Ms. Rabia Chishti, a Ph.D. Research Scholar at the College of Home Economics, University of Peshawar has submitted his thesis entitled “Art Education: A Contributory Factor in Enhancement of Problem Solving Ability” to the University of Peshawar, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D) in the discipline of Home Economics.
The oral examination (Public Defence) is scheduled to be held on 16th June, 2015 at 10:00 a.m in theVideo Conferece Hall, CITS, University of Peshawar.
All those having interest in the said research work, are cordially invited to attend the occasion. The participants would be allowed to raise relevant questions after the presentation by the scholar for further judgment and evaluation of the examiners.
This study provides a baseline analysis of the extent to which the primary education system in Pakistan is capable of enhancing or inhibiting children’s creativity. The present study was designed to examine the impact of elementary visual art in enhancing problem solving ability of children. The primary aim was to determine the relationship between visual art and problem solving ability among children. The predictive relationship between these variables was studied among elementary school children and young college students.
For this purpose, the study utilized a quantitative approach to measure the difference in problem solving ability between art students vs. non-art students. Further, the study examined the role of two visual art instructional pedagogies: student-centered and teacher centered to evaluate their impact on the two thinking types i.e., convergent thinking and divergent thinking along with the problem solving performance of individuals.
The research encompassed two interconnected studies. Study one was a retrospective study concentrating on the long term effects of elementary visual art at the age of adolescence. While study two was conducted in the present scenario of education being practiced at elementary school level in Peshawar.
The two studies were carried out in further two Phases. Phase I consisted of two stages: stage I dealt with item selection and try out of scales to see if the instruments were understandable by Pakistani sample and Stage II dealt with determination of validity and reliability estimates of all instruments used in current research. The instruments finalized in Phase-I were administered in Phase II on two independent samples, 150 college students from the National College of Arts Lahore and Islamabad and 180 students across the schools of Peshawar, KP to verify the study hypotheses. The Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices, Wallach & Kogan Creative thinking Tests and Problem Solving Ability Test were administered to measure the participants’ problem solving ability.
The findings revealed significant relationship of visual art received at elementary level with problem solving ability of the students in their present life as well as later life. ANOVA and t-test analysis demonstrated significant differences in such a way that art students scored higher on all the three instruments as compared to non-art students. There were also significant differences in problem solving abilities of students exposed to different art instructional pedagogies at elementary level. The linear regression analysis suggested significant prediction of enhanced divergent and convergent thinking as an outcome product of visual art in general and student-centered visual art in specific. ANOVA revealed that student-centered visual art group performed well and scored high in all the three instruments as compared to teacher-centered group and non-art group, whereas the results found no significant difference between the performance of teacher-centered and non-art students.
The findings highlight the importance and contribution of visual art in developing a higher level thinking skill transferable to later life. It is hoped that this study will contribute to the advocacy for the inclusion of visual art in the national curriculum.