Scholarly article on topic 'Arts Teacher Education in Lithuania: Aspects of Postgraduate Arts Education Research'

Arts Teacher Education in Lithuania: Aspects of Postgraduate Arts Education Research Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Birute Baneviciute, Jolita Kudinoviene

Abstract Learning paradigm which takes stronger positions in contemporary education practise orients teacher to be a consultant, adviser, assistant, as well as a researcher ready to apply evidence based teaching. To prove acquired research competence on a Master's level future arts teachers have to perform arts education research. Our purpose in this study is to reveal field of arts education problems and research methods which postgraduates choose for their research as well as tendencies of these choices. Seeking to answer these questions methods of literature review and content analysis of one hundred thirty one final arts education Masters’ thesis were applied. The results of the research show wide range of pedagogical problems which interest future arts teachers: attitudes and motivation for artistic activities, formal arts education, arts teacher education and competences, arts for people with special needs, etc. Tendecies of research methods shift from quantitative towards qualitative including interviews, observation, action research, case study, etc. In conclusion it can be stated that future arts teachers despite pecularities of art branches (music, dance, theater, visual arts) are interested in similar arts education problems which they look at through qualitative research lens and by this showing interest in improving quality of education.

Academic research paper on topic "Arts Teacher Education in Lithuania: Aspects of Postgraduate Arts Education Research"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 191 (2015) 302 - 307

WCES 2014

Arts Teacher Education In Lithuania: Aspects Of Postgraduate Arts

Education Research

Birute Baneviciute a *, Jolita Kudinoviene a

a Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, Student str. 39, Vilnius LT-08106, Lithuania

Abstract

Learning paradigm which takes stronger positions in contemporary education practise orients teacher to be a consultant, adviser, assistant, as well as a researcher ready to apply evidence based teaching. To prove acquired research competence on a Master's level future arts teachers have to perform arts education research. Our purpose in this study is to reveal field of arts education problems and research methods which postgraduates choose for their research as well as tendencies of these choices. Seeking to answer these questions methods of literature review and content analysis of one hundred thirty one final arts education Masters' thesis were applied. The results of the research show wide range of pedagogical problems which interest future arts teachers: attitudes and motivation for artistic activities, formal arts education, arts teacher education and competences, arts for people with special needs, etc. Tendecies of research methods shift from quantitative towards qualitative including interviews, observation, action research, case study, etc. In conclusion it can be stated that future arts teachers despite pecularities of art branches (music, dance, theater, visual arts) are interested in similar arts education problems which they look at through qualitative research lens and by this showing interest in improving quality of education.

© 2015TheAuthors.PublishedbyElsevier Ltd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of WCES 2014 Keywords: teacher education, arts education research, arts teacher.

1. Introduction

Over the last decade worldwide documents on education emphasize the importance of high quality teacher education which ensures appropriate teacher competences acquisition (Common European principles of teacher competences and qualifications, 2005; Profile of teacher professional competences, 2007; Improving the quality of teacher education, 2007). Complexity of teacher competences which include not only perfect knowledge of the subject matter, but also knowledge of pedagogy as well as skills required to guide and support learners has always

* Birute Baneviciute. Tel.: +370-610-48-408 E-mail address: birute.baneviciute@leu.lt

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of WCES 2014 doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.234

been an issue of discussions and investigations. Scholars (Aramaviciute & Martisauskiene, 2006; Matonis, 2007; Subotkevicene, 2008; Martisauskiene, 2009) investigating teacher roles exposed through competences needed to fulfill these roles reveal complexity and diversity of teacher competences structure and definitions. Learning paradigm which takes stronger positions in contemporary education practise orients teacher to be a consultant, adviser, assistant, as well as a researcher ready to apply evidence based teaching (Ciuzas & Juceviciene, 2006; Vaicekauskiene & Paravinskaite, 2012; Baneviciute, 2012). Though, investigators report that teachers lack competences in communication, information management and research (Ciuciulkiene, Augustiniene & Bankauskiene, 2007). Teacher skills to undertake classroom-based research and to incorporate the results of classroom and academic research into their teaching are underlined as of high importance improving the quality of teaching at schools (Improving the quality of teacher education, 2007, p. 14). Seeking to ensure quality and professionalism of teachers some documents (Improving the quality of teacher education, 2007) encourage and some (Teacher education in Europe, 2008) demand to have teacher education on Master's level. Trying to correspond to principles of European education documents implementation of teacher education in Lithuania gradually orientates towards Master's level. Not an exception is arts teacher education.

