Art Education in New Zealand: A question of criticality

Ted Bracey
Vol 20, Number 1, p.39
This essay seeks to illuminate a problem which appears to be embedded in the very foundation of thinking about art education in New Zealand. It can be found in the consistent failure of art educators to reflect critically on their enterprise, in particular, in their failure to systematically and critically engage with the theory on which their enterprise is founded. This failure is attributed to a form of teacher education which, in its focus on essentially practical matters, fails to provide beginning teachers with either the means, opportunity or incentive, to critically examine the conceptual foundations of the art education they are required to provide young people. Evidence of this failure is said to exist in the muddled conceptual ground on which 'The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum' (Ministry of Education, 2000), and the draft curriculum statement (1999) which preceded it, uneasily rests.