UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Two worlds : the conflict of cultures in West Africa in relation to the aims and practice of art education in Ghana Thomas, Ian


The first five chapters of this thesis provide a historical survey, dealing mainly with West Africa, and primarily concerned with the cultural problems that have occurred from the contact between the traditional African; and our Western culture. The effect of this contact in the areas of Art and Education are examined in some depth since the central hypothesis of this thesis is that Art Education can help to resolve some of the cultural problems that have resulted through the contact and conflict between the two worlds, African and Western. The final chapters provide an example of how the purposes and theory of Art Education in the emerging nations of Africa can be put into practice within a specific country--in this case, Ghana. This part of the thesis is a result of two years of experiment and study done by the author within Ghana itself. This deals with the way natural materials in Ghana (at the present moment woefully ignored in the schools) can be put to good use in the Arts and Crafts programme. It also deals with the way methods and techniques in traditional crafts can be used, adapted and applied within this programme. An examination is made of the way other traditional cultural "materials" such as stories, music and designs can be assimilated and used for motivational purposes in the arts and crafts lesson. Much of this material comes from a controlled experiment, lasting ten weeks, which was directed by the author and carried out by his students with Primary and Middle School children at the Cultural Centre, Kumasi, Ghana.

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