An investigation into the performance of art and design students in Art history. The case of National Teachers’ College Mubende
Masette, Peter Fred
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This research analysed the factors that affect art education student’s performance in Art history among at National Teachers’ College Mubende. A descriptive research design was employed in which purposive and simple random sampling techniques were used to select students and lecturers of Art education at National Teachers College Mubende and an Art subject specialist from National Curriculum Development Centre. Data was collected using interviews, focus group discussions, self-administered questionnaire, observations and document analysis. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics. Some data were presented in tables and percentages. From the analysed data, major discussions were made and reported. The study findings revealed that the majority of Art students attached less relevance to Art History despite lecturers unanimously reporting otherwise. Besides, students’ attitudes towards Art history were neutral or moderate. It was further revealed that the Art history curriculum is rich with mainly foreign content, which is appropriately sequenced, but disconnected from the secondary school curriculum. Lastly, the findings of this study revealed a neglect of contemporary teaching methods like Problem-based learning, contract learning, field trips, learning stations, debates, among others but instead lecturers commonly use traditional methods like lecture method and question and answer techniques with limited use of formative assessment. It was concluded that all factors explored in this study including, the perceived relevance of Art history, the students’ attitudes towards Art history, the curriculum content and the teaching learning process have an influence on the academic performance of NTC Art teacher trainees in Art history. Based on the study findings, it is therefore recommended that the curriculum of Art history be reviewed to incorporate experience, change the teaching approaches by incorporating ICT and the object-based learning approach in teaching and learning of Art history, make Art history compulsory at secondary school level for Art students and refresher training for in-service teachers and lecturers. Once that is done, students will personalise the learning experiences from Art history hence perceive it to be more relevant to their lives which will improve their attitudes towards it and consequently their performance will improve.