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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conversations on teaching and learning drawing : drawn toward transformation Kalin, Nadine


This dissertation delves into the shifting perceptions, practices, and contradictions inherent in teaching and learning related to drawing within elementary schooling. In particular, it shares how a group of non-art specialist teachers who teach their own art and the author come to know drawing within the context of an action research group. Non-art specialist elementary teachers are increasingly responsible for teaching art to their students, a task for which few feel adequately prepared. Moreover, this group of teachers often identifies the inability to draw as a decisive factor in their lack of confidence in teaching art. The teacher-researchers reported on in this study recognized the need to return to where they had left off in their own learning of drawing as a basis for their artistic and classroom-based inquiries. Through a re-framing and demystification of our inter-relationships with pictorial realism in drawing and teaching we were able to renegotiate previous encounters that had caused stagnation and become opened up to alternative ways of understanding drawing. This dissertation articulates our research processes as an unfolding, complex, and ongoing conversation. Placing teachers at the centre of their own learning in a critically reflective and social context contributed to the transformation of perception, practice, and curricular possibility related to drawing. In this research I have not only guided, but also been guided through the contours of the roots and routes of possible change for these teachers and myself. The research experiences of the teacher-participants have resulted in a newfound and ongoing commitment to teaching art and drawing that is reasonable and risky, as well as practical and responsive to the evolving circumstances of their teaching. This seems a worthwhile (re)starting point for non-specialist teachers of art at the beginning of their careers and for those in the midst of their profession. Consequently, the dissertation is of relevance to tertiary educators and researchers seeking insights related to non-specialist teachers of art, their preparation as teachers, professional development in art, and post-modern, visual cultural approaches to art education. Furthermore, this study generates understandings that contribute to existing articulations of action research and a/r/tography.

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