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Re: arts assessment-parents feedback

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From: Marvin Bartel (marvinpb_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Feb 03 2005 - 05:46:44 PST


Jeryl in SC wrote about parent questions:

>. . . . Why did little Wesley get an S in art? Isn't he
>behaving himself? Why did little Matthew get an "S" in music-is he acting
>up? Jake is a great athelete-how could he have an "S" in P.E.? Here is the
>problem-Matthew and Jake both got an "S" in music and P.E. because they
>are acting up (the teachers told me that) I gave Wesley an "S" because he
>does try hard and he isn't "acting up" but based on the rubrics for the
>projects he completed, he is doing good solid "S" work. we aren't
>consistent with the grading scale so no wonder everyone is confused.So
>parents are equating an "E" with good behavior? And why is an "S" so
>bad? . . .
>
You make a good point. If the report card does not have a place,
would there be a way for teachers to attach a brief note? I know
that behavior and learning are often connected, but my opinion,
speaking as a parent and as teacher, could we have a way to report
behavior separately from learning? When our children were students
the report card always had a separate place for comments on behavior.
I think that just knowing that this is on the report card helps some
students throttle their own behavior.

Does the child who gets an E or an A in art also earn a note
specifying why the good grade was awarded? Photographer, Diane
Arbus, said that her art teachers always told her that her artwork
was great. She went on to say that she hated these compliments. She
said this in a film produced from tapes made while Arbus' was
teaching photography.

It made me think of how often I had made an empty undefined
compliment to a strong student. Would she have also hated dealing
with open questions that helped her assess the reasons viewers saw
expressive qualities of her work? Diane Arbus was a famous New York
photographer of unusual people. We lost her in mid-life by suicide.
If her art teachers had taught her to do analysis and interpretation,
would it have saved her life? Would it have taken the edge off her
work?

Marvin

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