Secondary art teachers' perceptions of good art teaching in Hong Kong

Kit Oi Eliza AU

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


What is good art teaching? What are the attributes of a good art teacher? There is a plethora of criteria used to judge teaching and teachers. They are usually used in teacher appraisal when the teachers are evaluated for assessment and inspection purposes. Voices of the teachers are rarely heard. Batten (1993), Brown & Mclntyre (1993), and dark (1995) argue that any understanding of teaching will be severely limited unless it incorporates an understanding of how teachers themselves make sense of what they do: how they construe and evaluate their own teaching, and how they make judgments. This study attempts to elicit teachers' perspectives on what makes a good art teacher and what constitutes good art teaching. Survey was used a the research method in the study. Postal questionnaires were sent to panel heads of art departments in secondary schools in Hong Kong. With the knowledge derived from their practical experience in the art room, these teachers were in the best position to describe what makes a good teacher and what constitutes good art teaching. Four broad sections were included in the questionnaire: 1) The good art teacher; 2) Strategies for good art teaching; 3) Dilemmas of teaching art; and 4) Evaluation of art teaching. Section 1 attempted to identify personal and professional qualities which respondents regarded as important for a good art teacher. Section 2 inquired into respondents' experiences in successful art lessons and their strategies in curriculum planning and teaching. Section 3 dealt with dilemmas of teaching art. Since good practice in art exists at the intersection of competing imperatives, the choice made by respondents reflected their values of art teaching. Section 4 focused on ways in which art teaching is evaluated in Hong Kong. Wise et al. (1985) have identified four broad goals of teacher evaluation: personnel decisions, staff development, school improvement, and accountability. This section attempted to solicit teachers' views on how art teaching should be evaluated. Three of the four sections ended with a 'metaphor' question. Lakoff and Johnson (1980) suggest that metaphors are particularly useful because they allow us to compare new information to the familiar. An art teacher who is most like a missionary bears little resemblance to the art teacher who assumes the role of a manager. By borrowing terminology from other domains, we can begin to frame, clarify and understand the tacit. Each metaphor provided in the questionnaire suggests certain behaviors, attitudes and functions related to a particular image of a good art teacher, a conception of art teaching, and an ideal environment for teaching art. Each metaphor offered a particular view as perceived by art teachers in the study. The findings of the survey have helped to build a profile of what art teachers perceived as good art teaching in the particular context of Hong Kong. Further research seems necessary to test the extent metaphoric conceptions of good art teaching shape classroom practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


Au, K. O. E. (1997, November). Secondary art teachers' perceptions of good art teaching in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 14th Annual Conference: Compulsory Education and Beyond, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China.


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