Visual arts is a term used for a wide-spread category of different forms of art. This category consists of conventional fine arts such as drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture; communication and design arts for instance film, television, graphics, and product design; architecture and environmental arts such as urban, interior, and landscape; folk arts; and works of art such as ceramics, fibers, jewelry as well as works in wood, paper, and other materials. To be more specific, visual art is everything that we can visualize. Steve Mithen (1999) also says that Art is a set of artifacts or images with symbolic meanings as a means of communication.
Human beings are mostly visual sensors of five - sense data. Whatever we experience can be identified and recalled much more quickly with one picture. "A picture," the old saying goes, "is worth a thousand words." From formative years, our brains are very compliant to absorb and develop visual images, brain parts that are quite different from those that process verbal thinking is the right part. Its characteristics include creativity, the ability to see patterns, spatial awareness, and the understanding of how things relate to one another in different contexts. So our minds are characterised and ready for the visual inspiration of the visual arts.
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For the nurturing and development of an individual child, the communication with symbols and values are of prime importance. Objects are discovered by the child which consequently take on meaning, and this meaning is denoted and communicated through the various means of expression available to that child. Art education plays a vital role in the growth and development of a child. The goal of art education is to allow each child to cultivate the most complete expression of self and potential, an expression which can occur only if there is the implication of all senses. The senses know no curricular boundaries in acquiring art education. The aim of art education itself is to help in the development of a child, that all children must be allowed to reach their full potential, and that this can only be achieved by encouraging the use of all the communication skills they have as their heritage. By endorsing fluency in the various modes of visual communication, the visual arts education seeks to provide visual literacy for every child. Students become skilled at the characteristics of visual arts by using a wide range of subject matter, media and means to express their ideas, emotions and knowledge. The merits of their efforts are assessed by them and this assessment eventually forms the source for further growth that spreads to all disciplines in school, in society and to life in general. Art is a medium to bring us closer together. Through art, we are made to comprehend what unites humanity in the diversity of its cultures and expressions.
Art Education in Mautitius
The education system in Mauritius, patterned after the British model, has improved greatly since independence; education became one of the central preoccupations of the Mauritian Government to meet the new challenges awaiting the country. Education was free at all levels, including university. In Mauritius, visual art subject is being exposed to students on different levels from the pre-primary to the tertiary level. At pre-primary and primary level, students are wide-open to more creative works. The art program is designed to develop each student's understanding of and interaction with the world of artistic expression and creation. With the essential elements of art as the foundational framework, the program helps students build connections through their personal artistic expression to curriculum in their classroom and to school-wide transdisciplinary themes.
At secondary level visual art is compulsory up to form three and optional at SC and HSC level. The O-Level and A-Level examinations are carried out by the University of Cambridge through the University of Cambridge International Examinations, which devises the syllabus; prepares and prints the examinations papers and does the correction for most subjects. Over the past years, there has been substantial progress in the educational sector. Teaching and learning materials were available to all teachers and students and the curricula are being updated regularly. Children have the opportunity to use colour, form, texture, pattern and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. The children are also given the opportunity to learn about art, craft and design in contemporary life, and in different times and cultures. Through working on individual pieces, or collaborative pieces of art, children are encouraged to develop an understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts. We art teachers also seek to add to children's understanding through educational visits to Art galleries or Art exhibitions. Visual art enhances cultural awareness of the students. It encourages creative, critical thinking and aesthetic awareness. It gives the students opportunity to express themselves freely.
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At tertiary levels, we have establishments like MIE, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore institutes which provide courses of visual arts. Studying the arts for their own sake, experiencing and making works of art benefits students in their intellectual, personal, and social development, and can be particularly beneficial for students from economically disadvantaged circumstances and those who are at risk of not succeeding in school. Research studies point to strong relationships between learning in the arts and fundamental cognitive skills and capacities used to master other core subjects, including reading, writing, and mathematics. Students will obviously not all become talented artists, but many will become consumers of art.
