Proposed changes to the national arts curriculum have teachers worried that students will struggle to fully understand the new courses.
A report released last week by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority would split art subjects into five categories – dance, drama, media arts, music and visual arts. It would be compulsory for students from kindergarten to Year 8 to study all five art forms for a minimum of two hours per week.
Students will have the opportunity to specialise in individual subjects from Year 9.
Art Education Australia president Marian Strong said two hours was insufficient and students would struggle to engage with the classes.
“The changes will mean the students only get tiny tastes of each subject and no depth whatsoever,” she said.
Ms Strong said teachers were concerned if the curriculum were split they would not have the ability to teach all five subjects.
“The majority of teachers are lucky if they’ve taken anything more than a short six-week semester in one or another of the art forms, so to ask them to teach all five is a major issue,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority said it was important for children to get a taste of all forms of arts as opposed to the current focus on only one or two subjects.
The paper is open for comment until December 17.
Published in the Western Independent October 2010