Exploring the use of ICT inthe teaching of Art and Design at form 4 level: an action research project.

Paper instructions:

Exploring the use of ict in the teaching of art and design at ˜0′ level : an action research project.


Broadening Art education is one of my major concerns. Through a school-based research project i have tried to justify that ICT is a relevant tool in the teaching of Art. The use of new technologies which are inherently educative, begins to question the authority of traditional forms of knowledge. There are number of reason why Ict needs to be included in the Art and Design syllabus. From a psychological paradigm, the concept of the computer persists in seeing the machines as an extention or model of the mind which is associated with learning and development. My research is to look at the differences made to students’ experience in art by the addition of computers. Our students cannot be effective in tomorrows’s world if they are trained in yesterdays skills. They should be equipped with competencies and skills needed in tommorrow’s world. In my research i will explore the creative use of Ict with a group of form 4 students who are offering computer graphics at ordinary level. My action research will be spread out on three cycles.

Firstly student will be set to work on a (paper-based) photomontage using traditional method. Then they will be intervened with the computer on that paper-based imagery, creating a photomontage of hybrid nature. Finally, they will work on a digital photomontage by demonstrating their technical skills and digital creativity in a screen-based imagery . throughout this research i have to emphasize that the computer should be used as a tool for creativity and cultural competence. We, teachers should be ready to place computers next to the easels in our art rooms because it is a tool that has revolutionalised teaching and learning. It serves as a force to break down the line between two cultures.

the change that characterises the period.



This study will be a product of classroom activities aimed at increasing students’ technical as well as artistic competence through the application of ICT in Art and design classes at form 4 level.

The problem

Now as we have stepped in the new millennium we can say that the types of change we are experiencing are more radical than those which were experienced when steam,petroleum and electricity replaced manual and animal power at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is more radical than moving from local self-sufficiency to national and international specialization. Information technology is the key component of 

Accordingly, the information revolution has prompted a series of change in political, economic and educational systems of our country. These global changes have initiated major structural changes in our educational system as well. This means that external forces have been one of the reasons for implementing educational change and the school is perceived as the centre of change. An urgent need to change the school’s curriculum has been felt. Over years, subject to gradual move in art education tocreative self-expression( drawing on N.Goodman’s philosophy). In this view the art syllabus has undergone a change. Art has been replaced by art and design which complements literary,mathematical,scientific and factual subjects. An art and design course should encourage personal expression,imagination,conceptual thinking, power of observation,an analytical ability and practical aptitude. It ought to demonstrate technical competence and manipulative skills.

Schools should therefore develop strategies for educational change. Art teachers endorse the emphasis on curriculum’s change priorities s broadening art education in our major concern. I want to create awareness of the new dimention of art in my students and i intend to promote development of technical competence and manipulative skills by offering possibilities other than traditional methods. I would like to introduce computer graphic in the teaching of paper 5. Hence my research focus would be to justify whether ICT is relevant inthe teaching of art.

The title of my research is:

Exploring the use of ICT inthe teaching of Art and Design at form 4 level: an action research project.

I intend to introduce the computer as atool tosolve artistic problems and at the same time justify whether ICT is relevant in the teaching of ART and Design.


Research focus

As broadening art education is my concern, i intend to introduce new strategies in the teaching of the subject and at the same time i will try to cater for the inadequacies in the related field. During this study i will endeavour to answer the following research questions:

-is it possible to promote the development of technical competence and manipulative skill by offering ICT in the teaching of art and design?

-how can i justify ICT to be a relevant tool in the teaching of art and design?

-what are the benefits my students can get if they are introduced to this new dimention of art?

Creative education has always been an expression of research and inventive learning and imagination. Though our curriculum is partly content-based and product “based, the process through ˜experiential and active learning'(Kelly,2000) will be promoted throughout my research. I will use the learner-centered and constructivist approach which will promote individual empowerment, personal and cognitive development and autonomy.


My action research will be based on a constructivist framework. In my research i need to support the use of ict in Art and Design. Simultaneously i will show how imagination and creativity can be used cognitively to depict impressionism in different types of repeated pattern.

