooms, with the teaching of all areas largely dependent on the background, training, skills and confidence of the teacher. This research considers the perspectives of public primary school educators in three different regional areas, regarding the implementation of learning experiences in each of the five Arts areas (Music, Visual Arts, Drama, Dance and Media Arts). A mixed method approach was followed, including descriptive quantitative and qualitative data with a questionnaire and follow-up interviews. Although participants expressed their appreciation of the Arts in the primary school, many highlighted their feelings of inadequacy in implementing Arts experiences with their students. This was particularly evident in the teaching of Music, with many participants describing their lack of skills, experience and confidence, leading to a neglect of implementation in the classroom. In several teaching spaces the Arts were seen to be given low priority, while in other settings participants described a sense of collaboration and navigation of challenges in order to ensure the offering of meaningful Arts education experiences for students. An expressed need for ongoing professional development and support in the teaching of all areas of the Arts was evident. Inspired by the work of Michel Foucault, the researcher devised kaleidoscopes within the data, leading to analysis and discussion. This study offers direction for Arts education review and planning in different contexts.
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