This thesis is a documentation of an empirical study in which qualitative methods
were employed to investigate the current programmes offered to pre-service
Creative Arts teachers at selected South African universities.
The subject, Creative Arts, is one of the compulsory learning areas for grades R -
9 in all South African public schools as prescribed by the Curriculum and
Assessment Policy Statement of 2011. In order for learners to gain maximum
benefit from the subject Creative Arts, pre-service teachers should be educated to
gain an understanding of the interrelatedness of the different art forms. The
theoretical framework underpinning this study is Mezirow's theory of transformative
learning which is based on critical reflection. Pre-service teachers should
therefore be encouraged to critically reflect on the learning process, rethinking
their own perspectives and constructing new knowledge in the process of
discourse with others.
Information on the current programmes offered at five South African universities
involved in this collective case study, was extrapolated from interviews with both
lecturers of Creative Arts programmes, and pre-service teachers enrolled for
courses in Creative Arts. Furthermore, observations were done at various sites to
obtain an in-depth perspective of how the arts are presented at these institutions.
Findings revealed that most universities offer Creative Arts programmes with an
arts specific approach. This corresponds with the demands of artistic disciplines,
and especially performance arts, which require the development of practical skills
which should be developed over an extended period. Although developing these
specialized skills and knowledge in each art form is important, the discrete
presentation of these arts may limit opportunities for students to experience
integrated arts activities. Moreover, pre-service teachers need practice in school
based settings to hone their teaching skills in delivering meaningful arts activities
The recognition of common grounds between the different art disciplines makes
the merging of these arts into the broad subject, Creative Arts possible. These commonalities should be further explored, especially in a South African context
where African arts are inherently integrated. Benefits of co-operative curriculum
planning between the departments of Basic and Higher Education in the provision
of competent and skilful teachers for Creative Arts is the key to successful arts
education in South African schools.