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Primary school visual arts education: Teachers’ perspectives

Juliette Laird

This article describes my research project which sought to discover generalist primary teachers’ perspectives on including visual arts in their classroom programme, and the factors that supported or limited them in this. A picture of the everyday classroom and its complex demands emerged from the quantitative and qualitative data gathered in three primary schools. The participants’ experiences were consistent with those reported in the research literature and confirmed the marginal status of visual arts education in the primary classroom. I found that neoliberal education policies, and also the dominance of the “theoretic” over the “practical” in the mandated curriculum, have created some significant challenges for primary teachers in this aspect of their teaching.

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