Three Approaches to Teaching Art Methods Courses: Child Art, Visual Culture, and Issues-Based Art Education

By Chang, Eunjung; Lim, Maria et al. | Art Education, May 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Three Approaches to Teaching Art Methods Courses: Child Art, Visual Culture, and Issues-Based Art Education


Chang, Eunjung, Lim, Maria, Kim, Minam, Art Education


Within art education, many researchers are concerned with teacher preparation in order to understand current practices, to recognize what is working well, and to determine future directions for changes (Henry & Lazzari, 2007). One area of neglect is the course taught at most colleges and universities that offer art education - that is, the service course in art education for elementary education majors. Although scholars wrote in this area in the 1990s and early 200Os (Gaudelius & Speirs, 2002; Grauer, 1998; Smith-Shank, 1993a, 1993b, 2001 ), little has been published on this topic since that time.

In this article, three art educators reflect on their ideas and experiences in developing and implementing innovative projects for their courses focusing on art for elementary education majors. At the 2009 NAEA National Convention in Minneapolis, we realized that we all taught this service course for our departments. We shared our expectations for the course, teaching strategies, and class activities. Our conversations developed into a cohesive presentation for the 2010 NAEA National Convention in Baltimore, and resulted in this paper. In this article, we explore three different approaches for an art methods course for elementary education majors. Each of the three authors will focus on one aspect of this course and we will conclude with a critique and recommendations.

The three areas that will be discussed in depth include: understanding child art, visual culture, and issues-based art education. Minam Kim uses her students' early artistic experiences and art products to (re)consider the artwork of other children. Eunjung Chang focuses on visual culture from three different entry points including an interdisciplinary focus, as a contemporary phenomenon, and as a substantial field for inquiry. Lastly, Maria Lim shares the importance of an issues-based approach for teaching art and illustrates techniques for implementing this concept with elementary education majors.

Elementary education majors may not have the depth of experience in child art, visual culture, and contemporary cultural issues that we see in art education majors. It is often difficult for them to incorporate their art-related experiences, interests, and knowledge into their teaching because of their lack of artmaking techniques. We do, however, believe that through the use of any of the three curriculum techniques presented in this paper, elementary preservice teachers will gain confidence with art.

Child Art Based Approach

"What do you expect to learn from this course?" Every semester, I start my first day of teaching with this question. Then, most of my elementary education majors give very similar answers: "I want to know many fun and creative art projects for enjoyment and therapeutic purposes in my future classroom," "I want to learn how to use art to teach other subjects more easily," or "I want to know how to incorporate art into my classroom" (classroom discussion, January 18, 2010). Many students add these words: "BUT, I'm not good at art. . " or "I can't draw well." Although these preservice elementary teachers believe art is important, they are also afraid to teach art because they lack art skills, techniques, and confidence. Check (2002) found similar concerns from in-service elementary teachers he worked with: "They were afraid of art; afraid of their own art skills. They were afraid to do anything where they could not control the outcome" (p. 53). Many elementary preservice teachers expect their university instructor to help them develop art skills and others simply want to have fun, using easy art activities that do not require sophisticated techniques. This was the way I felt before.

I majored in elementary education in college. I questioned my artistic ability and had no confidence in my ability to teach art. My instructors seemed to be worried about me too, so they made sure I had a variety of art projects to practice studio techniques.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Three Approaches to Teaching Art Methods Courses: Child Art, Visual Culture, and Issues-Based Art Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?