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Visual metaphors and visual journals in preservice teacher art education : subtitle case study Pente, Patti Vera

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate how the addition of visual metaphors and visual journals created by pre-service art teachers supported the ways they made explicit their beliefs about art education. This research was developed based on assumptions about the power of reflective thought to inform teachers about their practice. The creation of visual metaphors and visual journals in the process of becoming a teacher is tied to reflective practice. The research inquiry focuses on the visual nature of this reflective activity in an attempt to discern if this is an effective strategy to access tacit and changing beliefs held by pre-service art teachers. The thesis that emerged from this research is that when both visual metaphors and visual journals were utilized, they helped all five participants in the study to reflect on tacit and/or changing beliefs. This strategy was most effective when the participants were open to searching into personal issues about teaching. The study employed a case study approach and an arts-based methodology. The case involved semi-structured interviews with five pre-service art teachers who were nearing the end of their teacher education program. Visual journals and visual metaphors created by the participants were the focus of the interviews. The creation of art in the form of computer-generated collages added insight to the data analysis. Implications for research, teacher education and practice are discussed.

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