Understanding children’s drawings: a case study of Handmaids Preparatory School, Nsoatre, Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region

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Many teachers turn to impose their adult ways on the children they teach. For example, a child wants to draw while standing but his teacher may insist that he/she sits down like all others. Perhaps her artistic abilities flow better when standing. In this case, the child will repress that natural creative ability. She may never become an artist, or the unique individual she was meant to be. The study brought the child into focus that a conducive atmosphere be provided for her to allow the free flow of her creative ability. This was done by adopting experimental and descriptive methods of research. In the experimental situation, two groups were formed: controlled and uncontrolled. Then in the controlled group, children were told an Ananse Story and were asked to draw any part of the story. Even in this case some of the children ignored the Ananse Story entirely and drew their own images unrelated to the story. In the uncontrolled group, children were left to draw whatever they liked. These drawings were done out of their own expressions. The main data collecting instrument was observation, The study found that, the children in the uncontrolled group expressed themselves freely with significant creativity. While some of the children in the controlled group kicked against the adult ideas imposed on them. Three of the children told the researcher straight away, what exercise they wanted the researcher to give them to do. The research revealed that in the controlled group, when adults imposed their ideas on the children, they inhibit the children’s creativity. On the other hand, in the uncontrolled group, when the children were allowed the necessary freedom during the drawing exercise, the free flow of their natural creative ability was stronger. It was recommended that: 1. Teachers in primary schools should provide a conducive atmosphere for drawing for the children. 2. The findings of this research are additional knowledge for Art Educators, Historians, Child Art Activists and other researchers. 3. Policy makers in Art Education formulate a policy to guide children to allow the free flow of their natural creative abilities when drawing. 4. Parents give enough opportunity to their children to allow them express themselves intuitively to unearth their creative abilities to make them that unique individuals they are meant to be. The adults who are in charge of children be cautious not to impose too much of their adults ideas on the children, to enable them discover their true potentials.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.) in Art Education, 2005