Art Teachers as Reflective Practitioners in the Classroom

  • Bee Lian KehkEmail author


This chapter is part of a larger doctoral study, which explores beginning art teachers’ Initial Teacher Education (ITE) experiences in the context of Singapore and examines the relationships between ITE and beginning art teachers’ teaching practices immediately upon their completion of the training. The study specifically focuses on two pre-graduate ITE programmes: Diploma and Bachelor of Arts programmes for teaching. In this chapter, the writer presents one of the key findings from the original study. Using five case studies of beginning art teachers in five different government secondary schools, data gathered included schemes of work, lesson observations and semi-structured interviews. The data centred on understanding teachers’ learnings during ITE, their views on their overall experiences during ITE and the ways their ITE training relate to their current teaching practices. The study employs Shulman’s conceptual framework of subject matter knowledge (SMK), pedagogical knowledge (PK) and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) to discuss the types of learnings beginning art teachers gained during their ITE. Shulman’s model of pedagogical reasoning and action (PRA) further assists in associating beginning art teachers’ knowledge and their teaching practices. The findings presented in this chapter suggest the need to strengthen art student teachers’ capacities in reflective practice, a key disposition that is critical for art teachers in their own artistic thinking and teaching, as well as future development of their students as artistic thinkers.


  1. Adler, S. A. (1993). Teacher education: Research as reflective practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 9(2), 159–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andresen, L., Boud, D., & Cohen, R. (1999). Experience-based learning. In G. Foley (Ed.), Understanding adult education and training (2nd ed., pp. 225–239). Sydney: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  3. Bolin, P. E., & Hoskings, K. (2015). Reflecting on our beliefs and actions: Purposeful practice in art education. Art Education, 68(4), 40–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brinkmann, S., & Kvale, S. (2015). Interviews: Learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Burton, J. M., Horowitz, R., & Abeles, H. (2000). Learning in and through the arts: The question of transfer. Studies in Art Education, 41(3), 228–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Calderhead, J. (1989). Reflective teaching and teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 5(1), 43–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carroll, K. L. (2011). What if they believed us? How well prepared are art educators to deliver on the promises of art education? Arts Education Policy Review, 112(1), 9–25. Scholar
  8. Chong, T. (2017). Arts education in Singapore: Between rhetoric and reality. SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 32(1), 107–136. Scholar
  9. Cochran-Smith, M. (2004). The problem of teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 55(4), 295–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. L. (1999). The teacher research movement: A decade later. Educational Researcher, 28(7), 15–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cochran-Smith, M., & Villegas, A. M. (2015). Framing teacher preparation research: An overview of the field, part 1. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(1), 7–20. Scholar
  12. Davis, E. A. (2006). Characterizing productive reflection among preservice elementary teachers: Seeing what matters. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22(3), 281–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dewey, J. (1910/1997). How we think. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Eisner, E. W. (1998). The enlightened eye: Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentince Hall.Google Scholar
  15. Eisner, E. W. (2002). What can education learn from the arts about the practice of education? Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 18(1), 4–16.Google Scholar
  16. Eraut, M. (1994). Developing professional knowledge and competence. London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  17. Feiman-Nemser, S., & Norman, P. J. (2000). Chapter 42: Teacher education. In B. Moon, M. Ben-Perez, & S. Brown (Eds.), From initial preparation to continuing professional development (pp. 732–755). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Giovannelli, M. (2003). Relationship between reflective disposition toward teaching and effective teaching. The Journal of Educational Research, 96(5), 293–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Goodnough, K., Falkenberg, T., & MacDonald, R. (2016). Examining the nature of theory-practice relationships in initial teacher education: A Canadian case study. Canadian Journal of Education, 39(1), 1–28.Google Scholar
  20. Grossman, P. L. (1990). The making of a teacher: Teacher knowledge and teacher education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hatton, N., & Smith, D. (1995). Reflection in teacher education: Towards definition and implementation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11(1), 33–49. Scholar
  22. Hetland, L., & Winner, E. (2004). Cognitive transfer from arts education to non-arts outcomes: Research evidence and policy implications. In E. W. Eisner & M. D. Day (Eds.), Handbook of research and policy in art education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  23. Hickman, R. D. (1990). Reflections upon aspects of art education in Singapore. Singapore Journal of Education, 11(1), 82–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hickman, R. (2011). The art & craft of pedagogy: Portraits of effective teachers. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.Google Scholar
