From the primordial to the modern society, the performing arts have always played very essential roles in bringing people together, to develop cultural norms and values that are paramount to human co-existence in society. From the very simple theatrical forms to the most sophisticated development in movies, the performing arts have always united, corrected, educated and entertained members of society, thereby contributing to national development. Like sports, the performing arts’ ability to do this is natural, spontaneous and legendary. This paper examines the traditional roles of the performing arts (Drama, Music, Dance, etc) in uniting and developing society, from the classical to the modern society, in different societies of the world. It examines the current state of these arts worldwide, denouncing their negative uses and extolling their deployment for responsible uses. Operating on the theory of functionality of Arts, it goes on to identify in very concrete terms, how performing art forms could be used to enhance human resources development and make society a better place to live in.
Performing Arts pedagogy courses have not been the choice of pre-service generalist teachers in Wesley College of Education in the city of Kumasi, Ghana between 2010/2011 and 2016/2017 academic years. At the beginning of the 2017/2018 academic year, six students selected the course as their elective for study. This study explores the motivation behind these pre-service teachers selecting the Performing Arts pedagogy courses for study. Prior engagement in the performing arts, expectation of ability to teach, and achieving good examination results emerged as the main themes from the analysis of qualitative semi-structured interview data. Findings suggest that there is a relationship between prior experiences in the performing arts and motivation to continue engagements in the arts. Further research with pre-service teachers to identify their needs, interests, abilities and background experiences in the performing arts will help teacher educators to train students to be effective practitioners in their future classrooms.