How do you assess your art students?
Julie Adams, Secondary Division Representative
With all the initiatives set upon teachers and the new assessment objectives implemented, I guess I am feeling overwhelmed. I am a veteran teacher at a new school, so I am being observed as a new teacher. Keeping up with all the standards, surveys, SLO data is a lot. I cannot imagine all the reading that the principal has to do on top of it all. I really feel this has got to change somehow. I have heard more and more stories of working long hours and unhealthy stress trying to keep up.
However...despite my reservations, all of this data collecting has made me take a look at how I assess my students. I have looked again at the state standards, the core standards, and targets to make sure my students are at the right level for which grade they are in. I have redone most of my assessments to include a self-assessment. I have also included a midpoint critique during each assignment. I hold critiques as assessment during final exams for high school. The students write critiques for their own work and the work of their peers, answering open-ended questions to help them think.
I think it both challenging to assess art work and I feel art teachers have the best way to assess students’ learning because visual proof is sometimes the best way to tell if someone is learning.
I attended a Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) workshop, Literacy and Assessment in the Fine Arts, given by Julie Palkowski from the Department of Public Instruction. She was very informative and invited us to contact her anytime or to visit DPI’s website to obtain information about assessment or how we address literacy in the arts. She encouraged us to invite others as well. I am now inviting you to check out all the information on the DPI website.
Another good source is the Art of Education website. I receive weekly emails from them with tips and information.
As always, if you have anything to share or would like me to check out anything for you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.