Rear-view Mirror: Towards a Better Understanding of the Needs of French Immersion Teachers in Regards to Professional Development in Visual Arts

Marie-Josée Vignola, Bernard W. Andrews


An Ontario bilingual university and a community arts committee collaborated in offering a professional development program for elementary and high school teachers to improve their instructional competence in visual arts. A year after offering the professional development program, researchers did a qualitative study in order to verify the effectiveness of the program as well as gather detailed information about its impact on classroom teaching. The group of participants in the follow-up project was comprised of French immersion teachers. Data was collected with a questionnaire used during a phone interview with each participant. Findings indicate that the program was successful in changing practices. The critical factor effecting change was the emphasis throughout the program on participants playing the role of children in age-appropriate activities. Confidence and motivation increased considerably during field applications; skills and concepts were effectively integrated into the school curricula; and creativity, experimentation and flexibility were employed to overcome instructional obstacles and effectively deliver visual arts lessons.


visual arts; professional development; French immersion