Teachers’ Views on the Use of Photography in Teaching Arts in Croatian Primary Schools
Contemporary art education relies on the use of diverse methods, approaches, art techniques, and technologies. Although photography is part of daily visual communication and gallery exhibitions, there is no structured approach to photography as a medium for learning the arts in Croatian primary schools. The objectives of the quantitative study were to determine art teachers’ views on (1) their knowledge about photography, (2) their abilities in using photography in art teaching, (3) obstacles to using photography in art teaching, and (4) the importance of photography in students’ visual culture. Regarding the fourth objective, we wanted to examine possible differences in terms of the teachers’ gender, age, and length of service. A survey was conducted with 112 teachers who teach arts in 5th to 8th grades in 17 Croatian counties. The results of the descriptive statistics were supplemented with a qualitative analysis of the teachers’ responses in the questionnaire. The results show that the teachers perceive their knowledge about photography obtained by formal education as average, but they assess their abilities to apply photography in their lessons as slightly better. The main problem, in their view, is a low number of art lessons in the Croatian curriculum. The teachers generally agree that photography is very important in a student’s visual culture, regardless of the teachers’ gender, age. and years of service. These findings indicate the need to place greater emphasis on photography as an artistic medium in primary school, as it may generate new visual knowledge and artistic skills.
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