The design and implementation of an in-service training programme for art and crafts teachers in Lesotho
Ofori-Asara, Samuel Kwasi
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The central focus of the study was to investigate the problems of teaching Art and Crafts in the Lesotho primary schools. Furthermore, the study seeks to investigate the extent that in-service training could be utilised to enhance the knowledge, appreciation, skill and attitude of teachers in the subject (Art and Crafts) In conducting the study, the following objectives were set and achieved: • To investigate the mode of in-service Art and Crafts training programme which can serve as a catalyst to improve the ability and morale of teachers in the teaching of Art and Crafts. • To find out the type of approach towards lesson plans, art materials and teaching methods as well as reference materials which will improve the quality of teachers' knowledge. • To find out the impact of follow up workshop on the teachers' teaching performance in the districts. • To design an in-service Art and Crafts curriculum for a Distance Teacher Education Programme (DTEP) for the NTTC (a programme to be implemented to replace the existing general in-service training programme in 2002). • To make recommendations which can improve the teaching and learning of Art and Crafts in the Lesotho primary schools. The action originated when the research became aware that Art and Crafts is now a core subject in the Lesotho primary schools and that the subject was going to be assessed at standard seven level (Grade 8) by the end of2001 but teachers lacked the qualifications. To this time, the MOE has still not implemented it. The researcher adopted the action research design for the study. An incidental sampling approach was utilised for selecting the sample. Invitation for the in-service training workshop was sent out to 520 unqualified teachers across the 10 districts of the Kingdom ofLesotho. However, only 498 teachers responded to the first call. A workshop was organised for the purpose of introducing teachers to the basics of Art and Crafts in the primary schools. The first workshop was followed by a Follow-up workshop after one month, where teachers exhibited their pupils' art works brought with them from their schools (Evaluation forms discussed and informal assessment of pupils' works displayed, indicated that teachers understood what was learnt in the first workshop and they had disseminated the information and skills gained to their pupils). 384 teachers responded for the second workshop. Finally, the researcher designed a proposed Art Curriculum for Distance Teacher Education Programme (DTEP) for the in-service division at NTIC. The focus was to provide unqualified teachers in other districts as well as remote areas with the opportunity to obtain a Diploma Certificate while still working as teachers (Refer to Appendix L). The researcher recommends, among others that: • The NCDC should supply syllabi to all primary schools in order to assist teachers in teaching Art and Crafts. • The initial in-service training course that has started by the NTIC is not satisfactory enough. Several types of in-service programmes must be evolved to increase teachers' knowledge and to boost their motivation. The researcher believes that teachers will be capable of teaching Art and Crafts in the primary schools after completion of the inservice training workshop. • Workshops could also be held in the district centres for pupils and the community at large where they could become active producers and share ideas on visual and cultural aspects of the environment. • Inspectors from the MOE should make follow-up workshops to schools in order to check if teachers are performing up to standard in art teaching. It was concluded that practical experience in primary school art gained during the first and the second workshops have increased confidence of the teachers. Also the quality of knowledge, appreciation, skills and attitude for teachers in Art and Crafts was boosted. Finally, the proposed Art curriculum for in-service training by Distance Learning for primary teachers will help all teachers who are interested to gain guidance and support on school art.