The use of the arts as a tool for teaching science at the Oforikrom M/A Junior High School

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This research work was an action research carried out based on three focal objectives. These objectives are as follows: 1), to distinguish and to demonstrate the interrelationship between science and art, 2), to develop a strategy for art as an integral element in teaching science and 3), to examine and analyze the use of art as an instrument for teaching science. Qualitative research method was employed to gather extensive data on the use of the arts to teach science at the Oforikrom M/A Junior High School in Kumasi. The researcher adopted the convenience sampling technique for the purpose of selecting the sample for the action research carried out. Interviews, questionnaire and observation methods were the instruments used to gather data. The researcher deliberately controlled and manipulated the conditions which determined the teaching activities and events of direct relevance to the research and to introduce an intervention and also measure the difference that it made. The researcher used art activities in a controlled teaching situation, to teach some topics in one class while normal teaching strategies were adopted in the other class but without art activities. In the end, both classes wrote the same test to enable the researcher check the impact of use of the art in teaching. The hands-on activities which make children remember what they learn were employed in teaching. The study revealed that the intervention lesson which were activity-oriented, hands-on lessons allow children who have difficulty in expressing themselves freely verbally to express and to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts taught. It also revealed that the lecture method of teaching an integrated science lesson at the Junior High School level does not help the children to enjoy and to understand what is taught them. It rather makes lessons dull, boring and puts children to sleep. It is recommended that teachers should vary their methods of teaching integrated science and adopt more child- centered lessons such as hands-on activities and visually oriented materials to ensure that their students’ different abilities are catered for. It is also recommended that Science Resource Centres as well as Art and Science Museums should be provided at the basic levels of education in the various sub-metro and district offices of education in Ghana to make children develop interest in science at an early age.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Art Education, 2011