Investigating the benefits of art education as a core subject at a school in the Khomas region in Namibia

Shikongo, Helena Naambo (2020-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis argues for the importance of incorporating the arts as a core subject in public schools in Namibia. Arts education is key to improving learners’ learning experiences, but the Namibian government does not currently recognise the value of arts subjects in its public schools. It is evident that the arts have been overlooked and deemed less important when compared to other subjects at schools in Namibia. A qualitative and interpretive research approach and a case study research design were used to investigate and explore the benefits of the arts within learning environments. The study was conducted at a school in the Khomas region in Namibia. A questionnaire and interviews were used as the data collection methods. Three Grade 8 teachers and three Grade 9 teachers from four departments (Language, Science, Commerce, and Social Science) were given a questionnaire to complete. A total of 45 students from different Fashion and Fabrics classes were interviewed and observed. Inductive qualitative content analysis was used to guide the analysis in this research. The theoretical perspectives of experiential learning and constructivism were used as a framework for the research. The benefits of art education for improving general performance in schools both locally and internationally were also explored. The role of indigenous knowledge and art education was investigated to assess the influence of colonialism and Western practices on current art curricula at the school, and ways in which indigenous art practices can be used to enhance academic performance were explored. The result of the study showed that the arts have the potential to help learners to develop reasoning skills, and to promote self-motivation and imagination. Art could also assist learners in task perseverance, confidence building, and adhering to instructions given. The arts also created space for learners to understand things differently and come to new insights through their experiences. Learners could then potentially become progressive thinkers and independent decision makers and improve their overall performance in school.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis bepleit die belangrikaheid van die insluiting van kuns as kernvak in staatskole in Namibië. Kunsopvoeding is van kernbelang vir die verbetering van leerders se leerervaring, maar die Namibiese regering erken tans die waarde van kunsvakke in sy staatskole nie. Dit is duidelik dat die kunste in Nambië misken word in vergelyking met ander vakke, en dat dit as minder belangrik geag word. ‘n Kwalitatiewe en verklarende navorsingsbenadering is saam met ‘n gevallestudie - navorsingsontwerp gebruik om die voordele wat die kunste inhou vir leeromgewings te ondersoek en daarop uit te brei. Die studie is by ‘n skool in die Khomasstreek gedoen, waar ‘n vraelys en analise van kunswerke gebruik is om data in te vorder. Aan drie Graad 8- en drie Graad 9 onderwysers van vier departmente (Taal, Wetenskap, Handelstudies, en Sosiale Wetenskap) is ‘n vraelys gegee om in te vul. Kunswerk van 45 leerders van verskeie Mode-en-Materiaal klasse is geanaliseer, en 45 klasse is ook waargeneem. ‘n Induktiewe kwalitatiewe inhoudsanalise is gebruik om die studie te rig en te lei. Die teoretiese perspektiewe van ervaringsleer en konstruktivisme is gebruik as studieraamwerk vir die navorsing. Daar word uitgebrei op die voordele wat kunsopvoeding inhou vir die verbetering van algehele prestasie in skole op beide ‘n plaaslike en internasionale vlak. Die rol van inheemse kennis is saam met dié van kunsopvoeding ondersoek om die invloed van kolonialisme en die Westerse praktyk op huidige kunsleerplanne te evalueer. Daar word verder ook uitgebrei op hoe inheemse kunspraktyke gebruik kan word om akademiese prestasie te verbeter. Die resultaat van die studie toon dat die kunste die potensiaal het om leerders te help om redeneringsvaardighede te ontwikkel, en daarby selfmotivering en verbeelding te bevorder. Kuns kan leerders ook help met taakvolharding, die opbou van selfvertroue en die volg van gegewe instruksies. Die kunste het verder ruimte vir leerders geskep om dinge anders te kan verstaan en om deur hul ervaring tot nuwe insigte te kan kom. Leerders kan so moontlik progressiewe denkers en onafhanklike besluitmakers word, asook hul algehele prestasie op skool verbeter.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108112
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