Framework Development for Integrating Information and Communication Technologies Into The Ghanaian Senior High School Visual Art Curriculum

Within the past decade, efforts at integrating ICT into the school curriculum have become popular in the country's educational institutions. Even before the government of Ghana, on the basis of the Anamuah-Mensah committee on education, recommended ICT infusion into the educational system, there were far-flung ICT integration attempts initiated by Parent/Teacher Associations, Old Students Associations, non-governmental organizations and some ICT related establishments. This indeed is a clear manifestation of how conscious Ghanaians have become about the importance of ICT in institutions of learning. Unfortunately, however, a close observation of the emergence of ICTs in Ghanaian Senior High Schools seems to lack definite goals for teaching and learning. Besides, attempts at ICT integration are happening so independently that the extent to which its infusion or introduction (to phrase itrealistically) is benefiting education of the students is uncertain. It is for this reason that a Curriculum Framework aimed at developing the use of ICTs in the teaching and learning of Visual Arts in Ghanaian senior high schools is considered essential. This study begins with an examination of the opinions and knowledge base of Art teachers and students about ICT and Art Education. It also explores the educational goals of existing ICT progarmmes in Ghanaian Senior High Schools which focus on conventional computing that only enables students to use a narrow range of software that have very little benefit for the Visual Art student in particular. The study further seeks the views of ICT experts, curriculum planners/reviewers, teachers and other stake holders concerning effective integration of ICT into the teaching and learning of visual arts in the senior high schools. Two key dimensions emerged from the views sampled from Visual Art teachers, students, curriculum reviewers and ICT experts: (1) Motivation for ICT integration and usage, based on (2) Curricular and pedagogical innovations. Despite the divergence in opinions, beliefs and attitudes, Visual Art teachers and students seem ready and highly motivated by the promises of new technologies to use ICTs. However, this can be possible only when efforts are formally put in place to ensure innovations in pedagogy through a qualitative change in the existing Visual Art curriculum. The outcome of the investigations formed the rationale for developing a Framework for Integrating ICTs into the Ghanaian Senior High Schools Visual Art Curriculum. The framework aims at exposing students in the Visual Arts to relevant basic skills that are required to develop their computer literacy skills beyond word processing, ultimately developing their creative thinking skills through information and communication technology.
A Dissertation Presented to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN ART EDUCATION, 2010