An Investigation of Beginning Teacher Self-Efficacy for the Arts in the Middle Years of Schooling (years 4-9)

Susanne Garvis (2010). An Investigation of Beginning Teacher Self-Efficacy for the Arts in the Middle Years of Schooling (years 4-9) PhD Thesis, School of Music, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Susanne Garvis
Thesis Title An Investigation of Beginning Teacher Self-Efficacy for the Arts in the Middle Years of Schooling (years 4-9)
School, Centre or Institute School of Music
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-11
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Professor Margaret Barrett
Associate Professor Donna Pendergast
Professor Nan Bahr
Total pages 302
Total colour pages 1
Total black and white pages 301
Subjects 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
Abstract/Summary This study sought to investigate beginning teacher self-efficacy for the arts in the middle years of schooling (years four to nine). In Queensland, Australia, it is a curriculum requirement and expectation that generalist beginning teachers shall teach the arts (dance, drama, media, music and visual arts) as part of the compulsory curriculum. Generally it is assumed that beginning teachers acquire relevant arts knowledge and skills in pre-service teacher education. During pre-service teacher education, it is assumed that beginning teachers will develop positive teacher self-efficacy, leading to future teacher effectiveness in teaching arts education. Research suggests however, that many generalist teachers do not feel confident or capable in teaching the arts in their classrooms. This implies that beginning teachers do not have positive teacher self-efficacy beliefs. Few studies have investigated current levels of beginning teacher self-efficacy for arts education, how teacher self-efficacy beliefs are formed and what influences teacher self-efficacy beliefs in school contexts. Little is also known about developing and supporting positive teacher self-efficacy beliefs towards arts education in the middle years classroom (year four to nine). Through this investigation, I sought to address this void through identifying existing beginning teacher self-efficacy beliefs and the ways in which individual self-efficacy beliefs may be shaped through schools, community and policy initiatives. I sought to identify ways that beginning teacher self-efficacy beliefs for the arts could be supported and maintained within schools. Consequently, the importance of this study lies in its exploration of the ways that beginning teacher self-efficacy beliefs for arts education shape perceptions of teacher effectiveness in the classroom. Using a mixed method approach, the study was undertaken in two phases. In the first phase, 201 beginning teachers participated in a questionnaire that provided a snapshot of current teacher self-efficacy beliefs towards the arts across Queensland. Using an adapted teacher self-efficacy scale, I was able to measure teacher self-efficacy for each of the arts disciplines. I was also able to examine contributors from the school environment and policy agenda that influenced beginning teacher self-efficacy beliefs for the arts. In the second phase of the study, to add depth and understanding to individual beginning teacher experience in relation to findings from the questionnaire about teacher self-efficacy for the arts, I employed a narrative-informed case study approach. Four different school contexts were chosen across Queensland, and interviews were conducted with beginning teachers and principals. Field notes and observations were also collected. Using a narrative approach, data were analysed and presented as four story constellations. Each constellation revealed the beginning teacher’s self-efficacy for the arts, and the ways in which these were shaped by collective school efficacy. The influence of community, curriculum reform and policy reform also became known, directly and indirectly influencing beginning teacher self-efficacy with the arts. The findings trouble some of the taken for granted assumptions about teaching arts education in generalist middle years classrooms. Beginning teachers revealed a diverse range of beliefs towards the arts. Questionnaire data established that beginning teacher self-efficacy for each of the arts disciplines was significantly lower compared to the teaching of Maths and English. Beginning generalist teachers suggested they do not have adequate content knowledge and skills, received limited support and had few opportunities for professional development. The story constellations revealed the influence of school beliefs, community beliefs and policy beliefs on beginning teacher self-efficacy for the arts. When the story constellations were placed side by side, they brought to the surface critical points for discussion and analysis about collective efficacy, subject valuing, supportive networks available and training of generalist teachers. Findings provide key messages for schools, teacher educators, administrators, policy makers, the community and the arts industry about supporting beginning teacher self-efficacy for the arts. Findings also reinforce areas of need and development for future policy initiatives that encourage and support teacher self-efficacy for the arts in the middle years of schooling (years four to nine). Since the arts are considered an integral part of the curriculum for students in Queensland, a shared responsibility for the delivery of quality arts programs is needed with a democratic approach to planning, policy and implementation.
Keyword Teacher self-efficacy, arts education, beginning teachers
Additional Notes Colour P. 249

 
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Created: Wed, 10 Nov 2010, 20:48:42 EST by Miss Susanne Garvis on behalf of Library - Information Access Service