Flexible and comprehensive educational resources
With some of the main challenges facing art education in South Africa being the lack of qualified arts educators or specialists, and the disparate levels of art education from primary and secondary schools to tertiary education, there is an urgent need for arts education resources that are both flexible and comprehensive. Carelse-Plato says that the level of adaptability that the Imbali Artbooks allow for is vital.
‘What I find with these books is that they are easily adaptable to all age groups and that there are many aspects of the books that can be tailored for specific lessons, whether it is landscape or portraits…The experiences and possibilities are endless,’ she says.
Other challenges facing arts education in South Africa, says Schoonspruit Focus School’s HOD of FET and Creative Arts Celeste Pretorius, are a lack of resources as well as a continued misconception of art as an unviable career path.
‘As educators we experience excellent talent in our classes on a daily basis, but learners are not supported by their parents, which leads to learners not being motivated even though they are very talented. The lack of resources sometimes limits learners’ creativity,’ explains Pretorius. ‘These books have inspired me to try different approaches in my class to keep them inspired and motivated.’
The development of visual literacy amongst learners at an early age is also something that Carelse-Plato considers to be a crucial part of arts education. ‘You also have the Visual Literacy aspect that is very evident in these books that allow one to reference given resources comfortably with a technique or theme or teaching of elements and colour theory to more senior learners as well as the little ones. The books are versatile and user friendly,’ she says.