Development of a Methodology in drawing for students in the Department of Publishing Studies

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“Drawing” is a universal language for self-expression and a means for conveying concealed meanings of an author’s intentions to others. Drawing forms an integral aspect of book illustration. Drawing for illustration poses a challenge to students on the Publishing Studies programme in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. This is primarily because most of the students who are admitted to the programme have backgrounds in Science, General Arts, Business Studies and other programmes which do not have drawing as part of their studies like those who offer Visual Arts which has drawing as part of each subject. Because the Publishing Studies programme gives equal opportunity for all Senior High School students to access the programme and drawing is a required course, drawing has been made a compulsory course in the first year. Each student therefore has to learn to draw in the first year before he/she is allowed to choose his /her preferred specialist areas which are Book Design and Illustration, Printing Technology and Management, and Publishing Administration and Management. This makes those students with no art background, specifically in drawing, to face difficulties when they are confronted with drawing in the first year of the programme. Problems with drawing in Year One make Publishing students refrain from choosing Book Design and Illustration when they get to the second year of the programme. The study therefore adopted the qualitative research method to study the teaching and learning of drawing in the Publishing Studies programme and to explain how a step-by- step teaching methodology can equip students on the Publishing Studies programme with the necessary drawing skills that will encourage more of them to offer Book Design and Illustration (BDI) to enhance the publishing industry. The study involved pre-testing the new four-year teaching methodology with students in the Department of Publishing Studies to find out its effect on the students’ standard of drawing. The research found that art teaching at the Junior and Senior High School level is not done strictly according to the syllabuses provided; and that drawing is also not emphasized in the schools. As a result, many Junior and Senior High School students do not attain the knowledge and skills of drawing necessary for higher education hence the problems faced by students of the Department of Publishing Studies. Again, the study found that giving admission to a high number of non-art students into the Publishing Studies programme and requiring them to have enough drawing skills to specialize in Book Design and Illustration places more of these students at risk of dropping out or opting for specialist areas other than Book Design and Illustration. This also poses difficulties for the drawing lecturers and the publishing industry. To add to this, the study found that what is taught in drawing does not match the stated course content or syllabus used by the Department of Publishing Studies. Furthermore, the teaching methods used for drawing do not make it easy for non-art students in the Publishing Studies programme. The study recommends improvements in the teaching methodology and course content for the drawing course. It suggests periodic revision of the drawing syllabus for the four- year programme to reflect changing trends in the publishing industry; teachers adhering to the prescribed syllabuses set by the Ghana Education Service to guide the teaching and learning of drawing at all levels; providing opportunity for art teachers to be more creative in the teaching of art, to enable them to be more innovative in catering for diversity in the art classroom; adoption of the step-by-step method of teaching specified in this report to help achieve efficiency in the teaching of drawing in the Department of Publishing Studies in particular; and, further research into how creativity in the teaching and learning of drawing can be fostered in the various departments of the Faculty of Art in KNUST.
A Dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Art Education