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Ilmi Laur-Paist

  • Art Education
  • MA
  • Analysis of Theoretical Works of the Art Olympiad 2018–2021
  • Tutor: Jane Remm
  • Master Thesis

Estonian Art Olympiad consists of 3 parts: theory (art appropriation), a practical artwork created at home, and a practical artwork made at the event. Art Olympiads have been organized in Estonia for 9 years and for two age levels: lower-secondary school and upper-secondary school. The aim of this master’s thesis is to map the theoretical tests of the Art Olympiad – what tasks are given to students and how students manage to solve them – and draw conclusions.

The initial tasks of the present work are the following: to give an overview of the work of the theoretical tasks of art education previously conducted in Estonia to students; the connection of the theoretical tasks of the Olympiads with the national curriculum of art; the relationship between the theoretical tasks of the Olympiad and the thinking skills and levels.

I used 107 written tests of the 2018 – 2021 Art Olympiads (79 from lower-secondary school, 28 from upper-secondary school) and their results from the website of the Teaduskool. Data analysis is a combination of quantitative and targeted content analysis, the method is document analysis. The board of the Estonian Society for Education Through Art (EstSEA) gave consent for the use of the data.

In the theoretical part of the thesis, I explain the concepts related to the research problem, the history of the Estonian Olympiads, the structure of the Art Olympiads and their goals, compare the Arts Olympiads with other creative subject Olympiads, give an overview of creative thinking and how to develop it. In the empirical part of the thesis, I give an overview of data collection and analysis methodology, describe the data analysis, and give an overview of the obtained results.

Empirical research revealed that the students were able to deal with the level of difficulty of the tasks, there were no unfinished tests, and the average result of all quizzes was 64%. In general, links with the current national curriculum were visible. The tasks of the upper secondary school corresponded more precisely to the learning outcomes and threshold-based approach in the curriculum.

The value of this master’s thesis consists of a detailed overview of the Art Olympiad, appendices illustrating the content of the thesis, a more thorough overview of the tasks – statistical analysis of the results and proposals for updating the Art Olympiad. Understanding the factors influencing the Art Olympiad gives both the Estonian Art Education Association and art teachers a better overview of the work done.