In this paper, we discuss the rationale for using museums as alternative settings for initial teacher education in the primary sector by identifying the significance of transferring the pedagogical strategies characteristic of museum settings to primary art education. To illustrate our points, we examine the case of the “Take One Picture” initiative (hereafter as TOP) by drawing upon evidence from the TOP Cultural Placement pilot project in Cambridge. We call attention to “dialogic teaching” as a valuable pedagogical principle that trainee teachers can take away and build upon to inform their day-to-day practice. Our reflections on the TOP project reaffirm the distinctive role of the museum context in teacher training and the importance of dialogue in engagement with art. In addition, the TOP project showcases how fine arts can be taught from a Visual Culture Art Education (VCAE) perspective that incorporates socio-cultural contexts. We also put forward a “repertoire” approach that connects the various dimensions in art education, including appreciating, making and displaying art. This small case study enriches the current literature by highlighting that museums can be turned into exemplary settings for raising awareness of dialogic teaching and for teachers and educators to practice, design, and improve their own strategies of dialogic teaching. In response to the limitations of the TOP program, we propose that trainee teachers could be encouraged to make art works during their training and that future practices can incorporate a “Take One Object” (TOO) approach to complement the employment of visual stimulus in art education with material objects.


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pp. 27-42
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