Primary students’ engagement with the visual arts and their transition into Year 7

Author/s: Zoe Wittber, MA
Availability: Open Access
Type: Thesis
Year: 2017
Category: Fine Arts
Institution: Edith Cowan University

Abstract: Visual Arts education is fundamental to an effective school curriculum for primary and secondary students. It provides students with opportunities for expression and personal growth, essential to a holistic education. Recently, in Perth, Western Australia (WA) several secondary Visual Arts educators expressed what they saw as a significant deficit in the outcomes of Making and Responding in Visual Arts, evidenced in their Year 7 students who had recently graduated from primary school. Consequently, this research investigated the extent of Year 7 students’ prior Visual Arts experiences upon entry into secondary school. The research engaged a qualitative research approach to gather rich narratives regarding Visual Arts experiences from both primary and secondary teachers. These teachers reflected on their own perceptions of Visual Arts education in contemporary Perth. This project provided new insights into the current state of Visual Arts education in the eastern suburbs of Perth. In particular, it identified what Visual Arts exposure the students have within primary education and, subsequently, implications for the secondary context. Although this is a relatively small study, the findings reinforce that there is a Visual Arts education deficit in local primary schools, particularly in the generalist classrooms investigated.


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