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RE: What Does Excellence Look Like in an Art Class?

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From: Hillmer, Jan (HillmJan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 17 2004 - 19:12:57 PDT


Kevan, this is so good.
Why do everybody elses' answers look so good? I guess it takes all points of view to answer the questions to nearly complete satisfaction.
Jan

        -----Original Message-----
        From: knitzber [mailto:knitzber@ties2.net]
        Sent: Thu 6/17/2004 5:02 PM
        To: ArtsEdNet Talk
        Cc:
        Subject: Re: What Does Excellence Look Like in an Art Class?
        
        

        In response to the question of what excellence looks like in
        my
        classroom, the answer is always exemplified in a student's
        ability to
        demonstrate not only an understanding of the concepts being
        taught in
        the lesson but also to have taken the assignment to an
        entirely different
        level in the artwork that they were able to create in
        response to the
        lesson being taught. I think that while part of that
        success is certainly
        going to be arrived at due to the level of pre-existing
        talent and ability
        inherent in the student, there are additional factors that
        also come into
        play in helping a student to arrive at the level of
        creativity and skill
        necessary to indeed be able to achieve excellence.
        
        Part of that equation has to do with the amount of
        preparation that a
        student is able to bring to the table when addressing a
        particular
        assignment. What avenues were explored with the students by
        the
        instructor in help the class think beyond what might be
        construed as
        more mundane and superficial responses that would satisfy
        the basic
        tenets of the work being learned?
        
        Equally valuable is the level of skill that has been
        demonstrated by the
        student in the use of the materials in order to better
        communicate the
        intent. That also requires preparation and practice in
        order to achieve
        a level of excellence.
        
        To successfully implement both of the above components,
        there needs
        to be an existing structure in the learning environment
        (class) that
        supports the necessary kinks of growth that will enable more
        students
        to be able to excell. The driving forces holding the
        structure together
        include the following principles:
        1) the work must be students-centered and instructor driven
        2) the latest and best techniques need to be employed in
        teaching the
        material
        3) the building of knowledge for all students in the class
        must be
        attended to
        4) a standards-based approach must be put into place in
        order to
        establish high and consistant expectations
        5) students need to continually be encouraged to achieve at
        a higher
        level and not just settle for minimal results
        6) instruction needs to be formative, building on skills
        already taught
        and mastered in order to establish successful learning for
        students
        throughout the process
        7) the learning that takes place needs to be comprehensive,
        allowing
        students to make connections between what is being learned
        in one
        area with other types of information that they are also
        responsible for
        mastering
        8) the learning taking place needs to be authentic in its
        content and
        clearly help to move a student towards successfully being
        able to
        demonstrate the exit goals / criteria established in the
        standards that
        have been applied to the course work at hand.
        
        In considering the assessment strategies that are available
        to the
        instructor to help a student realize the success that should
        be the
        desired outcome for both student and teacher, the following
        are scoring
        and judging strategies that should be considered for
        implementation it
        help achieve significant movement towards perfomance
        excellence:
        
        1) checklists for providing students with clearly stated
        expectations in
        addition to feedback at various points during the lesson
        allowing for
        student improvement.
        2) communication between student and teacher in addition to
        teacher
        and parent / guardian
        3) observations of work in progress
        4) both self and peer assessment opportunities
        5) testing in more traditional forms providing that they are
        in line with
        the outcomes that are embedded in the standards
        6) holistic, summative evaluations done at the end of a
        project when all
        of its parts have been completed to give a more
        comprehensive picture
        of the work that was done - included would be an evaluation
        of the
        progress that was made from one aspect of the work to
        another as the
        various components making up an assignment helped to
        contribute to
        the final outcome
        7) development of guidelines for implemention considerations
        might
        incorporate:
        * adequate time frame given for completion of tasks
        * distribution / review of checklists as description of
        tasks ahead of time
        * timely completion of all paperwork / performances
        necessary for
        completion of project
        * consultation of responses to checklists in helping to
        determine level
        of success achieved
        8) establishment of rubrics to help determine standardized
        level of
        expectations
        
        Through as systematic as possible of an embedding of the
        following
        precepts within the classroom learning structure, the higher
        the overall
        level of achievement should become and the more successes
        will be
        enjoyed by the students both individually and as a group.
        Also, the
        greater will be the level of ability to communicate the
        reasons for those
        successes as students begin to develop a greater
        understanding of
        how in fact success can be both measured and attained.
        
        Kevan
        
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