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Dread and passion : primary and secondary teachers' views on teaching the arts

Wilson, Graeme B. and MacDonald, Raymond and Byrne, Charles and Ewing, Sandra and Sheridan, Marion (2008) Dread and passion : primary and secondary teachers' views on teaching the arts. Curriculum Journal, 19 (1). pp. 37-53. ISSN 0958-5176

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This article reports on a study of the views of Scottish teachers concerning the delivery of arts subjects within the 5-14 curriculum. Data were gathered through focus group interviews with primary, secondary and primary head teachers, and a questionnaire survey of 232 teachers in 10 Scottish LEAs. Research issues included the balance of the curriculum; assessment; the specialist knowledge required to teach each subject with confidence; how the arts were valued by parents and schools; and the benefits which may accrue to pupils and the school through participation in the arts. This article compares findings from primary teachers with those from secondary teachers. While differences were apparent in terms of confidence with teaching and assessing the arts, and how they felt arts subjects were valued, all participants strongly endorsed the benefits of arts education, particularly in terms of pupils' personal development. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to current literature. Keywords: art; arts education; assessment; curriculum; music; teacher