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The purpose of this study was twofold: to examine elementary school teachers’ beliefs about teaching art, and to analyze relevant variables such as teachers’ backgrounds and their teaching practice. It is hoped that the results of this study may provide guidelines to help elementary school teachers improve their teaching of art. Drawn from the results of interviews with 11 elementary art teachers, the researchers developed a “Teachers’ Beliefs about Teaching Art” questionnaire to conduct this survey. Applying proportionate stratified random sampling techniques, the study investigated 400 elementary art teachers’ pedagogical practice in the 2001 school year in the Chiayi-Yunlin area. Then factor analysis, canonical correlation analysis, and ANOVA statistics methods were applied to the survey data. The results showed that most elementary school teachers’ beliefs about teaching art tend to favor the “transmitting-guiding” teaching perspective. Most of them believe that “learning art” requires a specific talent, so in their teaching they emphasize knowledge transmission, guidance of skill development, assessment of art works, and maintaining order in the classroom. There are also differences between and among art teachers’ beliefs about teaching art due to their different backgrounds like the degree of workshop experience they have had and their teaching responsibilities. It is quite obvious that teachers’ beliefs about teaching art can effectively predict their preference with respect to teaching strategies: those who tend to favor the “constructivist” approach prefer to apply interactive sharing strategies, but those who are used to the traditional “transmitting-guiding” approach usually focus their teaching on helping students complete their design task.
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