ISSUES IN ART EDUCATION AND ART TEACHER TRAINING IN TURKEY Prof. Dr. Vedat Özsoy Dean Faculty of Fine Arts TOBB University of Economics and Technology Ankara-Turkey
National Education Development Project (NEDP)
The Situation of Art Education and Art Teacher Training in Turkey at the B eginning of 21st Century
What Kind of Art Education and Art Teacher Training in the 21 st Century
Formal arts education in Turkey is realized as K-12.
In primary education arts and music courses take place as 2 hours in the first three years and 1 hour in the last five years.
In high schools art , music and phisical education courses take place as 2 hour first year, 1 hour last three years as elective courses.
H igh schools of fine arts have art , music and sports departments .
Art and music teachers are educated in faculties of education, in the Departments of Fine Arts Educations ; teacher trainees are trained disregarding a distinction between the fields of primary and secondary education .
T he graduates also from the painting and music departments of faculties of fine arts can get the opportunity to become arts teachers by completing M.A. programs without dissertation .
National Education Development Project (NEDP)
In the mid- 1990s, The Ministry of National Education put into practice The National Education Development Project supported by the World Bank in Turkey and as a part of this project, The Council of Higher Education started ‘The Pre-Service Teacher Education Project’.
In 1997, t he project reconstructed the faculties of education and changed their syllabuses.
F aculties of E ducation were transformed structurally and the required credit for graduation in undergraduate programs was limited to maximum 150 credit/ hours (from c. 180 c/h)
S yllabuses varying in each faculty were standardized .
Textbooks and other materials to be used in the field teaching courses were prepared.
Separate classrooms and laboratories were established for ‘Special Teaching Methods ( i.e. Methods of Art Teaching)’
Teaching practices which used to take 22 work days before the changes, became part of the partnership program in 3 terms (Each term takes 14 weeks).
The 4 year course programs in the Department s of Art and Craft Education which are connected to faculties of education are reorganized through those changes .
During the second part of the NEDP , the Council of Higher Education started ‘Accreditation of the Faculties of Education Project’ and ‘Teacher Education Standards’ were prepared.
The course programs in the Department of Art and Craft Education are reorganized through those changes .
N ew courses not existing before were added to the programs such as: Art Criticism, Aesthetics, Museum Education, D evelopment of Teaching Materials, School Experience, Art Teaching Practice.
The Situation of Art Education and Art Teacher Training in Turkey at the B eginning of 21st Century
While Gazi Institute of Education, Department of Art and Craft Education, which produced its first graduates in 1935, was the only department to train art teachers, the number of Departments of Art and Craft Education founded within the scope of Faculties of Education has reached 26 by 2009.
T he number of Faculties of Fine Arts have become widespread throughout the country and reached 54 in number (35 in state; 19 in private foundation universities).
T he population is 78 millions in Turkey .
33.769 elementary schools and 419.345 teachers in these schools.
8.674 high schools and 193.255 teachers
7 79 0 visual arts teachers .
In the first five years of elementary school, the art and music courses are taught by class room teachers. In the rest of it (3 years) and in high schools by art and music teachers.
In high schools, the visual arts, music and physical education courses are in the curriculum in the first year as 2 hours elective courses, in the rest 1 hour.
There are 51 High Schools of Fine Arts and Sports with the departments of art, music and physical education.
T he importance given to visual arts courses in pre - school, primary and high school has graphed a bumpy chart during 86 years. It sometimes proceeded positively by means of the interest of the authorities but generally negatively due to the apathy of them. Nowadays, the interests and sensitivity of the authorities of Ministry of Education, school managers, teachers and students, and parents to art courses is not enough.
It beyond doubt that this is caused by three basic reasons ; not bringing in the necessary art education, not improving the artistic sensitivity and not making people conscious of the importance of art education .
