A critique of art teaching in Post-Secondary Teacher Training Colleges in Ghana

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Experience has shown that the teaching of art as a subject is generally neglected in our schools and Colleges. Lack of art materials to work with is usually used as excuse for the state of affair. Where some attempt is made to alleviate this problem, the teachers: only work with pencil and paper. In some cases some art teachers: claim their inability to neither draw nor paint therefore are unable to teach art at all. At best they could only teach for the sake of teaching. Since the introduction of modern education into this country, art has not been given the proper recognition and respect that it deserves. The subject is often being looked down upon and regarded as non-academic and inferior. Art was seen as a subject who should only be studied by lazy students or those who were not capable of pursuing very serious academic work in the schools. This negative perception of art has permeated the entire educational system from the primary school level right up to the University level. In order to correct this unfortunate situation it has become quite clear that the teacher Is the pivot around which the mentality of the public concerning the subject could change. The teacher is after all the educator of the public. To restore the dignity and respect of Art in our educational system to an appreciable level, there is the need for thorough reform in the teaching of art at all levels of education. Art must be restored as the basis of general education. One thing which has become very clear is that to be able to raise the falling standard of art education in our Schools and Colleges there is the need to explore the use of new materials. This should be coupled with effective teaching and the ability to develop creative thinking. In this thesis, the author is much concerned with what can be best described as the falling standard in art education in the Teacher Training Colleges which adversely affect the performance of the teacher s who teach art in our Primary and Junior Secondary Schools. This work attempts to uncover shortcomings in the Three Year Post—Secondary Teacher Training Colleges in relation to the teaching of art and to unveil the attitude of policy makers and educational administrators towards the subject. The scanty sum of money that is allocated to art departments in the Training Colleges cannot foster effective work to be done. At the same time teaching methodology in most cases leaves much to be desired since a high percentage of teachers find it difficult to change with the time by introducing something new and novel in the institutions where they teach. These and other factors have contributed immensely to the poor standard of art education in general. This situation must be addressed seriously if we want to use art in the promotion of Science and Technology in this country. The author has attempted to provide useful suggestions which will promote an effective teaching of art at the Teacher Training Colleges to motivate the learner to assimilate the knowledge which is passed on to him. The learner at the Training College will in return go out to give to our dear children the knowledge necessary to make them creative and to be able to solve their own problems and that of the nation through the knowledge of art. The work is divided into five main chapters for easy co-apprehension. The first chapter is introduction which deals with general information on art and teaching, objectives of the research, importance, Limitations and delimitations, methods used arid facilities available in carrying out the research. Chapter two is a review of literature relevant to the topic. Chapter three describes problems of art teaching, art teaching methods, techniques and critique of the teaching methods. Chapter four is on methods for improvement while the final chapter is summary and conclusion.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Arts in Art Education, 1992