Elementary educators often lack the confidence and skill to teach visual arts to their students because they received very little, if any, formal training in what is a diverse and complex field of study. Teachers who lack confidence in a subject matter will potentially avoid teaching it. As a result, the early visual arts education of entire classrooms of elementary students can become neglected. Giving elementary educators the time to develop their own artistic process and acknowledging the value of educators' artistic voice can benefit teachers by building personal confidence, generating creative flow, providing knowledge about art, promoting a growth mindset, and boosting their enthusiasm for teaching art. It can also build connections to new and invigorating ideas for integrating art into lessons in their own classrooms. As such, it should create benefit for students. Using a combination of a/r/tography, narrative, and action research methodologies, this study researches the experiences of elementary teachers who choose to participate in artistic professional development opportunities provided by the visual art specialist on the faculty in order to see any perceived improvement in perception or confidence they may have in their own artistic abilities and how that has affected their approach to using visual art as a teaching method. Surveys and interviews document their past experiences with visual art, and their responses prior to and during the proposed courses. Follow up surveys, observations, and interviews document any perceived improvement in perception or confidence they may have in their own artistic abilities and how that has affected their approach to using visual arts as a teaching method in the classroom. This study endeavors to discover two things; 1) best practices in giving elementary educators professional development in visual arts content and methodologies to boost their confidence in their own artistic endeavors, and 2) how visual-art professional development workshops translate into visual-art instruction being integrated into the general classroom setting for elementary aged students.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Art
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Watson, Katharina Joyce, "You Can't Teach What You Don't Know and You Can't Lead Where You Won't Go: Professional Development as Artists for Elementary Educators" (2018). All Theses and Dissertations. 6734.
professional development, elementary education, visual arts, art education