Use of Visual Illustration in the Interpretation of Proverbs in Secondary Schools in Kikuyu District, Kiambu County, Kenya
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The centrality of the current study was the need to establish whether visual Illustrations when presented together with text, increase the uptake of meaning in proverbs among the students in secondary schools in Kikuyu District. The method of interpretation of proverbs currently used in secondary schools is a linguistic one; meaning the usage of text alone. The current study, therefore, specifically sought to determine whether the effectiveness of visual illustration can augment the linguistic method in the interpretation of proverb content. This study was, however, anchored upon the basis that communal values, seen through and guided by a community's philosophy are enshrined in its culture. Proverbs have been described by many oral literature scholars as a sub genre that probably best underscores this philosophy. The current study, therefore, sought to examine the proverb as an avenue for the inculcation of social wisdom. In incorporating and reaching the body of youth, the current study used the regular or formal teaching and learning process. According to the current secondary school syllabus (KIE, 2003) proverbs are indeed taught in the secondary school curriculum. Subsequently, the field work of the current study was carried out in Kikuyu District of Central Kenya. A quasi- experimental design was applied where one group of students was exposed to proverbs in the linguistic form (control group) and other students in specified groups (categorized according to types of illustration) were exposed to proverbs in illustrated form (experimental groups). The data was both quantitative and qualitative. The basis of the theoretical framework was convergent theories where the main informative one was the visual literacy theory derived from the larger theories of communication. Other confluent theories were the pragmatic theory in Art; and Gestalt/Behaviorism/Cognitive theories that inform teaching and learning. The convergent concepts culminated in a conceptual model that is outlined in detail in the theoretical framework. The data was analyzed qualitatively in the case of written responses and quantitatively where responses culminated in percentage frequencies which were subjected to relevant statistical tests. The results of the current study indicated that visual illustration as a mode, when presented with text, aided the interpretation of proverbs in secondary schools to a significant extent in most types of illustration compared to text alone. The Chi-square computation for the overall percentage frequencies of the experimental versus the control showed that there was a significant degree of association between the use of illustrations combined with text and the responses in the interpretation of proverbs, and a further test of equality of proportions indicated that uptake of meaning occurred when illustrations combined with text were used against text alone. This subsequently indicated that visual illustrations combined with text were indeed a useful method of presentation and interpretation of proverbs. The current study therefore contends that since visual illustration alone does not effectively aid the uptake of proverbs, and that text alone is surpassed in the level of uptake by text accompanied by illustrations in most categories of the illustrations, then visual illustration combined with text is more effective than the linguistic method alone. The current stud, therefore, recommends the introduction of visual illustrations in the interpretation of proverbs in secondary schools.