According to the Open Vocational Information, Advice and Guidance System (AIKOS) arts teacher education Master study programmes in Lithuania are implemented in six universities. Visual arts education, Music education, Dance education and Theater education Master study programmes which grant Master's degree in study field of Education in the study area of Social Sciences are implemented only in Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences. Other programmes in Lithuanian high schools such as Klaipeda University, Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy, Vytautas Magnus University, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Siauliai University have programmes in different arts or arts pedagogy studies however mostly they provide Master's degree in study areas of Humanities or Arts Studies. For instance Master study programme of Choreography in Klaipeda University, which is ascribed to the study field of Dance in the study area of Arts and grants graduates with Master's degree in Dance, which shows their clear orientation towards artistic activities. Most of study programmes related to visual arts are ascribed to the study field of Art History of the study area of the Humanities (in Vilnius Academy of Arts) or to the study field of Visual Arts in the study area of Arts Studies as it is in Siauliai University. The graduates from these study programmes are conferred Master's degree in Art History or Visual Arts, which orient specialists to activities of arts historian (critic) or to those of an artist. There is several music education Master programmes in Lithuanian universities which provide Master's degree in Arts pedagogy (Klaipeda University, Siauliai University, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy) or in Education (Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences), but all of them belong to study area of Social Sciences. Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences stands out in Lithuanian teacher education institutions providing arts education Master study programmes in four main arts - music, dance, theater and visual arts. All these programmes are implemented in the Department of Arts Education for more than 10 years: the Master study programme of Music Education since 1997, Visual Arts Education since 2002, Dance Education and Theater Education since 2007. Music Education programme was one of the first in Lithuania whereas Dance Education and Theater Education are not only first, but still are the only one in Lithuania. We as researchers and members of academic staff of Arts Education Department for nearly ten years are closely connected to arts teachers' preparation process through teaching in all four arts education Master study programmes and supervising preparation of final thesis. We are also members of study programme committees as well as of the Board of Final Thesis Defence and Qualification. Therefore our scientific interest in arts teacher education on Master's level is induced by our concern to improve quality of study programmes which should provide relevant competences for our graduates. To prove acquired competences on a Master's level one of which is a research competence future arts teachers have to perform arts education research. Our purpose in this study is to reveal field of arts education problems and research methods which postgraduates choose for their research as well as tendencies of these choices.

2. Method

Seeking to answer these questions methods of literature review and content analysis of one hundred thirty one final arts education Masters' thesis were applied. Research works of last five years of period of 2009-2013 since graduates of all arts education programmes exist were analysed.

2.1. Research sample

To form a research sample we chose a convenience sampling (Bitinas, Rupsiene & Zydziunaite, 2008) which was the most accessible and appropriate for this study. We analysed research works of postgraduates of arts education Master's study programmes which are implemented in Arts Education Department of Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences where we teach. Research sample included all implemented research works of all arts education Master's programmes (Table 1). There is an exception in 2011 when there were no graduates of Dance and Theater education programmes due to systemic changes in registration of the programmes. Nevertheless there is relatively equivalent representation of all arts education research works, except Visual arts education which includes nearly double number of postgraduates' works in comparison with other study programmes.

Table 1. Research sample presentation

Year of graduation Visual arts education Music education Dance education Theater education Total

2013 10 6 5 4 25

2012 7 9 3 3 22

2011 9 5 - - 14

2010 9 5 16 10 40

2009 18 3 4 5 30

Total 53 28 28 22 131

2.2. Procedure

Research works of postgraduates of arts education programmes were analysed seeking to reveal: 1) field of arts education problems, 2) research methods which postgraduates choose for their research, 3) tendencies of research method choises. The analysis was structured in stages first of which included disquisition above mentioned aspects in every arts education (music, dance, theater, visual arts) programme separately. Later comparative analysis was carried out seeking to find relation between separate programmes. During the third stage general tendecies were revealed.

3. Results

The analysis of arts education problems chosen by postgraduates revealed certain areas which appeared firstly in subcategories, later were grouped in categories. In music education research works six categories were revealed which included motivation for music, music education at schools, music education for adults and people with special needs as well as music education of professionals and music as a means in education. Category of music education at schools was exposed most widely as it included several subcategories ranging from teaching methods to textbooks, forms of learning, music preferences and music skills assessment. The problems of music teaching at schools evenly included all stages of primary, basic and secondary education. Also students were interested in music education for people with mental disorders as well as education of professional opera singers and conductors. Research on music education of people with mental disorders involved ethnic music, music games and "colour orchestra" cases. Problems of music as a means of cultural education were investigated by students in perspective of choir and music school.

Dance education postgraduates were interested in nine categories of education problems which included attitude and motivation for dance, dance at schools, dance education for adults and people with special needs, education of dance professionals, dance teacher phenomenon, dance collectives and dance as a means in education. Areas of attitude and motivation development mostly were examined in a period of adolescence. Problems of dance education in schools involved teaching methods and creativity development in all stages of education - primary, basic and secondary. Problems researched in dance education for people with special needs divided into two groups, one of

