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Lesson Plans

assessment good/bad

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
taylorh (taylorh)
Sun, 19 Jul 1998 12:24:10 -0700 (MST)

teresa torreseca wrote about assessment of good art-bad art:

>>"The real problem that worrys me a lot is about acessing the art works
of our
students , it is easy to acess certains criteria: as interest,
vocabulary, organisation and methode. But what about creative work?There
are so
many possible answers in art communication, for instance a still life ,
say a drawing about a chair What are your criteria to acess it?"


This ties in to the notion that objective standards CAN become obsolete by
the time they are institutionalized. It's one thing if we assign projects
which fall within an established context such as Impressionism. We can
write a rubric which covers the essential criteria.

I think the major thrust of Art Education today is education "about art"
passing on of date to enhance art appreciation and to qualify the art
consumer. It's not my cuppa tea, but that's neither here nor there. In
that context however it makes a great deal of sense to work to a rubric:
The students work will receive a superior grade if it incorporates
qualities w, x, y, and z. If only three of those qualities are present the
assessment comes down a level. Only 2? Another level. Only one? Again, it
drops a level.

Maybe you are studying an artist. Seurat, if the student uses pointillist
dots and avoids using lines, that's good, if those dots mix color a/la
Seurat that's better, if the imagery incorporates Seurat's other theories
about upturned and downturned forms even better! You could ad to that or
revise as needed.

The thing of it is you assess the qualities you can specify and that both
you and the student can identify. Everyone knows whats expected.

A problem may only arise when you confront a student like I was who is
more immediately concerned with their own personal expression in and
through art than in their ability to understand what has gone before or in
replicating something already achieved. Objectively the student will fail
because they won't fulfill the rubric with any interest or intention.
Maybe you will get some of it back or not.... Sadly the student is deeply
involved in art and doing everything the way some 'real' artists would in
confronting Seurat. Maybe the student uses something other than dots
consciously or unconsciously anticipating Close. What do you do? Maybe she
restricts the palette or the imagery using a more Okeefe subject. Maybe
the student is interested in some other psychological theory than Seurat
in the upturned line.

Very quickly the divergent student coopts the project making it their own
and making the rubric, as a result, useless. What to do? Usually the
teacher had to give me a "c" or a "d". Some just left me alone. :)

(Of course if you were a divergent teacher you'd have the opposite set of
problems. You REALLY want all your students to diverge and become
independently and creaticely engaged in the process of art and many of
your students (depending on your situation of course) would simply want to
complete the assignment, demonstrate their competence, and move on to the
next assignment; either with the goal of graduating or of learning things
in the proper way.

National standards and examinations provide a procrustean filter cutting
off the best just as surely as they identify "the worst". A good
proportion of your "intelligent and creative set" are likely to crash and
burn unless someone gets them on a track that understands and accepts
their divergencies. Other will be gifted enough to be able to get through
the system unaided.

There really SAD thing is that the arts are perhaps the best suited to
accomodate such students and to bring the greatest advantage out of their
gifts but, no matter where I look, something in the institution seems bent
on eliminating the divergent independent individual or bending her closer
to the norm. It is the administrator unwilling to adapt to the student who
argues that the student needs to learn how to adapt because the world
demands it. "The world" does not demand it is the individual who
religiously believes in the importance of conformity and who also finds
conformity of greater convenience and requiring less effort.

A "Genius" (someone "intelligent and creative", at least) can always be
hired but they are notoriously unstable and therefore "throwaway people"
if at all inconvenient.

(time to get off my soap box!)


  • Maybe reply: Litesal: "Re: assessment good/bad"
  • Maybe reply: Litesal: "Re: assessment good/bad"