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ABSTRACT

The Effect of Montessori Method and the free activity methods of teaching was investigated among children to discover their artistic development in some schools in Zaria, Nigeria. Five objectives were raised which included to: 1. examine the effects of the Montessori Method of Teaching on Children‟s creative arts performance at the Pre-schematic, Schematic and Gang stages of their artistic development 2. examine the effects of Free Activity Method of Teaching on Children‟ Creative Arts performance at the Pre-schematic, Schematic and Gang stages of their artistic development 3. determine the effect of Montessori and Free Activity Methods on the Creative Art performance of Children at the different stages of artistic development 4. compare the Creative Arts performance of the Children at the various stages of their artistic development using Montessori with those of the Free Activity Method of Teaching and 5. evaluate at what stage the Montessori Method of Teaching has effect on Children‟s performance. Quasi experimental design was used for analysing the instruments. A drawing test was administrated to the children using the Montessori and the free activity methods of teaching; a semi-structured interview was also administered to the teachers. Total of 1,030 pupils (boys and girls) in primary schools from randomly selected schools were involved in the study. The data collected was analysed using simple t-test, ANOVA and chi-square. The methods of teaching were assessed on children‟s developmental stages in creative artistic development between pre-schematic stage, schematic stage and gang stage. The findings revealed that the Montessori Method of Teaching had a positive effect on the performance of the Children‟s artistic development in the primary schools in Zaria. The pupils had a general positive and enthusiastic attitude towards creative arts; this shows that when children were given the opportunity and enough art materials to express
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themselves, they would be able to display their different characteristics. The Free Activity Method of teaching also had effect on the Children, being the conventional way of teaching art in primary Schools in Zaria, even though there were no art materials found in the schools and no art studios was available. Each of the children used whatever material was provided for the art test. Comparatively, the Montessori Method of teaching was better adopted than the Free Activity Method of teaching on the development of the creative artistic abilities of Children in the primary Schools. It was discovered that the performance of children from different transitional stages were not the same and the creative artistic abilities vary from the pre-schematic, schematics and gang stage among primary Schools. From the findings, it was discovered that all the developmental stages were related in terms of Creative Arts development using the Montessori Method of teaching among primary School pupils in Zaria.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title – – – – – – – – – – Page
Title Page – – – – – – – – – i
Declaration – – – – – – – – – ii
Certification – – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgements – – – – – – – – v
Abstract – – – – – – – – – vi
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – viii
List of Tables – – – – – – – – – xiii
List of Plates – – – – – – – – – xiv
List of Figures – – – – – – – – xv
List of Appendices – – – – – – – – xvi
Definition of Terms – – – – – – – – xvii
Chapter One
INTRODUCTION
1.0 Background of the Study 1
1.1 Statement of the Problem – – – – – – 7
1.2 Aim and Objectives of the Study – – – – – 9
1.3 Research Questions – – – – – – – 10
1.4 Hypotheses for the study – – – – – – 11
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1.5 Justification of the Study – – – – – – 11
1.6 Significance of the Study – – – – – – 12
1.7 Scope of the Study – – – – – – – 13
1.8 Assumption of the Study – – – – – – 14
1.9 Theoretical Framework – – – – – – 15
Chapter Two
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 17
2.1 Montessori‟s Method of Teaching Creative Arts – – – 18
2.2 The Creative Art Teacher – – – – – – 24
2.3 The Classroom situation in the primary schools – – – 24
2.4 Assessment of children‟s drawings – – – – – 26
2.4.1 Skill in children‟s drawings – – – – – – 28
2.4.2 Enthusiasm in children‟s drawings – – – – – 28
2.4.3 Eclecticism in children‟s drawings – – – – – 29
2.4.4 Imagination in children‟s drawings – – – – – 29
2.4.5 Expression in children‟s drawings – – – – – 29
2.4.6 Detail in children‟s drawings – – – – – 30
2.5 Free Activity Method of Teaching Creative Arts – – – 30
2.6 Teaching Methodology at the primary schools – – – 32
2.7 Conventional Method of Teaching Creative Arts – – – 33
2.8 Conventional Teaching Methods – – – – – 33
2.8.1 Lecture Method and teaching of Creative Arts – – – 33
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2.8.2 Demonstration Method – – – – – – 34
2.8.3 Discussion Method – – – – – – – 35
2.8.4 Learning by doing – – – – – – – 35
2.8.5 Discovery Method – – – – – – – 36