which was related to mental disorders, another to physical disabilities and dance in wheel chairs. Ballroom, line dance and folk dance styles were examined in the context of physically disabled people dance education while ethnic and creative dance with mentally disabled people. Students were interested in dance teacher education and competences as well as education of professionals of contemporary dance and ballet. There were few investigations on well-known Lithuanian folk dance collectives and their educative and artistic activities. Dance as a means of education in areas such as civil and cultural were analysed in sport, urban and folk dance styles. Theater education students expressed their research interest in seven categories of theater education at school, non-formal theater education, theater education for people with special needs as well as education of theater professionals, theater collectives and theater as a means in education. Investigations of theater education in schools divided into subcategories such as teaching methods in adolescence and senior classes while non-formal theater education into topical youth subculture forms of rap music and virtual games. Famous Lithuanian children and youth theater studios were examined seeking to reveal methods and artistic activities organized there in order to expand theater experience of young people. Problems of theater as a means of education were investigated widely in civil and cultural education context as well as in solution of developmental crises in adolescence. Education of professionals was touched only in a sence of actors' preparation. Visual arts education students were interested mostly in visual arts education implemented in schools starting from preschool, primary and basic to secondary education where various cross-sections of teaching methods, art genres and techniques were investigated. More deeply period of adolescence was explored in creativity development and motivation increase. Education quality of professionals included problems of graphic and interior designer preparation while use of art and cinema history as well as science of facial expressions in education of make-up artist and hair designer was studied. Problems of visual arts as a means of civil and cultural education were supplemented by national identity development questions. Arts integration and museum education problems were recently incorporated into visual arts postgraduate research revealing students' foresight of visual arts education topicality.

Comparative analysis of education problems in music, dance, theater and visual arts education postgraduate research revealed certain correspondence which is exposed in common categories and subcategories (Table 2).

Table 2. Research problems in arts education postgraduate research

Category

Subcategory

Attitude to arts activities Motivation to participate in arts

Arts education in schools

Arts education for adults

Arts education for people with special needs

Arts teacher

Activities of arts collective Education of professionals

Arts as a means of education

Development of adolescent attitudes to arts

Adult's motivation for arts

Adolescent's motivation for arts

Arts teaching methods

Creativity development

Pecularities of adult arts forms and activities

Arts for people with mental disorders

Arts for people with physical disability

Aspects of arts teacher education

Arts teacher competences

Artistic educative aspects of famous arts collectives

Education of performers

Education of creators

Arts as a means of civile education

Arts as a means of cultural education

Arts as a means of national identity development

Nine categories including attitude and motivation for arts, arts education in schools, arts education for adults and people with special needs, education of arts professionals, arts teacher phenomenon, arts collectives and arts as a means of education are typical to all arts education research. Arts integration and museum education are present only in visual arts postgraduate research. Analysis of research methods chosen for postgraduate research showed that quite a broad range of methods is used including questionnaire, interview, observation, case study, action research, experiment, focus group, creative writing, picture analysis, reflection, mind map, content analysis, test. It should be mentioned that according to regulations of arts education Master's final work preparation postgraduates in their research have to use several research methods, at least two. Usually students combine quantitative and qualitative methods such as questionnaire and interview. Though in the period of investigation the number of

questionnaire choices decreased from 23 to 14, in the meantime interview choices increased from 10 to 21 (Table 3).

Table 3. Tendencies of research method choice

Research methods 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Questionnaire 23 31 6 11 14

Interview 10 21 10 15 21

Observation 2 6 6 9 7

Case study 3 4 2 2 3

Content analysis 1 4 2 2 4

Pedagogical experiment 4 3 1

Action research 1 3 2

Focus group 1 2 1 1 2

Creative writing 2 2 1

Total number of postgraduate works of the year 30 40 14 22 25

Another group of methods such as observation, case study, content analysis and focus group were chosen by postgraduates of all arts education programmes relatively equally from year to year during the period of investigation. Dramatic shift from quantitative research methods such as pedagogical experiment is observed as during last two years nobody chose to use it and method of qualitative action research was employed since 2011.

The shift from quantitative research methods towards qualitative could be substantiated by the fact that since 2010 academic staff of Arts Education Department was engaged into commitment to improve quality of Master study programmes by introducing qualitative research paradigm into area of social sciences especially in educational studies. This commitment and interest was induced by works of Lithuanian scholars (Bitinas, 2006; Zydziunaite, & Jonusaite, 2007) as well as more widely presented experience and tendecies in social studies of foreign countries to Lithuanian academic community.

4. Conclusion

The results of this study indicated that arts education postgraduates despite pecularities of art branches (music, dance, theater and visual arts) are interested in similar arts education problems which include attitude and motivation for arts, arts education in schools, arts education for adults and people with special needs, education of arts professionals, arts teacher phenomenon, arts collectives and arts as a means of education research. These main research problem categories expose on 1) personal level which is connected with creativity development and pecularities of arts activities of adolescence period or adults, 2) institutional level which appears in the context of arts teaching methods in schools, artistic and educative aspects of arts collectives and their structure, 3) sociocultural level which involves cross-sections of civil, cultural and national identity development. Tendecies of research method choices show clear shift from quantitative towards qualitative research strategy or at least combining them. Application of interview, observation, case study, action research, focus group, content analysis lead postgraduates to look at arts education problems through qualitative research lens, by this showing interest in improving quality of education.

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