Study on Involvement in Aesthetic Activities and Academic Performance of Undergraduates The Case of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce of University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka

N. G. D. G. Kaushalya, R. L. S. Fernando

Abstract


Enhancing knowledge seems to be a partial objective in any education process inthe contemporary society. The ultimate goal of the education should be the creation of agood citizen. It is widely believed perception that the involvement in aesthetic activitiesin the learning process helps to enhance various talents of students and nurture positiveattitudes. Several researches confirmed that there is a positive relationship betweeninvolving in Aesthetic activities and academic performance of students in educationalinstitutions.This study examines the relationship between involvement in Aestheticactivities and academic performance of the undergraduates of the Faculty ofManagement Studies and Commerce of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in SriLanka. The study was done through a self-administrated structured questionnaire of asample of 200 undergraduates (around 5% of the total population) for the year 2010.Thesample consists of first, second, third and fourth year undergraduates, representing bothstudents who engaged in aesthetic activities and who did not.Correlation analysis wasdone to examine the relationship between academic performance and the involvementof Aesthetic activities of the undergraduates of the Faculty. It was found that there is aninsignificant weak positive relationship between the involvement in aesthetic activitiesand the accumulated Grade Point Average of the undergraduates. To identify reasonsfor this phenomenon, ten in-depth interviews were undertaken with students who havehigher academic performance at the end semester examinations conducted by theFaculty. The qualitative analysis revealed several interrelated factors in this regard.Some major reasons are; heavy work load of the students (five subjects with manyassignments within a very limited time period per semester), students‟ involvement inprofessional examinations and training programs (due to the competition of the job market), the involvement in any job due to their financial difficulties, a strongdetermination to obtain a (first) class etc. Due to these reasons, many undergraduates ofthe Faculty have given their least priority to aesthetic activities during their educationalprocess.This situation leads to produce graduates with lack of essential qualities such ascreativity and sensitivity which violate the ultimate goal of education- that is “creatinggood citizens”. Finally, policy measures are suggested to overcome this situation.

Keywords: Aesthetic Activities, Academic performance, Management, Undergraduates


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