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ECE Resources

Visual arts and teacher self-efficacy beliefs

Dr Gai Lindsay of the University of Wollongong, Dr Sarah Probine of Manukau Institute of Technology, and Dr Rachel Denee of Victoria University Wellington talk about their research about the role of ECE teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs in their visual arts practices.

They share the common findings from their three studies to highlight that while early childhood teachers tend to report low visual arts confidence, there are positive strategies that can build teachers’ capacity to deliver rich arts-based learning experiences with children. To help you navigate the webinar easily, there is a list of the key topics covered in the session below, including the time each was discussed. The key ideas discussed in this webinar are also shared in a short insight article.


Topics discussed in this webinar

Times shown in minutes and seconds from the start of the video

3.35What is self-efficacy?
5.03Why is self-efficacy in the visual arts important for teachers?
7.20How life experiences influence teacher self-efficacy beliefs
10.15The impact of attitudes and beliefs about the visual arts on teacher self-efficacy
15.38How to address issues of low self-efficacy in relation to the visual arts
28.20Visual arts as processes for developing dispositions
35.31Examples of visual arts activities
43.00Sensory play
46.40Getting past the idea that art should be realistic
52.01Ideas for teachers to get started

Questions for exploring the key ideas from this webinar

Would you describe yourself as an artist or at the very least as someone who is open to playing with visual arts materials and processes? How confident are you in exploring the visual arts with children?

What kind of role models for art did you have growing up, and what impact did different art experiences have on your attitudes towards art now?

In what areas might you require more pedagogical content knowledge in relation to the arts? How might you develop this?

What one material would you choose for in-depth exploration?

Which of the strategies discussed might you try to ‘loosen up’ your expectations for your personal art-making?

Further reading

Watch a previous webinar with Dr. Sarah Probine and Jacqui Lees about supporting children in the visual arts.

Google ‘loosen up drawing’ for ideas about how to become less concerned about how to reduce expectations for particular outcomes in art-making.

Brooks, M., & Lindsay, G. (Eds.). (2022). There’s an elephant in the early childhood visual arts room. Series of 5 E-books. International Art in Early Childhood Association virtual publication.

Lindsay, G. (2022). Revisiting John Dewey to move toward more progressive visual arts pedagogy. In M. Brooks & G. Lindsay (Eds.). There’s an elephant in the early childhood visual arts room. Series of 5 E-books. International Art in Early Childhood Association virtual publication.

Lindsay, G. (2021). Visual arts pedagogy in early childhood contexts: The baggage of self-efficacy beliefs, pedagogical knowledge and limited pre-service training. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. 41(6). 80-92.

Lindsay, G. (May 2020). Expert insights interview: How the arts can be used to help develop children’s education in early learning environments. Early Start, UOW (16 minutes).

Lindsay, G. (2016). Do visual art experiences in early childhood settings foster educative growth or stagnation? International Art in Early Childhood Research Journal, 5(1), 1-14.

Lindsay, G. (2016). John Dewey and Reggio Emilia: Worlds apart – one vision. Australian Art Education, 37(1), 21-37.

Lindsay, G. (2015). Reflections in the mirror of Reggio Emilia’s soul: John Dewey’s foundational influence on pedagogy in the Italian educational project. Early Childhood Education Journal, 43(6), 447-457. DOI: 10.1007/s10643-015-0692-7

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