Relations Between Secondary Art Teachers’ Personal Education Theories And Attitudes About Inclusion
thesisposted on 2012-12-09, 00:00 authored by Sharon K. Manjack
In a national sample of 205 secondary art education teachers recruited through the NAEA and Getty Art Education List serves, a causal comparative design was used to compare art teachers’ theories about the purpose of art education and their inclusion attitudes toward students with learning disabilities (LD) and students with emotional/behavioral disabilities (EBD) in general education art classes. Using factor analysis, the Art Related Teacher Theories (ARTT) measure confirmed three main purposes for art education: self discovery, subject knowledge, and social communication. Mean averages indicated teachers were generally positive on all three scales. Using cluster analysis, teacher self reports indicated their beliefs about the purpose for art education fell into one of four statistically independent profiles: social persuasion, human expression, integrated appreciation and disciplinary expertise. To explore teacher inclusion attitudes toward students with LD and students with EBD, analysis of variance test comparisons found the two inclusion measures statistically significant. Mean and standard deviations comparisons indicated art teachers prefer working with students with LD over those with EBD. Tests of between-subjects effects univariate analysis of variance between art teachers’ theories (clusters of beliefs) and their attitudes toward the inclusion of students with LD and students with EBD in art were found to be not significant; art teachers’ personal practical theories about the purpose of art education were not associated with their attitudes toward inclusion. Given the influence of teachers’ personal practical theories on their thinking about the subject they teach, the ARTT is a potentially useful tool for future research. Using quantitative analyses, the ARTT helped focus, synthesize and confirm three commonly referred to purposes for art education found in the literature and recognized by currently practicing teachers. There may not be clear consensus as to the main purpose for art education, but the ARTT did identify a common core of purposes that could be measured. Art teachers did not overwhelmingly support one purpose of art education over another, but they did form four distinct groups according to aspects associated with each of the three ARTT purposes they believed to be more important and less important.