A comparative study of teaching and learning processes of the Visual Arts in selected Senior High Schools in Urban and Rural settings in Ashanti Region, Ghana.

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A number of arguments have been made concerning teaching and learning in Ghana. The available studies suggest that environment has a positive relationship with academic performance and achievement although limited information on how location of school affects academic performance of students in the Visual Arts exists. This study adopted the qualitative and quantitative research methods with interview, observation and questionnaire administration to identify the factors that affect teaching and learning processes, and students‟ academic performance in the Visual Arts in urban, peri-urban and rural Senior High Schools in the Ashanti Region. Using the purposive and simple random sampling techniques, a sample of six schools - two in each setting, 138 respondents comprising 120 students and 18 teachers were selected for in-depth study. Data collected were analyzed with SPSS 16 (2007 edition) and processed into tables and frequency graphs. The study found that urban schools perform better than rural schools because they have prestigious names and character, more qualified teachers, and attract and admit high performance BECE applicants into the Visual Arts department. Students in these well-endowed schools have clear advantages over their colleagues in the peri-urban and rural schools which are less endowed and therefore attract average performing candidates. Significantly, the performance of students in the peri-urban and rural schools was found to be the same. While the personality behind the name of a school influences academic achievement of its students, the study revealed that the communities in which a school is located and educational opportunities they have also directly influence the academic performance and achievement of its students. Environmental factors, lack of studio facilities, and differences in teaching methodologies in the different geographic settings seem to have some influence on students‟ learning and performance in the final examinations.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi,in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of arts in Art Education on September.