Initial Teacher Training - Trainers Pack and Programme


Philosophical Dimension

This section of the website provides guidance for those teacher trainers who wish to plan, or revise their course programme for trainee primary teachers who will be required to teach art and design to primary pupils as one element in the curriculum.

The overall provision, and other constraints on trainers, will vary according to context. Each teacher trainer engaged in this activity is likely to feel most constrained by the time that is allocated for the activity, though the number of hours granted will vary according to institution. A typical allocation for those trainees who are not identified as potential leaders in the subject is around 10 hours in duration in total; there are some institutions which provide less time, but even the average allocation presents a challenge to the teacher trainer planning the programme - making wise decisions about what should be included and what left out will maximise the effectiveness of the programme.

The majority of trainees will have limited expertise in art and design, having abandoned formal studies at the age of 14. Their earlier variable experiences may have also left them with little confidence, thus they can approach some critical appreciation and practical activities with trepidation and even resistance.

The differing amounts of time offered to individual trainers are but one variable; group sizes will differ and some groups helpfully will be organised into related subject cohorts, though others will have a mixture of specialist backgrounds. An added constraint is that the art and design course may feature early in a three-year educational programme in some cases, so that trainees experience in schools will be limited to that of their own previous education which often provides an inaccurate model for reflection and debate. Physical provision will be an additional variable and all these factors will impact upon planning.

Given these variables no one course can possibly be an ideal model for planning. At the end of this section the course plans for several different institutions are provided for reference but though these may well offer a useful template to commence planning activity the final programme will differ according to the context in which the trainer is working and the trainer's art and design educational perspective.

What follows therefore is a 'menu' from which the trainer can select their chosen 'diet' for the trainees they will meet. The 'menu' includes only those subject specific areas that might be incorporated; the generic educational programme in the institution will provide the general background. Several discrete aspects of an art and design training programme have been identified and there follows a section on each; these are:

Each of these sections presents a summative range of possible content that might feature in an individual course programme, were all the necessary time made available for their coverage, together with one exemplification of how the trainer might approach the delivery of that particular aspect. These examples are not intended to be one 'ideal' or recommended approach to the activity. The strategy for delivery of content will depend on course constraints, and the predilection and ingenuity of individual trainers. For a full range of possible approaches additional reading references are provided.

Given the constraints on time noted earlier, difficult choices will have to be made about what is included and, as significantly, what is omitted. This is the challenge for the teacher trainer and there is no one ideal solution.

In using this planning guidance it should be recognised that the content of these sections is interactive; it is possible to illustrate alternative rationales and approaches in schools by the way individual practical activity sessions are approached on the course; the course programme may itself exemplify the full range of approaches to teaching styles in art and design; a practical drawing project may simultaneously illustrate strategies to teaching the visual elements, several course sessions may utilise and therefore provide examples of appropriate use of digital media, and so on. Many trainers will find that in order to make best use of the available time it will be necessary to pragmatically capitalise on the essentially interactive nature of the 'menu' rather than dedicate discrete sessions to each aspect.

The 'menu' does not incorporate those additional activities that would be appropriate and necessary in training a subject leader in art and design. A typical training programme for these targeted trainees usually requires their attendance at the 'basic programme', with supplementary sessions provided, which address issues related to their future leadership role. A discrete section listing possible additional activities for this more specialised group is also provided.

In addition the The Primary Art and Design Subject Leaders' Handbook provides valuable information to help successfully establish and develop the subject in schools. It is a must for every primary coordinator and useful for teacher trainers in addressing the issues with their trainees.