This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are just some suggestions as to a focus for the pupil perception interviews. Whatever the structure and content of the questions, the aims and objectives of the interview must be shared with those pupils invited to take part.
SUGGESTED RULES FOR CONDUCTING SUCCESSFUL PUPIL PERCEPTION INTERVIEWS
ü Decide why you need to conduct pupil interviews.
ü Ensure the process is successful by planning what, where and how you will use the outcomes.
ü Plan a timeline and follow it.
ü Agree the focus. What do you want to find out?
ü Decide the questions that you are going to ask. Agree these with the department or other members of staff.
ü Keep SMT informed and present copies of the planned interview questions.
ü Decide the time that you will allocate to the interviews. Carry out a dummy run.
ü Agree the amount of pupils that you will interview. To help create the pupils’ comfort zone, it is better to interview a small group at once. Six is usually a good number.
ü Decide on how you will select the pupils for interview.
ü Decide how you will ask and order the questions. With every group you interview will you always ask question 1 first? Within the groups how will you rotate the questions; will the person sitting to the left of you always have the first chance to answer?
ü Interviews always work best when a ‘neutral’ person asks the questions e.g. LEA Adviser, Consultant, member of staff from another department etc.
ü Organise a note taker/observer. It is difficult to manage the interviews, ask the questions and write the answers down! Don’t use a tape recorder, it is impersonal and will create a lot of work once the interviews have been concluded.
ü Make sure the room that you use is non-threatening. Ensure that it is comfortable, warm and fairly open. It is also important that the room is located in a fairly quiet area of the school. Put the pupils at ease and explain the reasons for the interview.
ü Always thank the pupils for agreeing to take part and share with them the importance of the process. Make sure that they know their names will not be used in any post interview discussions and published materials. Confidentiality is very important.
ü Agree the feedback process and that the answers will be acknowledged!
POSSIBLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
What is your attitude towards art and design?
What do you think that art and design offers you, that maybe some other subjects don’t?
Where would you rank art and design amongst all the subjects that you are taught?
What do you like about art and design lessons? Which areas do you enjoy most and why?
Which areas do you like the least and why?
Would you say that there are any areas of art and design that are not inclusive? Do you think that boys and girls are equally catered for?
What makes a really enjoyable and successful lesson for you in art and design?
Are you clear about what you are expected to learn in lessons? How do you know?
Are you given opportunities to plan, discuss and present ideas and opinions about aspects of the work that you are doing? How regularly?
Are you clear about the level that you are currently working at? How do you know this?
How do you find out how to improve your work and understanding? What would you like to happen?
How do you learn best?
Are there any particular areas of art and design that you feel you have made little progress in since coming into the school?
What is your favourite way of working in art and design? Is there any other area of activity where this may be different?
When do you feel really good in art and design? How do you come to this conclusion?
If there was one thing that you would change in art and design, what would it be?