RELIEVING STRESS: THE ART FACTOR

M. Osei

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (GHANA)
This pilot study aimed at using drawings as means to assuage the feelings of pressure on the part of 30 Ghanaian students at the start of an Art therapy class. It thus explored the content of the participants’ drawings, what they wrote about their works and what each had to say about the work. Some comments from peers concerning the students were also noted. Data analysis revealed that drawings can portray what is active on a person’s mind in terms of emotions such as happiness, sadness, frustration, love, and loneliness that is in no way related to the classroom happenings. From literature, it was established that art reveals emotion, and that learning is most effective when it links with positive emotional experience. It is suggested that effectiveness of teaching and learning could be enhanced with teachers’ knowledge of the use of Art to release the pent-up emotions of students as often as possible.