An empirical evaluation of the art education curriculum in primary schools in the city of Al-Madina in Saudi Arabia
This is an empirical evaluation study of the art education curriculum in Saudi Arabian primary school with special reference to primary schools in Al-Madena City. The study aims to explore the current art education curriculum in relation to classroom observation, teachers' attitudes, parents' opinions and children's work. The study sample covers 20 schools for classroom observations, 114 schools for a survey of teacher attitudes, 20 parents and 50 randomly selected children's art works. The design of the study instruments was based on the literature, and the researcher's experience. Literature was reviewed on all aspects of art education, including its principles, art education's function and art in schools, with particular focus on art in the school curriculum, curriculum and culture, curriculum contents and evaluation. A pilot study was conducted in some Hull primary schools to test the validity of the instruments. The outcomes led to refinement of the instruments before the field implementation. The findings indicate that the parents have no proper link with the school, especially with art education as an integrated part of the school curriculum, which may reflect the social tradition that underestimates art in general and art education in particular. The teachers' attitudes indicated that the general and ambiguous curriculum guidance is responsible for their inability to use their potential in the teaching-learning process. The findings also shed light on the responses of teachers to the social tradition which makes them less interested and less motivated, as revealed throughout the observation process. The pupils' works, in the estimation of the evaluators, reflected a low level of learning, consistent with the low value given to art and aesthetic sensitivity. This can be attributed to both teachers' methods of teaching and the curriculum construction. The study's findings were interpreted in relation to the research questions. The research achieved its objectives, opening new horizons to the researcher and others to take into consideration within the socio-cultural tradition, the curriculum components and teachers' initial and in-service training in art education.