Secondary school art teachers' and administrators' viewpoits on the role of art education ; a study of Central and Nairobi Provinces, Kenya
Maingi, Donald Kuira
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The purpose of this study was to investigate what Kenyan art teachers and secondary school administrators propose as the appropriate role of art education. It also sought to compare their viewpoints by finding out the extent to which they are inclined in either one of the following perspectives by examining their viewpoints on the role of art education: 1. The societal development perspective. 2. The pupil's development perspective. 3. The perspective catering for both societal and pupil's development from a holistic overview. The study was conducted in all the secondary schools offering art and design as a subject in Central and Nairobi provinces of Kenya. Art teachers and head teachers were drawn from those schools respectively. This study also included the following senior policy administrators, 1. The curriculum developer in secondary school art education from KI.E, 2. The National Secondary school inspector in art and design and 3. The national KNEC. examination coordinator in charge gfartand design. Data were collected using an unstructured interview schedule and a questionnaire. Qualitative data analysis was done by organizing and analyzing the content according to themes. Quantitative data was analyzed using Descriptive statistics and Inferential statistics were calculated using the one-way chi-square technique. The findings revealed that most art teachers in Nairobi province strongly supported a holistic overview of both the pupil's and societal vocational concerns in art education. In Central province most of the art teachers advocated for a pupil's vocational concern in art education. They stressed upon the provision of vocational skills to enable students become self-reliant. Secondary school administrators were not in agreement with each other on the appropriate role of art education. From the interview data the senior policy administrators were not in agreement with what the head teachers proposed as the appropriate role of art education. The questionnaire findings also showed that most secondary school administrators gave differing views. Secondary school administrators from Central province strongly supported the role of art education focusing on societal non-vocational concerns as shown by the questionnaire findings. However these findings were not complementing the findings from the interview schedule. In spite of most of them strongly supporting societal non-vocational concerns as the major role of art education. This study also revealed that in Central province secondary school art teachers and administrators held significantly different viewpoints towards all the given concerns in art education. This portrays that they were not in agreement on various issues. In Nairobi province, the secondary school art teachers and administrators also held significantly different viewpoints on most of these concerns in art education. They were only in agreement on the role of art education focusing on societal non-vocational concerns. The overall interview findings showed that Nairobi art teachers and head teachers focused more on individual benefit than on societal benefit, while Central art teachers and head teachers were more inclined the other way. It also showed that art teachers focused more on the vocational perspective than on the intrinsic value perspective. On the other hand, head teachers focus more on the real life perspective than on the preparatory perspective. Based on the findings of this study, the major recommendation made was that art teachers should facilitate the creation of a professional art teachers association. This is because this study has effectively demonstrated that art teachers and administrators of schools that teach art and even the ministry art administrators do not seem to communicate fruitfully with each other. With such an association they probably would reflect together to the benefit of art curriculum thinking and art education in our school system.