The art of the impossible? A case study and reflections on the experience of art in a rural Kenyan primary school

Gregory, P. (2012) The art of the impossible? A case study and reflections on the experience of art in a rural Kenyan primary school. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 31 (3). pp. 265-275. ISSN 1476-8062.

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The arguments for, and justification of, the value of teaching art in school have been made previously, but contextually these are often situated in Western affluence. This article explores the issues with a strikingly contrasted setting. The rural school in the study is approximately 30 minutes’ drive from the nearest town, and the pupils are drawn from the surrounding rural bush area which is itself developmentally and materially poor in comparison to the UK. In school, the poverty seemed initially to relate to a lack of educational resources, but the reality experienced in the classroom may have also been linked to other issues. These included the desperate preoccupation with survival in difficult climatic conditions, a postcolonial legacy and the delicate balance of utilising resources without waste. What conclusions might then be drawn about the teaching of art? Utilising the work of others who have considered the issues in Kenya, this small scale ethnographic case study is presented with personal reflection and observations. The author would be pleased to hear from others with similar experiences or who have recognised additional issues in seemingly challenging circumstances.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: rural Kenyan education, primary art education, educational challenges, justification for teaching art, colonial influences, theoretical experiences
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Peter Gregory
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 10:22
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2015 10:23

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00