Changing teachers’ practice in the Creative Arts classroom: the case for educational technologies
De Villiers, Alethea C.
Sauls, Maxwell M.
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The study described in this essay explores the use of educational technology as a resource in the Creative Arts classroom. Many teachers are not qualified to teach Creative Arts. They then tend to rely on curriculum documents and textbooks to help guide their planning, teaching and assessment. Most of the teachers who participated in this case study were not specialists in any of the arts, and in the education district where this study took place, there was a lack of ongoing professional development for the Creative Arts. To enable the teachers from Grades R to 7 to mediate more meaningful classroom teaching and learning in the Creative Arts, the researchers introduced the teachers to technology as a means to facilitate learning and teaching. This study follows a phenomenological approach to explore the use of educational technology in the teaching of dance, drama and music, which are three of the art forms in the Creative Arts. The researchers describe the teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards using technology in the classroom. Eight teachers participated in the study (seven female and one male), ranging in age from 22 to 41 years. There were three teachers from the Foundation Phase, three teachers from the Intermediate Phase and two teachers from the Senior Phase. Data were collected from (1) unstructured open-ended conversational interviews, (2) observations of the participants during contact time with learners and (3) audio-visual recordings of the teachers in the classroom. Findings from the study showed that after the 10-month intervention of using educational technology in the classroom, there was divergence in the teachers’ use of technology. The findings also suggest that classroom practice in dance, drama and music improved.