Art as a subject in education degree programmes – Report on a study in which tertiary level students evaluate their experience of art classes as an integral part of the curriculum.

Alexander Röhler, Charlotte Heinritz


Abstract. Using artistic courses as part of the curriculum in education degree programmes rests on the insight that interaction between lecturers and students is not only based on theoretical knowledge and practical skills but is also a process strongly analogous to the creation of a work of art. By using data from an interview study done two years ago on an Education Degree Programme at Alanus University, the authors examine how both students and lecturers evaluate the contribution art courses make to personality development and to preparation for pedagogical practice.
Results from the interview analysis show that the artistic elements are of crucial significance for students. For many they were a vehicle of personality development and self-discovery. Artistic work is also perceived and valued by them as significantly action-oriented, and as useful for their professional practice. Students’ evaluations of artistic activities have been classified into three types and compared with those of the lecturers running the art classes in the Degree Programme. Effects and benefits of artistic activities, as perceived by students, have been identified. In conclusion, reflections from a group discussion with alumni one year after graduation on the lasting effects of art courses - especially in relation to the every-day practice of teaching - are presented.

Keywords: Art, Education Degree Programmes, Curriculum, Development of Personality, Interview Study

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