2.8.6 Play way Method – – – – – – – 36
2.8.7 Cooperative Method – – – – – – – 37
2.8.8 Project Method – – – – – – – 38
2.8.9 Inquiry Based Teaching – – – – – – 39
2.9 Other Methods of Teaching – – – – – 41
2.10 Difference between Montessori and Conventional Methods – 42
2.11 Other Theories of Developmental Stages in Children‟s Art – – 44
2.12 The Conventional Teaching Method – – – – 47
2.13 Some Selected experts view on the Stages of Development – 47
2.13.1 Scribble Stage – – – – – – – 48
2.13.2 Pre-Schematic Stage – – – – – – 48
2.13.3 Schematic Stage – – – – – – – 49
2.13.4 Gang Stage – – – – – – – – 49
2.14 Creativity and Children‟s drawing – – – – – 55
2.15 Factors influencing Children‟s drawing – – – – 56
2.16 The Role of Parents and Teachers in nurturing Children‟s drawing – 58
2.17 Encouraging creativity in Children‟s art expression – – – 61
2.18 Use of Art Materials – – – – – – – 64
2.19 Empirical studies on Creative Art Education – – – – 65
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2.20 Summary – – – – – – – – 69
Chapter Three
METHODOLOGY
3.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 73
3.1 Research Design – – – – – – – 73
3.2 Population – – – – – – – – 73
3.3 Sampling – – – – – – – – 74
3.4 Research instruments – – – – – – – 74
3.4.1 Interview – – – – – – – – 74
3.4.2 Drawing Test – – – – – – – – 75
3.4.3 Drawing Test using Free Activity Method – – – – 75
3.4.4 Drawing Test using Montessori Method – – – – 75
3.4.5 Observation – – – – – – – – 75
3.5 Pre-testing – – – – – – – – 76
3.6 Validity of the instrument – – – – – – 76
3.7 Rating Scale – – – – – – – – 77
3.8 Reliability of the instrument – – – – – 78
3.9 Data collected – – – – – – – 79
3.10 Scoring – – – – – – – – 79
3.11 Result of Pilot-Test – – – – – – – 80
3.12 Data analysis – – – – – – – – 80
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Chapter Four
DATA PRESENTATION, RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 81
4.1 Analysis of Research Questions – – – – – 82
4.2 Analysis of the Hypothesis – – – – – – 86
4.3 Findings – – – – – – – – 89
4.4 Discussion of Findings – – – – – – 91
Chapter Five
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 94
5.1 Summary – – – – – – – – 94
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 96
5.3 Recommendation – – – – – – – 99
5.4 Contribution to Knowledge – – – – – – 100

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION
1.0 Background to the study
Education has always been part of man. In the pre-colonial period, children were taught about their culture, social activities and skills at home and in the communities. Skills acquisition was considered a part of informal education, and children were expected to acquire some indispensable, social, survival skills, and have a reasonable knowledge of their cultures. Western education was introduced into Nigerian schools by the Christian missionaries in the 1840s, during the colonial years. The history of academic drawing or formal art teaching however started with Aina Onabolu who lived between 1881-1963, he was a leading figure in Art who fought single-handedly to ensure the inclusion of art teaching in the school curriculum. The feat was achieved in 1927 (Mkpa, 2009).
In more recent times, school enrolment especially at the elementary level has become a great concern to all stakeholders of education in Nigeria. Prominent among the problems that beset it was the large number of children enrolled into the schools without adequate facilities and sufficient teaching materials. Such problems among others, posed significant challenges to the teachers, with regards to the best teaching method(s) that could be beneficial to learning in schools by children. Accordingly, The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC, 2007) advocated for the introduction of child centred education to be emphasised at the early level. It is expected that, teaching and learning should be within easy understanding of the child, and that children should be allowed to learn on their own and at their own pace. It is important for teachers to use
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various teaching methods in order to reach every child effectively. For example lecture, project, assignment, play way methods among others are used for teaching, but whether all the methods of teaching Creative Art Education is partly what this study intend to investigate.
Although the National Policy on Education (NPE 2007) recognises the teaching of Creative Arts at the pre-primary, primary and secondary school levels, there are different approaches to its teaching as found in the public and private school. Art, by nature, according to Westlake (2013), is a creative subject, and creative teaching methods are necessary parts of a great art course. The researcher advised that good teaching methods should be employed to make a class memorable for children and to awaken their artistic abilities. Teaching strategy determines the approach a teacher may take to achieve learning objectives; it is used by teachers to create learning environments and the choice of activity in which the teacher and the learner will be involved during the lesson.
Teaching strategies are used in the presentation lessons to ensure that, the sequence or delivery of instructions helps the students. Mamza, (2007) observed that art teaching is given little attention in schools and often seen as leisure time pursuit, and even then lack of informed art lesson exists in most of Nigerian primary schools. Mamza (2007) further said that, art is sometimes used as a filler activity. It is therefore important for teachers to use various teaching methods in order to reach out to the children effectively. This however requires good knowledge of children‟s artistic developmental stages as well as the best teaching strategies that could be most effective for the children‟s learning. Suitable methods that could encourage children to take responsibility for their own learning at the
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various stages of artistic development should be encouraged. This implies the provision of appropriate freedom of participation in creative arts activities.
This study is an attempt to explore the viability of a non conventional style of teaching art which is the Montessori Method as compared to the more familiar Free Activity method of teaching creative arts and crafts in the schools. The execution of these methods have on the artistic development of children of ages five (5) and twelve (12) is the focus of the study. Children within these age bracket are chosen because they are in their formative years. Lowenfeld and Brittain, (1975) put it that the children‟s ideas, concept, and cognitive as well as mental development are receptive to new ideas. The outcome of several researches that evaluate art teaching in some parts of Nigeria include: Olorukooba (1977; 1986; 1990; 2001; 2003; Mbahi, 1990; Fatuyi, 1986; Mamza, 2000; Mohammed, 2006; Odeleye, 2006; Ohambele, 2006; Tijani, 2006; and Awogbade, 2006) among others point to the dismal nature of art teaching which is addressed to dearth of qualified art teachers, lack of funds, art materials, studio facilities as well as the negative attitude of parents and government at all levels that consider the teaching of art subject as a filler activity (Mamza, 2007).
However, art is important in children‟s development and education since it is not only a means of expression, but also an important starting point for the development of many educational skills (Lowenfeld and Brittain 1975). It will aid intellectual and aesthetic development and exploration of values and can promote practical and perceptual skills (Lopata, Wallace, and Finn, 2005). Children‟s artistic development is sequential and can be separated into a number of stages; their art works exhibit characteristics of each stage as they pass through them. As with all developmental stages, children go through these stages
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at different rates and often exhibit characteristics of one or more levels at the same time (Roland, 2006). Most teachers are aware that art is a significant aspect, and a basic tool of education for children (Gaitskell and Hurwitz, 1975); it also became a foundation subject in the national curriculum and statutory subject in all schools. The national curriculum for art in the National Policy on Education (NPE 2007), set out a programme of study, and most schools have made positive attempts to teach art to children aged five (5) to twelve (12) years, even though many teachers accepted being incapacitated, in this pursuit, because of lack of expertise.
The Montessori system of education is both a philosophy of child development and the rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on two important developmental needs of children, the need for freedom within limits, and a carefully prepared environment which guarantees exposure to materials and experience. In the Montessori philosophy, reality was imperative and emphasis was placed on learning real life and practical skills. The teacher plays a passive instructor, avoiding interaction unless asked by the child, and there was the indirect approach to teaching where the foundation of teaching was merely laid, and children were allowed to initiate their own exploration and learning. In the present times, the approach in Montessori schools is less rigid than was originally advocated by Montessori herself, where art is regarded as an important activity in its own right as well as an aid to learning about other topics in the curriculum (Shute, 2002).
Montessori Method emphasized a child-centred education, where children are free to exercise their freedom with little interference by the teacher. Montessori believes that, freedom to play implies making use of the environment freely. It also requires providing a
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suitable place for the child where he or she can freely move around and work with the teaching and learning materials that the teacher provide as children learn at their own pace. Montessori emphasized the provision of good environment for effective learning and promotion of play activities. Martin (2001) added that, children should be encouraged to be perceptive, imaginative, and creative when they are guided by knowledgeable, sympathetic persons who allow learners the freedom to express ideas and feelings in a mode appropriate to their developmental level of ability. Martin stressed that, this sort of freedom is nurtured in an atmosphere where children are provided with time, place, suitable materials, and ideal motivation from the child‟s own world or experience and feelings. Art activities prompt a sense of originality and uniqueness in art making if nurtured in an atmosphere that is conducive, where children are provided with time, space, and materials (Mshelbila, 2006). Montessori‟s method of teaching understands who a child is. Montessori does not compel a child to the norms or standard that is measured by traditional educational system. It is founded on the belief that children should be free to succeed and learn without restriction or criticism.
The conventional schools (public and private), follow the National Curriculum in relation to Art Education. In the primary schools, each class has an art lesson at least once in a week. Usually the lesson last for about 40minutes for a single period. The children are taught age-appropriate skills with a variety of materials such as paints, charcoal, clay, crayon, and pencils. A balance is struck between the teaching of creative arts skills and allowing children the freedom to paint and draw as they wish. Conventional Method of teaching is the dominant style of teaching in Nigerian schools. Lopata, Wallace, and Finn, (2005) describe this teaching method as one where teachers are in control of the
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environment and the students. Mbahi (1999) observes that the majority of teachers use one or combination of several methods of teaching including, free activity, activity class, group method, art project, teaching aids, display and exhibition.
Teachers are encouraged to select the appropriate techniques for their teaching; there are those who recognize play as the major factor. Pestalozzi in Mbahi, (1999) argues against the inherent ideas, and says that children are born with potentials, and therefore, education should only build on such. Mbahi, (1999) further points out that, teachers must avoid giving the impression that only their views count, so that if they want to promote independence, critical and creative thinking, they have to avoid methods of teaching which stifle initiative and promote the acceptance of authoritarianism . A good teaching method therefore, will provide opportunities for children to use their inborn artistic abilities, and it is also very important to consider how well the Nigerian education system prepares the young ones.
However, there are some methods which, as Lowenfeld in Lopata, Wallace, and Finn, (2005) describe to be either ineffective or actively harmful to the artistic development of children, especially in the area of motivation. Olorukooba (2006) also supported Lowenfeld‟s view that, the techniques of teaching and the way they are generally handled by art teachers may be inappropriate or ineffective and unrelated to the national aspiration. Therefore, it will be important to consider a suitable method and also a capable teacher who has sufficient ability, and liking for children to teach art. Olorukooba in Mshelbila (2006) stated that, developmental stages start as the child begins to make marks on paper, sand and wall surface. The child does this by inventing his or her own forms and putting down
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something by himself in a way that is uniquely his; from simple documentation to the most complex form of creative production.
The study investigates the effects of two methods (Montessori and Free Activity) in order to identify the differences that each of the methods have as the drawing ability of children‟s artistic development in Zaria, Kaduna State. The philosophy of the study highlights the need to be aware of the best ways to help children learn and develop their creative abilities during their early years, and one way to approach that is to find out which, either the Montessori Teaching Method or the Conventional Teaching Method, could be useful in the development of the creative artistic abilities of children in the primary schools in Nigeria.
1.1 Statement of the problem
The educational system of Nigeria and the society‟s perception tend to emphasis more on the science subject, although some art educators had already brought up the importance of arts in education system for a more holistic development of the person (Olorukooba, 2006 and Mamza, 2007). There are limitless possibilities of the teaching methods that can be used, even though teachers mostly use the conventional methods of teaching. These methods used by teachers, thoroughly explain the subject matter with little interaction from the pupils. Though the conventional teaching method has been used in the past, the minds of teachers, philosophers, art educators vary from those of the previous generations. Therefore, new innovations in teaching should be able to cater for the needs of the pupils, without necessarily ignoring the past methods since they should be able to meet the developmental needs of children.
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Every child develops differently both mentally, physically and artistically, though some may have a particular experience that others do not have when it comes to art creation. Children‟s art reflects the child‟s own personal experiences, and the children‟s artistic development is sequential in the same manner up to the age of five (5) years old. However differences begin to evolve after this age Montessori, (1972) and (1999), and Crain, (2004) stated that every person was born with multiple intelligence. Though Montessori, had expressed that training of the sensory and art did not occur in short spans but from exposure and practice, she also expressed that nurturing of the senses should start from childhood and continue as the individual grows. Montessori also focuses on early child development and believes that when children are given the freedom to express themselves, they will develop their senses at all the stages of their development. Free expression in art is expected to encourage children, especially at the primary schools, and this will help them learn through the discovery of themselves and of their environment.
This research studied the artistic ability of the child in respect to the total development of growth from the age of five (5) to twelve (12) years old, with regards to the various stages of artistic development of Nigerian children. It carried out the study to understand the progression of the artistic stages of development of children in Zaria. The literature found that the stages of artistic development of children were based on the perception of western art educators. Therefore, the effects of the two different approaches (Montessori and Free Activity methods) on the stages of artistic development as children grow from age five (5) to twelve (12) years is found relevant, and serve as a reference to art educators in Nigeria particularly the teachers of the children during the crucial (formative) and developmental stages. Teaching creative arts at the primary level helps the children to open their minds to
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what is around them, but inadequate teaching methods, materials and poor teaching styles due to the lack of qualified art teachers, and the way the teachers handle the methods causes‟ poor performance and lack of interest in art after Junior Secondary School (J.S.S) level. With the growing population of children in the Nigerian schools in the new millennium, the low number of qualified art teachers makes it difficult to reach out to every child; therefore, the unavailability of adequate art materials and environment is a result of ineffective teaching.
The problem of the study therefore, was that the Montessori Method is not used by the teachers in the primary schools in Zaria, and the Free Activity Method does not appear to be adequately explored giving the full potentials of children‟s artistic capabilities. This is due to the restrictive method used by the teachers, where the children are told what to draw or copy from the board, therefore, the question arises whether the Montessori Method can be better compared to that of the Free Activity Method? This makes it necessary to also ask which of the methods is more effective in leading children to appropriate transition from Pre-schematic stage to schematic and also to the gang stage. Also, it is essential to find out the overall effect(s) of using the Montessori Method on the one hand and the Free Activity Method on the other, to find out which may be more suitable for promoting freedom of expression and creativity.
1.2 Aim and objectives of the Study
The aim of the study was to compare the effects of the Montessori and Free Activity Methods of teaching on the development of children‟s creativity from Pre-schematic, Schematic and Gang Stages. The objectives of the study are to:
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1 examine the effects of the Montessori Method of Teaching on children‟s creative arts performance at the Pre-schematic, Schematic and Gang stages of their artistic development;
2 examine the effects of Free Activity Method of Teaching on children‟s creative arts performance at the Pre-schematic, Schematic and Gang stages of their artistic development;
3 determine the effects of Montessori and Free Activity Methods on the creative art performance of children at the different stages of artistic development;
4 compare the creative arts performance of the children at the various stages of their artistic development using Montessori with those of the Free Activity Method of Teaching; and
5 evaluate at what stage the Montessori Method of Teaching has effects on children‟s performance.
1.3 Research Questions
This study attempts to seek answers to the following questions:
1 What are the effects of the Montessori Method of Teaching on children‟s creative arts performance at the Pre-schematic, Schematic and Gang stages of their artistic development?
2 What are the effects of Free Activity Method of Teaching on children‟s creative arts performance at the Pre-schematic, Schematic and Gang stages of their artistic development?
3 What are the differences between the creative arts performances of children using Montessori and Free Activity Teaching Methods?
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4 What are the effects of the Montessori and Free Activity Teaching Methods on the artistic performance of the children at all the stages of the artistic development? (Pre-schematic, schematic and gang stage)
5 What is the effect of the Montessori Method on children‟s performance?
1.4 Hypotheses
The following are the major hypotheses developed for this study:
1 HO1 – There is no significant effect of the Montessori Method on the artistic performance of children in primary schools.
2 HO2 – There is no significant effect of the Free Activity Method on the artistic performance of children in primary school.
3 HO3 – There is no significant difference between the performance of children when the Montessori Method of Teaching and the Free Activity Methods are used.
4 HO4 – There is no significant difference between the performances of the children comparing Pre-schematic, Schematic and Gang stages of development.
5 HO5 – There is no significant relationship between the Montessori Method and the stages of artistic development.
1.5 Justification of the Study
The achievement of freedom of expression, satisfaction of individual and collective human needs, which constitute some essential aspects of the attainment of local and national aspirations, are invariably and significantly dependent on the quality of children‟s artistic
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development which needs to be carefully studied. In order to achieve more meaningful breakthroughs in creativity, education, indigenous and modern technology, science, economics, politics, security and overall national development, children‟s artistic development needs to be given some high level of consideration.
There is dearth of literature on comparative analysis of Montessori and Free Activity Methods of Teaching creative arts to children in Nigeria. In other words, Nigeria has immense natural and human resources that have been lying untapped and even underutilized or completely unutilized. This cannot be unconnected to the poor attention or even total neglect of children‟s artistic developmental needs by national planners. The situation could be regarded as a strong indicator of underdevelopment for Nigeria.
The existing teaching method in the Nigerian Schools is the Free Activity Method, and the Montessori Teaching Method, though it is not used in most Nigerian schools, especially in the primary schools in Zaria, could bring a lot of difference to the development of children‟s drawing. Therefore, there is the need to study the effects of the different methods of teaching creative arts with a view to finding which has greater, desirable effects on children‟s artistic development. The comparison of the two teaching methods will not only help understand the progression of the artistic stages of development of children in Zaria, it will also be relevant and serve as a better reference to art Educators in Nigeria as a whole.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will help education planners and art teachers in planning appropriate learning experiences for children at their various stages of artistic development. The knowledge of
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children‟s artistic development within the age-span of 5 to 12 years (Pre-schematic stage to Gang stage) will guide teachers in planning the goals and objectives for their creative arts lessons. The outcome of the study is expected to be useful for creative arts teachers when considering teaching methods in relation to the stages of artistic development of children.
Consequently, findings from the study will thus, assist art teachers in improving their teaching methods and possibly highlight the need for constant or periodic in-service training. It will also assist in the processes of preparing the creative arts learning environment for children. It is expected that the findings of the study will also serve as useful input into child art curriculum planning processes. The growing population and proportion of schools in Zaria, Kaduna State and Nigeria at large, will find this study useful for selection and provision of more adequate art materials.
It is expected that the study will also help build quality education for future independent studies in other areas for further research in different teaching methods. The study will thus, serve as useful input for administrators and the overall national development, and help guide teachers in handling different levels of children‟s Creative Arts developmental.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study covered ten public and private primary schools in Zaria. Primary school children normally pass through developmental stages of artistic development which can be examined in relation to teaching methods. Only the two selected methods (Montessori and Free Activity) were considered. Reference was only made to other related methods like the lecture, project, and demonstration methods among others.
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According to the Ministry of Education, there are eight District Educational Zones in Zaria Local Government. These Zones include Sabon Gari, Jafaru, Muchia, Anchau, Dogarawa, Basawa, Samaru, and Bomo. The schools under these zones are primary schools that offer art as part of the curriculum. Sixty two primary schools are under the eight district zones. Two schools were also used for the pilot study. The schools are listed below.
Table 1: Schools used for the pilot study
s/n
Schools
1
Samaru Model Primary School
2
Hayin Dogo Primary School
Table 2: Distribution of schools
s/n
Schools
1
Zabi Primary School
2
Marmara Primary School
3
Amina L.E.A Primary School
4
Bomo Model Primary School
5
Basawa Model Primary School
6
Hanwa L.E.A Primary School
7
Model Learning Primary School
8
Tender Touch Primary school
1.8 Assumptions of the Study
The study was based on the following assumptions:
a. There may be some overlap between the developmental stages; it is assumed that children in Primary schools fall between the ages of five to twelve (5-12) years of age.
b. The children sampled could express themselves visually through drawing in accordance with their chronological age.
c. It is assumed that the teaching and learning of creative arts in the primary schools is in accordance with the curriculum and syllabus.
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1.9 Theoretical Framework
Studies have shown that there are teaching methods that are either ineffective or harmful to children‟s artistic development, and there have been numerous experiments in an attempt to find answers. Gaitskell and Hurwitz (1975) described two of the methods; the dictatorial teaching methods (lecture method) where the teacher is in control and the laissez-faire method (play way method) where children get along without art instruction. This study was based on Lowenfeld and Brittain (1975) stages of children‟s artistic development theory.
The theory of artistic development is partly related to systematic, creative and cognitive stages. Each stage demonstrates specific characteristics and has an age range. This theory, according to Lowenfeld and Brittain (1975), states that children‟s development shifts from one stage to another, and has served as a basis for other theories. They studied children‟s art in a progressive way from birth till the age of seventeen years and divided their artistic development into several stages.
The stages include the Scribbling stage (from birth – 2 years approximately), Manipulative stage (2-4 years approximately), Pre-Schematic stage or Symbol Making stage (4-7 years approx), Schematic stage (7-9 years approximately), Drawing Realism stage (9-11 years approximately), Late Drawing Realism stage (11-13 approximately), and Adolescent stage (13-17 approximately). Lowenfeld and Brittain (1975) also noted that art education is the result of evolutionary process. What we enjoy in school programme was not achieved all of a sudden. It is by means of philosophical deliberation, experimentation, or even trial and error over some period of time.
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The conventional Teaching Method used in the primary schools is considered more of a teacher-centred method where the teacher controls the classroom situation, and the children are regarded as passive learners, Yunusa (2002). The teachers often tell the children in the schools in Zaria what to draw or to copy from the board. This result in the poor performance of the children and they will not be able to display their different developmental stage, therefore there is the need to try other methods that will help children express themselves freely.
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