Volume 21 Number 12 April 17, 2020

The Meaningful Memories of Visual Arts Education for Preservice Generalist Teachers: What is Remembered, Why, and from Where?

Jaakko Henrik Moilanen
University of Oulu, Finland

Pekka-Oskari Mertala
University of Oulu, Finland

Citation: Moilanen, J. H. & Mertala, P-O. (2020). The meaningful memories of visual arts education for preservice generalist teachers: What is remembered, why, and from where? International Journal of Education & the Arts, 21(12). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea21n12.


Research that examines generalist preservice teachers’ memories from the viewpoint of a specific subject is scarce. As generalist teachers’ self-efficacy varies between subjects, subject-oriented research is needed. This qualitative study explores the meaningful memories of visual arts education for twenty-one preservice generalist teachers in Finland. The data, analyzed via an abductive approach and a constant comparison method, consists of participants’ written memories. According to the findings, the nature of preservice generalist teachers’ memories of visual arts education is a result of negotiation between personal (i.e., their personal relationship with visual arts) and structural (i.e., changes in curricula) aspects. Teachers were presented as playing important mediatory roles between these two domains, as both the positive and negative memories of the participants often included personified descriptions of their teachers. The implications for both visual arts and teacher education are also provided.

Visual Abstract

This article is available in PDF format.


The International Journal of Education & the Arts currently serves as an open access platform for scholarly dialogue. Our commitment is to the highest forms of scholarship invested in the significances of the arts in education and the education within the arts. Read more about our mission…


IJEA holds strong commitment to research in interdisciplinary arts education. Our editors are respected scholars from different arts fields working together to achieve our high standard. Read more about editors…