T he P roblems of A rt E ducation
and A rt T eacher T raining
Related to the necessity of art education and art teaching:
The acceptance of art courses just as an ability course in society ,
not getting the aims of the courses, or not believing or being convinced for the benefits of art courses and the necessity and the reason of its education in schools ,
t he acceptance of the high school students to universities by a central exam that postpon s and ignor es art and music courses in high schools.
t he preference of parents for popular professions like medicine, engineering, law and economics for their children ,
s ome branches of vocational and technical education ’s not having art education programs and preventing the graduatees of those schools from having the required aesthetic and design education ,
n ot implementing the artistic and aesthetic education of the public by means of widespread region art centers, nursing homes, child art museums, public art, craft and design fairs, festivals and hobby clubs.
Related to e ducation, t eaching and p rograms:
Some factors that prevent the development of the teaching programs in pre, primary and high school visual arts courses according to new approaches by not taking the theories and techniques of contemporary art education into consideration ,
s ome people’s not knowing the developments of theories and contemporary applications in art education and teaching, being ignorant of the features and accuracy of curriculum development, and preparing educational programs and course books by bringing just their artistic personalities in the foreground .
t he programs of the institutions training preschool teachers, primary school teachers and visual arts teachers not having the necessary amount of lessons and teaching hours for art teaching ,
t he programs of mass education institutions and vocational and technical high schools’ not having the art and design courses by reason of their having ‘ability/skill education’
Related to s chools and t eachers:
Not having enough art courses in primary education programs, and pre and primary school teachers’ not being trained duly and truly ,
d espite the two hours of visual arts courses in a week (1 course hour is 40 minutes) in the education and teaching programs covering the first three years of 8 years of primary education, the rest five years’ being limited by just one hour in a week ,
c lassroom teachers not having the required qualities of art education for conducting the topics of the current Elementary Schools’ Curriculum of Fine Arts lesson.
i n the ordinary high schools, not having divisions of arts and programs based on ability education in common as a separate branch like mathematics, physics, social classes ,
n ot being any separate art classrooms and special fixture where the art lessons can be conducted in all preschool, primary school and high school institutions ,
m ost visual arts teachers do n o t have enough information in the field of teaching techniques of contemporary art. They also fail in following improvements in art teaching, and do n o t consider the necessity of becoming a member of professional associations.
t he fact that teaching profession isn’t contractual but permanent and there is not an assessment system based on performance encourages this situation in a negative way ,
t he Ministry of National Education lacks in providing in-service training opportunities for visual arts teachers ,
t here is not any periodical related with teaching arts, so there is not any tool to exchange and follow improvements and scientific studies in the field of arts teaching and training.
With Regard to
Faculties of Education:
The department’s content is restricted since it is still misnamed as “Painting (art) and Craft Education”. However, department’s program covers both theoretical courses intended for teaching art and design courses that lead and ensure students to become more interested in the arts’ problems by providing more intense education in one specific branch. Also as the name includes ‘craft’, there has not been any craft courses since 1980 in its program.
t he number of theoretical and practical teaching art courses that combine different branches of art consistently and ensure this combination to address pre-school, primary and high school level students is very limited as well as the number of academicians who can give these courses.
s ome academicians in the Department of Art and Craft Education are indecisive and have conflicting ideas or manners about whether they give art education or painting education, and whether they are artists, art educators, painting teachers or teacher artists ,
t here are problems about academicians’ professional qualifications and studies .
With regard to employment areas:
Establishment of D epartments of A rt and C raft E ducation in the structure of education faculties of universities without careful planning ,
t here is no effort to determine how many visual arts teachers are needed for each year in the country and also there are not five-year plans that determine quotas allocated for the Department of Art and Craft Education of Faculties of Education in order to train visual arts teachers ,
t oday, most graduates of these departments are not appointed for teaching by the Ministry of Education because of limited cadre ,
i n departments, there are some academicians who are subjectively hired, and this process creates many problems .
The solutions for visual arts education’s problems summarized above should be considered in the organization of both general education and arts education. However, the real solution is to make responsible people believe in the necessity of arts education and arts teaching, as mentioned above.
