74th OMEP World Assembly and Conference, Athens, Greece, 11 - 15 July 2022, pp.45
Visual arts in the early years is a critical outlet for children to express themselves verbally and non-verbally. Therefore, the way teachers value arts in the classroom or the attitudes teachers hold toward arts become significant to investigate. In this study, the views of the pre-service teachers (n=26) who are taking visual arts course was investigated in terms of the benefits of visual arts in early childhood classrooms, teacher role in preparing a supportive classroom environment, and the content of visual arts courses in teaching young children. The data was collected through an open-ended survey and then analyzed through content analysis. The findings indicated the value pre-service teachers had for visual arts in early years, specifically its benefits for emotional skills. They also indicated the role visual arts played in nurturing children’s creativity skills and aesthetics sense. However, the findings also revealed the limited pedagogical knowledge of the pre-service teachers in relation to teacher role and the content of visual arts courses while working with children. The results will shade light on the content of the visual arts courses offered in the early childhood teacher education programs. That is, more emphasis should be given to the pedagogical content knowledge of pre-service teachers and their understanding in terms of teacher’s role in providing a supportive environment for visual arts classes.