I wanted to keep the topic of assessment open, hoping to receive more
replies. Thank you Marvin for submitting your ideas on this subject.
I totally agree with many of your comments even the one you mentioned as
being flippant. I have been there and most likely so have other teachers
when marking art- arbitrarily separating the resulting pieces in piles
(whichever looks the best) or the drop them down the stairway method.
However, this is not the way it should be- agreed. Like the sciences, as
mentioned, the visual arts is about experimentation, rish taking and trail
and error. It should be treated in the same regard as assessment in other
To many craftsmanship becomes crafty- (more gender friendly) by producing
and using gimmicks to produce the same result with all students. This
resulting crafty sameness to some teachers sets up a rating scale based on
what it should look like (comparable to having the right or wrong answer on
a math problem).
I definitely agree that "Creativity" should definitely be at the top of the
list when making assessments in the Visual Arts and should be encouraged in
all activities with all students. The problem is , that not enough
information is given to beginning teachers on how to encorporate this into
their assessment and what to look for. Especially when there is a reliance
on the crafty sameness of art "products".
I think that the elements and principles of design are also a definite
ingredient in coming up with a proper assessment for student growth in the
Visual Arts. The elements and principles should have set benchmarks, as
they do in most curriculums, for teachers to use. However, care should be
taken so these elements and principles still allow for creativity to surface
and avoid the danger of making them so directive that imaginative and
experimentation is taken away.
I hope that others have ideas and feelings on this topic to share with the
Thanks for some of the comments received so far. It is always helpful to
find out what others are using in the area of assessment.