Teaching art in a wider context

La Trobe University and Shepparton Art Museum have partnered to deliver an art-based educational program that enhances pre-service teachers' practical skills and cultural knowledge.

Over two days students undertaking the Graduate Diploma of Education (Middle Years) worked with Shepparton Art Museum educators exploring how art can support learning in primary and secondary education.

'The pre-service teachers learnt how to use objects, art works, artists' approaches and exhibitions to inquire and question while developing personal skills in exploring and responding to artistic pieces,' said Dr Narelle Lemon, Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education at La Trobe University.

Pre-service teachers also undertook a creative task which saw them working with clay to create sculptures.

'Working in a practical art task at the gallery is an important way for future teachers to make connections between creating and making as well as exploring the art work,' Dr Lemon said.

Students were encouraged to investigate how the museum's collection could be used not only for art, but for other curriculum areas such as numeracy and literacy.

'We want to encourage our students to explore innovative ways to teach students, to develop within them core capabilities including critical thinking and creative problem solving.'

Dr Lemon said that pre-service teachers had been able to probe and enhance skills they could take into the classroom upon graduation.

'Working with the gallery supports the development of holistic teachers who are confident outside of the confines of the classroom.

'Many pre-service teachers who study in Shepparton find work locally or in other regional areas upon graduation. So it's vital they have insights into how they can engage with cultural organisations such as Shepparton Art Museum to support local children's learning outcomes,' said Dr Lemon.

Joe Pascoe, Acting Senior Curator at Shepparton Art Museum said 'we look forward to welcoming back these new teachers with their students in the future.'


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