Examining preservice teachers’ preparedness for teaching art
The Australian Federal Government’s call for another teacher education inquiry primarily aims to investigate preservice teacher preparedness for teaching. Art education was selected for this study as the teaching of art education in primary schools occurs in less than ideal conditions and may often be avoided by generalist primary teachers (Russell-Bowie, 2002). Eighty-seven final-year preservice teachers were surveyed on their perceptions of their preparedness for teaching primary art education at the conclusion of their Bachelor of Education program. The 39 survey items were derived from the New South Wales’ Creative Arts K-6 State Syllabus (Board of Studies, 2000) across four stage levels (i.e., early stage 1, stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3). Percentages and mean scale scores suggested that these final-year preservice teachers believed they were generally prepared to teach art education in primary schools as a result of a preservice teacher education visual arts unit. Nevertheless, more than 10% of preservice teachers indicated they could not agree or strongly agree that they could provide 20 of the 39 teaching practices advocated by the syllabus and 20% indicated this for 7 of the 39 teaching practices. Tertiary education institutions need to be proactive in responding to the challenge of determining preservice teachers’ preparedness for teaching. Surveys linked to a state syllabus may assist in assessing preservice teachers’ perceptions of their preparedness for teaching and may provide valuable information for further development of tertiary education coursework.