Tubman University

The University Mural close to completion, Administration Building. The University's motto Student Emmanuel Chea creates sunrise colors on the mural, Administration Building, W.V.S. Tubman University, Harper, Liberia, June 2012. Students compare their homework drawing assignments at the end of a mural painting session, Administration Building, W.V.S. Tubman University, Harper, Liberia, June 2012. Rice plants in a section of the mural that represents the School of Agriculture draw attention to the importance of rice as part of Liberia's future domestic economy, Administration Building, W.V.S. Tubman University, Harper, Liberia, June 2012. Korbee Goffa, a student and a primary school teacher in the midst of painting on the mural, Administration Building, W.V.S. Tubman University, Harper, Liberia, June 2012. (From left) Scearis Doe observes the progress of the mural from a distance with another Tubman University student, Administration Building, W.V.S. Tubman University, Harper, Liberia, June 2012.

  • About This Project

    Principles of Teaching the Arts in Education, an innovative practice course within the College of Education at the W.V.S. Tubman University in Harper, Liberia, was designed and facilitated in partnership with Colors of Connection under the leadership of Christina Mallie.

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    Principles of Teaching the Arts in Education
    W.V.S. Tubman University, Harper, Liberia
    May – July 2012

    Principles of Teaching the Arts in Education, an innovative practice course within the College of Education at the W.V.S. Tubman University in Harper, Liberia, was designed and facilitated in partnership with Colors of Connection under the leadership of Christina Mallie. The Liberian educational system is devoid of the arts, employing a standard approach of rote memorization that engages a minimal number of cognitive processes. The goal of this collaborative project was to help student teachers understand how the arts can enhance the mental and physical health of individuals, providing hands on techniques on ways to integrate the arts, specifically drawing and painting, into their teaching. The outcome was the creation of a mural that expressed the University’s vision by a group of fourteen enthusiastic students.

    W.V.S. Tubman University is one of only two public universities in Liberia and the only one located in the remote southeast of the country. Tubman University provides an invaluable opportunity to earn a college degree to residents in the southeast, including former refugees, ex-combatants, postwar youth and an older generation. This specific course was created in response to our pilot project in Harper: Visions of Hope: Revitalizing a Refugee Community Through Art that highlighted the importance of the arts in education and coincides with revisions to the national curriculum that have been under discussion for several years. Under the current system of teaching in Liberia, students lack the opportunity to develop important skills such as critical thinking and problem solving that are useful both in education and developing life skills. In addition, UNICEF has recommended that the unique cultural and psychosocial needs of post-war youth needs to be addressed within the Liberian curriculum.

    During the course students learned how the addition of the arts to the classroom can improve the mental, physical and psychological health of individuals, and create a more engaging and motivating environment in which to learn, thus improving academic performance. They learned techniques for integrating the arts into their teaching, and students were trained in basic drawing and painting and learned how to teach these skills to others. The students applied their knowledge by participating in the creation of a mural on the Tubman University campus.

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    Tubman University Project Photos
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