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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A survey of the attitudes of Icelandic art and craft teachers toward curriculum and practice in their subject area Helgadóttir, Guðrún


Teachers do not merely implement the formally approved curriculum, they actively develop a personal curriculum. Teachers adopt, adapt and select to shape their personal curriculum. Teachers' attitudes, particularly toward curriculum rationales, prominent practices, policy issues and personal efficacy or concept of self as a professional are key factors in this process. This study surveyed Icelandic art and craft teachers' attitudes toward curriculum rationales, current practices and personal efficacy factors including their attitudes toward subject, student and society centered rationales for art and craft education, the practices of ability grouping and subject matter integration, their perceptions of gender differences in their students' relation to their subject. Teacher attitudes toward statements reflecting curricular autonomy, a strong self concept and the influence of others were also measured. Relations between attitudes and demographic variables were also sought. The survey was conducted by a mailed questionnaire that consisted of Likert scale items for measuring attitudes and limited choice items to elicit demographic information. It was concluded that attitudes toward curricular rationales signify a transition from subject centered to student centered rationales and that society centered rationales are currently of marginal importance to Icelandic art and craft teachers. Respondents disagreed that gender based differences in students' relations to the art and craft subjects exist. This was perhaps a denial of an unresolved issue rather than an indication that these differences do not exist. Within the school the art and craft teachers enjoyed the status of experts but believed themselves to be marginal as decision makers which could be a threat to their efficacy.

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