As a vector of dialogue in the loftiest sense, art speeds up social inclusion and tolerance in our multicultural, connected society. This awareness of art can be acquired from an early age and maintained throughout life. It is with the conviction that creativity and the arts, and learning about them, contribute to the building of prosperous and peaceful societies that UNESCO encourages its Member States to support arts education, at school and beyond. Arts education is a key to training generations capable of reinventing the world that they have inherited. It supports the vitality of cultural identities by emphasizing their links with other cultures, thus contributing to the construction of a shared heritage. It helps to form tolerant and dynamic citizens in our country and for our globalizing world.
Research Context sir should this title be as it is or it will be "hypothesis"
This case study will be carried out in a girl's state secondary school of Zone 1, situated in the north of the island where the profile of the students is below average. The school has a population of 940 students in which 135 students are taking part in SC exams this year. Among these students 16 opted for visual arts subject where there are 6 repeaters and the remaining 10 were chosen for this research. These students are of mixed abilities.
There will be three consecutive lessons on observational study which will be applied in this research. It will be a transition from the traditional method of displaying visuals to students moving to innovative ones. This research will be carried out to detect whether using different types of visual display methods can contribute in increasing the motivation of students thus leading to good performance of students.
Significance of the Study
In this research the researcher plans to realise an innovative and methodical way of representing visuals which will be a process on an evolution from the traditional way to the advanced ones. This process will benefit both the researcher and the students as the researcher will devise new ways of presenting visuals to her students which will lead to creativity and newness while the students will be gainful in terms of more interaction, meeting with new ideas and experiencing through different methods. Accordingly, lessons would be devised taking into consideration the varying learning styles and ability of the students in order to overcome the problem of missing of display boards in the classroom. This will also benefit other members of the department by looking at the different ways of visual displaying and generate new ideas, concepts and designs.
The researcher will be required to be an active participant, a facilitator and guide to the students in their quest of knowledge but in no way she should influence the results of the study. It is hoped that this paradigm shift from traditional way of visual displaying to innovative ones will benefit the students and enhance their learning. It is also hoped that the findings of this study will serve as a platform for aspiring teachers to be acquainted with the problem encountered in the absence of display boards in an art room and adopt newness in displaying visuals to their students which can lead to enhancement in performance.
I am presently working in a newly constructed establishment where I have been provided with a big contemporary Art Room but it lack important resources which play a vital role in teaching and learning of visual arts.
Among the list of materials missing, one of the key items is display boards. Displays boards are of great importance in the learning of visual arts. Firstly, the whole class can put up all their work and discuss upon them. An art class that does not display and discuss their own work is missing at least half of the potential of art learning. Few things motivate learning in arts as much as appropriate recognition of hard work, achievement, and ability. Music students have concerts, and school athletes are featured in the local newspaper. Art students are also motivated by recognition of their hard work and successes. I have been able to cover up this problem by displaying the artworks of students on two big tables joined together, with students standing around it and discussing and sharing ideas. Each student raise up their work by their turn and we discuss together upon it.
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Secondly, display boards can be sites of exposing visuals to students. The subject itself is named "Visual Art", which means everything that can be visualised. Teachers can display various examples on specific artworks being done for a particular topic on the display boards, rubrics can be posted to show what an outstanding art work can look like, and master pieces of great artists can also be displayed. All these things help students to think in terms of pictures and learn best from visual displays. Visual displays are meant to be a tool to help teach a subject and are meant to be used in addition to a regular lesson plan. In an art classroom every inch of wall space is educationally valuable. Normally I bring in visuals in my classes and show them to my students in the traditional way by displaying them on the table, at times during explanation or after explanation or even by lifting them and showing to the students.
Therefore the purpose of this study is to investigate how using innovative visual display can enhance the learning of visual arts.
As per my two and a half years of teaching experience in my current school, I have observed that students of form V are not that much motivated and they usually score average or below average marks for classwork, homework and even for exams. The results of first term of the students will be added here Sir.
Consequently, they are not interested with the subject and will continue with this attitude at principle level or completely drop the subject. I have discussed the matter with other colleagues and we came to the conclusion that the reason behind it could be the way of displaying the visuals to the students is leading to lack of motivation to work. The display method is being done too traditionally thus students are not keen to have a look at the visuals and take them as references for working. I have tried to tackle this problem by talking to the rector to get display boards fixed on the walls in the art room but the fact was that the buildings were still under constructions and we did not had the key possession at our disposal yet, thus cannot bring any changes to the existing room. I have also requested for portable boards to get through the situation but the request is still pending.
