Common problems encountered in the teaching of ceramics in Ghanaian Secondary Schools

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Ceramics, just like all the other visual arts, has not been given the desired attention as some other subjects, under the school system in Ghana. In fact, most scholars of all ages have once ever considered art as unacademic. For example, one learns from History that Aristotle, the Greek Philosopher draws a distinction between liberal subjects that is, studies for the free citizen, and illiberal subjects - the A.rts and Crafts practiced by slaves; and he would exclude from the curriculum of the free man’s children anything which would make the individual ‘mechanical”, and wage earning oriented. Now, however, with the rapid evolution in industrialization the condescending belief that a vocational linkage for human perception is something for the poor and. dull-witted has been seen to be fallacious. Truly, many modern nations have realized that a country ‘. Technological and industrial advancement cannot be fully achieved if the arts of that country were left to shatter. Surely, a country that surrenders her creative expressions and abandons the foundations of her arts and crafts will live to regret it. In the light of the above, one realizes that in the ongoing Ghana’s educational reforms, whereby great emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocational skills, the visual arts have dully been recognized. Yet, owing to certain problems that come by the way of teachers some of the arts such a ceramics, do not receive a healthy attention. This essay therefore, stressing ceramics re a vocational subject, seeks to identify problems hindering the teaching of ceramics in the secondary schools and. suggests or recommends solutions to some, if not all, of these problems. The research methodology adopted here is the descriptive and analytical methods. Data collected were through on-the-spot interviews of some ceramics teachers in some secondary schools, a wail as questionnaire sent to other teachers in selected schools. The questionnaire were however, not for a case study of schools that responded but to help get a broad view on problems relating to the teaching and learning of ceramics in schools in Ghana. The analysis thus, has been generalized.. This essay has been divided into chapters. Chapter one covers the introduction which discusses ceramics as a Visual Art and a vocational subject. In chapter two, one finds the literature review about the subject. Chapter three takes a look at the general overview of the teaching of ceramics in secondary schools. Chapter four then, deals with analysis of questionnaire answered by teachers. Finally, the last chapter - five, summarises, offers suggestions, and concludes the essay.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Art Education, 1992