The rationale

The major aims of government are to prepare people of the country to face internal and external challenges and to ensure a balanced development of the country. In this context education is to imbibe in the people knowledge, sense of purpose and confidence essential for building a dynamic nation. It has been cited in the Action plan ( 1999) that literacy rate will be measured by our aptitudes in Information Technology’ in this century. This means that Information Technology should cut across any curriculum in our schools. As an art educator, i feel greatly concerned about the type of art education delivered to students. In an age of information revolution there is adequate ground to use computer as a tool in teaching of art.

This new tool in art will allow students to be fully equipped for the future. The role of ICT in art teaching is i be

lieve of great importance (callow,2001). ICT opens scope in several fields like multimedia,publishing, webpage designs and the growing field of cinematography in Mauritus.

Hence, the demands on learning today arise from knowledge and competenceto act which will be required of the young at a later time.

As an educator i really feel concerned by the type of learning that is being delivered actually. We need to foresee with some degree of certainty that the art education will have to be replacedby a dynamic education concept. Traditional patterns of instruction must be supplemented and partially replaced by new approaches.


The context

I am actually teaching at upper secondary level in a private school. My students are not gifted for sciences subjects. Each year there are some twenty to twenty “five offering art at hsc. Most of them get either a grade b or c. After leaving school, these students either choose to study art at tertiary level or decideto seek a job in the artistic field. With the fast technological changes school leavers encounter various difficulties as they are not fully prepared. I feel quite concerned with this problem. Our recent syllabus didnot cater for any components where student could be trained toacquire technological skills. Now with the introduction of art and design student have more opportunities to become conversant with different skills. With ict in the art and design curriculum student will acquire technical competence and have their cultural horizon widened.

Besides the design paper is chosen by a majority of girls. As from this year, students can opt for this component at Cambridge school certificate. Accordingly, i have chosen to carry out my research with a group of form 4 students who will offer this component next year. Computers will be used as a tool to help student tackle the artistic problems better as the traditional drawing and painting no onger meet the students’ demand. Using computers in art will allow students to be fully equipped for the future.

Literature review

An overview of the constructivist and learner-centered approach to learning theories, types of learning styles, motivation, imagination and creativity,repeated pattern, impressionism and the benefits of using computer as atool forcreativity will be addressed.

The constructivist approach to learning


The Mauritian education system had long been a matter of students’ behavior modification. This behaviourist approach was regarded to be highly controversial and has been rejected to make room for the step-by-step linear approach where education is examination and result oriented. However, this approach which is Bloom’s (1956)taxonomies does not ˜reflect the realities of learning process’ (Kelly 1999). As education is geared towards the entire development of the student, there has been polemics on our system which no longer satisfies new exigencies of an international economy where the fittest survive( action plan,1999). To promote education leading to full development of the individual ,the constructivist approach is being encouraged these days. This approach lays emphasis on knowledge construction and learner autonomy. From Ewing’s (2000) point of view the most basic features of constructivism center on the learner’s ˜internal mental actions or cognitive processing’ which involves activities like organising, adapting, reordering and inventing. Schunk cites Bruning and other writers who think that constructivism is a ˜psychological and philosophical perspective’ where the learner constructs much of what he learns and understands ( Bruning et al.,in Shunk,1996). People are active learners and should construct their own knowledge (geary,1995 in schunk,1996). The first promotes a cognitive yet individualistic view of thinking and learning as they evolve bridging new knowledge which is external to previous internal knowledge (Ewing et al.1999). the second approach adopts amore socio-cultural stance with learning and development. However the dominant educational schools of thought focusing on processes and interactions, whether individually or socially, are the constructivist paradigm. They emphasize the fact that whatever gets into the mind has to be constructed by the individual through knowledge discovery ( piaget cited in ah Hung,2001 ) with a focus on the process of assimilation and accommodation of knowledge.

Types of learning theories

Though there are many versions of the constructivist approach, the general view held is that learning is an active process of constructing rather than acquiring knowledge. The latter can be socially constructed while its interpretation is dependent on prior knowledge and beliefs held in one’s mind, and on the cultural and social context through which the knowledge is constructed. Among the different theories of learning , Hung(2001) gives the following theories: behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism and social constructivism. According to him, the social constructivist paradigm views knowledge where meanings are socially constructed and based on cultural perceptions.


I intend to provide information about research as seen from THE POINT OF VIEW OF DIFEERENT RESEARCH PARADIGM, the research process itself,my exploration of the field and my experiences as seen through the eyes of a beginner-researcher. Being given the nature of my research, i have opted