Therefore the purpose of this study is to investigate whether using innovative visual display can enhance the learning of visual art at form IV level.
"Using innovative visual display to enhance the learning of Visual Arts at SC level - A Case Study."
The aim of the research is to find whether the use of innovative visual displays can improve the learning of visual art at SC level.
To find out how students respond to the use of innovative visual displays.
To observe whether the use of innovative visual display can motivate students in learning visual arts.
To witness whether the use of innovative visual display can lead to increase interaction among students.
To find out whether students achieved better results with the use of innovative visual display.
Fraenkel and wallen (1993) says that good research questions possess four essential characteristics. They should be feasible, clear, significant and ethical.
Research questions will be the central focus of my investigation which will be as follows:
What are the attitudes of students learning through the actual use of visual display?
How the present use of visual display is affecting learning of students?
How the use of innovative visual displays is going to be implemented?
Will students ultimately be better equipped to work for the school certificate examination?
Definitions of key terms
It means you can take what is available to you and make what you need. Innovative is a term used to apply to someone or something that is intelligent and creative. The word innovative means to use new, fresh and different ideas. Get out of the box and come up with something that hasn't been done previously.
Katz (2003) wrote:
"Innovation . . . is generally understood as the introduction of a new thing or
method . . . Innovation is the embodiment, combination, or synthesis of
knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services".
A visual display is a device that presents information about objects, events or situations, to you through your eyes. Sometimes the display will be used in addition to information gained by observing the event or situation directly, but in some circumstances the display may be the only source of information available to you. Examples include TV, your computer screen, thermometers, car instruments, charts, graphs, maps and other forms of printed or written material.
Enhance can be defined as increased or intensified in value, beauty or quality. Here in this research context "enhance" will be to improve the learning of visual arts of students through selected activities.
Learning is often defined as a change in behaviour (Birkenholz, 1999), which is demonstrated by people implementing knowledge, skills, or practices derived from education.
Basically, from an educator's perspective, learning involves helping people along the learning process, and learning includes all of the things that we do to make it happen. As an end result, we know that learning occurs when people take newfound information and incorporate it into their life.
Visual Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings.
Visual Art subject encourage a personal response by stimulating imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, powers of observation and analytical ability. Students gain confidence and enthusiasm as they develop technical skills in two and three dimensional form and composition, and are able to identify and solve problems in visual and tactile forms. Students also learn how to develop ideas from initial attempts to final solutions. Art also develops a greater awareness of the role played by the visual arts in society and in history, broadening cultural horizons and individual experience.
SC level is well recognized as "O Level" which is the examination taken by students of Secondary Education in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth countries or regions associated with the British curriculum. Since Mauritius was a former British colony and the education system is based on the British model thus we follow the same pattern for examinations also.
Case study is a multi-perspectival analysis. This means that the researcher considers not just the voice and perspective of the actors, but also of the relevant groups of actors and the interaction between them. This one aspect is a striking point in the characteristic that case studies possess. They give a voice to the powerless and voiceless. When sociological studies present many studies of the homeless and powerless, they do so from the viewpoint of the "elite" (Feagin, Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991).
Brief overview of different chapters
Chapter 1 consists of the introduction to the field of study, which includes the problem statement, the rationale and the research questions. The second chapter, 'Literature Review', gives an overview on some important theories based on visual display relevant to the research such as types of visual display, benefits of visual display, purposes of visual display in art education and others. Chapter 3 details the research questions to be examined, and the timescale for this current study. It also describes the educational settings where the research was carried out, discusses why case study has been chosen as the mode of enquiry and describes the research tools used for data collection. Issues pertaining to ethics, reliability and validity are also highlighted in this section. It also details how the research was conducted through different activities done in class. Chapter 4 analyses and interprets the data obtained from the research to determine whether the objectives of the study have been met. My Case Study dissertation ends up with Chapter 5, which describes the discussion of the results obtained during the research and the conclusion as well as the recommendations.
The introductory chapter provided a brief description of the problem and the next chapter is about the literature review connected to visual display.