  25. Ingvarson, L., Beavis, A., & Kleinhenz, E. (2007). Factors affecting the impact of teacher education programmes on teacher preparedness: Implications for accreditation policy. European Journal of Teacher Education, 30(4), 351–381. Scholar
  26. Jay, J. K., & Johnson, K. L. (2002). Capturing complexity: A typology of reflective practice for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(1), 73–85. Scholar
  27. Killion, J., & Todnem, G. (1991). A process for personal theory building. Educational Leadership, 48(6), 14–16.Google Scholar
  28. Korthagen, F. A. J., Kessels, J., Koster, B., Lagerwerf, B., & Wubbels, T. (2001). Linking practice and theory: The pedagogy of realistic teacher education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Korthagen, F., Loughran, J., & Russell, T. (2006). Developing fundamental principles for teacher education programs and practices. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22(8), 1020–1041. Scholar
  30. Lambe, J. (2011). Developing pre-service teachers’ reflective capacity through engagement with classroom-based research. Reflective Practice, 12(1), 87–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Larrivee, B. (2000). Transforming teaching practice: Becoming the critically reflective teacher. Reflective Practice, 1(3), 293–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Le Cornu, R., & Ewing, R. (2008). Reconceptualising professional experiences in pre-service teacher education: Re-constructing the past to embrace the future. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, 1799–1812. Scholar
  33. Loughran, J. J. (2002). Effective reflective practice: In search of meaning in learning about teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(1), 33–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mann, S., & Walsh, S. (2013). RP or ‘RIP’: A critical perspective on reflective practice. Applied Linguistics Review, 4(2), 291–315. Scholar
  35. McAlpine, L., & Weston, C. (2000). Reflection: Issues related to improving professors’ teaching and students’ learning. Instructional Science, 28(5), 363–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  37. Ministry of Education. (1959). Art and craft syllabus for use in Singapore schools. Singapore: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  38. Ministry of Education. (2009). Report of the Primary Education Review and Implementation Committee. Retrieved from
  39. O’Shea, M. P. (1999). Recognizing the challenges of the new millennium: The changing face of art education in Singapore. Paper presented at the World Congress of the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA), Brisbane, Australia.Google Scholar
  40. Peters, M. A. (2010). Three forms of the knowledge economy: Learning, creativity and openness. British Journal of Educational Studies, 58(1), 67–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pollard, A., & Collins, J. (2005.) Reflective teaching: Evidence‐informed professional practice (2nd ed.). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  42. Punch, K. F., & Oancea, A. (2014). Introduction to research methods in education (2nd ed.). London, UK: Sage.Google Scholar
  43. Putnam, R. T., & Borko, H. (2000). What do new views of knowledge and thinking have to say about research on teacher learning? Educational Researcher, 29(1), 4–15. Scholar
  44. Reyes, V. C., Jr., & Gopinathan, S. (2015). A critique of knowledge-based economies: A case study of singapore education stakeholders, 24, 136–159.Google Scholar
  45. Saldana, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. London, UK: Sage.Google Scholar
  46. Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  47. Schön, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  48. Schön, D. (1988, March). Teachers as reflective practitioners. Talk given at the annual conference of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Orlando, Florida.Google Scholar
  49. Short, G. (1995). Understanding domain knowledge for teaching: Higher-Order thinking in pre-service art teacher specialists. Studies in Art Education, 36(3), 154–169. Scholar
  50. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Silverman, D., & Marvasti, A. (2008). Doing qualitative research: A comprehensive guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  53. Verloop, N., Van Driel, J., & Meijer, P. (2001). Teacher knowledge and the knowledge base of teaching. International Journal of Educational Research, 35(5), 441–461. Scholar
  54. Wilkinson, D., & Birmingham, P. (2003). Using research instruments. A guide for researchers. London, UK: Routledge Falmer.Google Scholar
  55. Winner, E., Hetland, L., Veenema, S., Sheridan, K., Palmer, P., & Locher, I. (2006). Studio thinking: How visual arts teaching can promote disciplined habits of mind. In P. Locher, C. Martindale, L. Dorfman, & D. Leontiev (Eds.), New directions in aesthetics, creativity and the arts (pp. 189–205). Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  56. Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research. Design and methods (3rd ed., Vol. 5). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  57. Zeichner, K. (1999). The new scholarship in teacher education. Educational Researcher, 28(9), 4–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zeichner, K., & Liston, D. (1987). Teaching student teachers to reflect. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 23–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zeichner, K. M., & Liston, D. P. (2013). Reflective teaching: An introduction (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations