Incorporating Art into STEM Education in Ghanaian Senior High School
The study of the ‘Arts’ has not received the needed governmental attention in Ghana. In August 2021 the government hinted at introducing STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Upon this announcement, Art-based advocacy groups made a clarion call on the government to introduce STEAM instead that incorporates the ‘Arts’ to give the students innovative, creative and inventive ideas in exploring with available manmade and artificial resources in their immediate environment. This view has not been utilised by the government though they admit the ‘Arts’ nurture the creative potential of learners in that regard.
This pilot study engages a group of Senior High School students with the practicality in STEAM (STEM plus A for the Arts) training to focus their creative sensibilities in turning junks into admirable artistic creations. The project sought to enable students to demonstrate understanding of junks by analysing its physical characteristics, general composition, effects on the environment, recyclability tendencies, and plausibility in making artistic statements; create artworks with junks and incorporate technology and engineering concepts into it. This project involved five selected Senior High School Visual arts students from Winneba Senior High School in the Central Region of Ghana and two teachers (including the lead researcher) in the School of Creative Arts of the University of Education, Winneba.
The teachers played a facilitative role by engaging the selected students in lessons on creating art with junks, and basic electronics and electricity. Based on basic concepts learnt, students (in a group) were tasked to collect junks in the environment, brainstorm and conceptualise their preferred artwork which incorporate electronics and electric concepts. Students created and tested their products and shared their views on it.
Read also the ATAG position paper: Link