An Illuminative Evaluation on Practical Art, Craft and Design Instruction: The Case of Botswana

Magdeline C. Mannathoko, Thenjiwe E. Major


Art, craft and design (ACD) is a practical subject that provides learners the opportunity to explore various media and techniques. This includes creating two and three dimensional work in order to help learners develop their practical skills which may benefit them in future. Learners may create products to sell and earn a living as the National Principles and ‘Vision 2016’ advocate for ‘self-reliance’. Thus, effective engagement of learners in practical activities may help them develop creative and practical skills resulting in benefits in the completion of primary school studies. Engagement in the development of creative and practical skills is particularly helpful for those who do not advance to secondary education. It is in this context, that this study investigated the extent to which primary school teachers engaged pupils in ACD practical activities. The study also examined the application of ACD theory to practice as advocated by the Botswana Lower Primary Creative and Performing Arts syllabus, which was introduced in 2002. This was a qualitative case study which involved eight lower primary teachers. The research methodology was framed within Parlett and Hamilton’s concept of ‘Illuminative Evaluation’ accompanied by classroom participant observation. The study revealed that all of the teachers who participated in the study had limited knowledge and skills in art, craft and design. None of them had specialized in the subject.  The results further indicated that teachers had been trained in basic pedagogy on the general methods of teaching in primary  schools; however, they lacked knowledge and skills in ACD. This deficit may have contributed to their lack of encouraging learners to apply theory into practice,  thus depriving them the opportunity to gain basic practical skills required at primary level.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online)

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