What Kind of Art Education and Art Teacher Training in the 21st Century Arts language is universal. Arts can go beyond the language borders of different countries. Someone who does not know Turkish history can easily comprehend what the functions of “Anıtkabir (Atatürk’s Mausoleum)” and Topkapı Palace while visiting these places, or what happens in the painting of Osman Hamdi called “Gun Merchant” The folkloric dance of Artvin region or the language of movements in the ballet “Lake Swan” can be understood all over the world and spectators do not need oral explanation.
By saying “The power , ruling people’s lives and performance is creativity and ability to invent”, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk somehow emphasized the necessity of developing these human abilities. To achieve this, education programs must cover art. It is known that art education is the pioneer of disciplines that develop creativity. By saying “Imagination is more important than information”, Einstein reminds the importance of improving imagery design, which is one of the basic objects of arts education.
Up to now, in many countries including Türkiye the understanding of art education which is based on creativity, ability and studio applications has forced art instructors into inertia. Art instructors at schools who choose the children or teenagers whom they find creative or skillful have preferred to deal with these students only. They have always got prepared for art galleries, arranged competitions, and educational training activities only with these select students. One of the fundamental problems which such a system brings is the prevalence of the idea that art education is only a skills training to enhance creativity.
Teachers and parents at schools, therefore also students, are of the belief that art classes are held only for students who are skillful; therefore, they believe these classes cannot concern everyone at the same rate. Undoubtedly, the enduring insensitivity and indifference of authorities responsible for education and other authorities has great influence on this situation.
Rather than developing students abilities on just one branch of art, visual art lessons should be arranged in such content that provide students with the behavior that they can improve their creativity and their ability to creation, activate all their artistic directions, gain the ability of critical thinking, develop aesthetic awareness, and claim both their own and other countries’ cultural heritage. Visual arts teachers should be trained with this approach. The realization of this will be possible with adequate support and separation of time to both theoretical and practical lessons about art teaching in visual arts teacher training programs.
Art curricula should be prepared by the methods of auctions to private entities and holding organized competitions in an understanding of decentralized way for the pre-school, primary and secondary education and for vocational and non-formal education. Relevant organizations, especially universities should support the visual arts training programs in a way which is purified from daily policies and relationships of mutual interests. It is mandatory that intelligent, talented and creative students who will be able to learn both the art teaching theories developed by scientific efforts and their applications should be trained. Such an interaction can also be beneficial for the world peace.
Every one of the art education programs will enable individuals to become aware of their artistic talents, which will uncover their creativity skills. These programs will also help them expertise their skills, give aesthetic sensibility, teach respect for human rights and freedoms, raise awareness about their duties and responsibilities, provide an emphatic way of thinking which presents their own and other cultures’ art. In addition, these education programs, teaching how to claim cultural values which has become universal and improving visual literacy, will help lead a happy and peaceful life.
It is a reality that art education develops students’ artistic talents; however, this is only one of the aims. It is within the scope of art education that children and the young develop their artistic skills via formal education, and individuals belonging to various age groups do this via informal education. It is essential that especially each individual at the first stage of training get artistic education in order to obtain the expected behavior. Hence, there will be an increase in the number of individuals who have aesthetic sensibility, and are tactful polite respectful fair.
It is necessary that art education be given in a well-prepared program which includes life-long learning principles to be given to people from all ages with any kinds of personalities in consideration to their capacities and levels. This education should be given to people not to waste their spare time but to develop their creativity and abilities via public training centers, pensioners’ house, art center regions, art galleries and museums.
Consequently, art education helps people develop their non verbal thinking skills, perception, and imagination, thinking and acting creatively. Art education, which is effective for people to discipline themselves, has also components for the other main subjects, and it is also developed and motivated through communication skills that are compulsory for the language and logical mathematical thinking. Moreover, art education is of great importance to develop societal skills and consciousness.