Creative Arts in crisis: Teaching and learning of creative arts in selected Public Primary Schools in Kumasi Metropolis.

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August, 2010.
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Many schools in Ghana depend mostly on generalist teachers for Creative Arts instruction at the primary level yet we know little about these teachers, their preparation before teaching, and what they actually do in the classroom when teaching the Creative Arts. Previously, the extant literature in this area had focused primarily on boosting generalist teachers’ confidence to teach Creative Arts but in recent years, studies by Eisner (1997), Wiggins and Wiggins (2008), Alter, Hays and O’Hara (2009) have revealed that many of the Creative Arts teachers lack the requisite skills, the understanding, knowledge, and confidence to teach this subject simply because they are generalist teachers. This study employed the qualitative research method to identify and describe the actual classroom teaching and learning of the Creative Arts in 10 selected public primary schools in Kumasi, Ghana. The outcome is meant to establish the link between teacher professional development, experience, actual classroom teaching and its impact on the learning of the Creative Arts. This study revealed that there are virtually no specialist trained art teachers in the primary schools and that the Creative Arts as an integrated subject is broad and therefore teachers consider it as additional work load. It also came to light that nearly all (80.3%) the teachers in the selected schools do not teach the practical aspect of the subject because they lack the skills and the knowledge for it. In view of this, pupils in the public primary schools in the Kumasi metropolis often learn drawing and musical games leaving most of the topics in the syllabus untreated. The evidence conclusively points to the fact that the teaching and learning of Creative Arts in the public primary schools is ineffective and left in the hands of teachers who do not make enough effort to teach it. Colleges of education should therefore train specialist teachers for Creative Arts in the primary schools. The GES should also supply teachers with the relevant teaching and learning materials to encourage them to teach the subject.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts .