Saturday, March 3, 2012

Op Art 5th

Why Is Blue Dog Blue

Art Assessment Matters

Top 10 Reasons Art Assessment Matters

We need data in art education. Yes, what matters can’t always be measured. We know in our hearts all of unmeasurable things are happening in our art room. Instilling a love and appreciation of art, creative processes, divergent thinking, excitement, are the reasons I became an art teacher. But.. what is often not talked about is why having data showing student growth in art is important.

Data in Art Education is Important Because:
1. Program Evaluation: You have concrete numbers to see as a whole if your students are learning what you intended them to learn, and if your curriculum is any good. Does it spiral and build from year to year?

2. Program Saving: Lets face it, the arts are the first to be cut. Don’t you want data to fight back and show WHY you should be saved? I guarantee saying” But, I am doing great things” won’t cut it. Like it or not, People what numbers to back these claims.

3. Accountability: It makes you become more explicit about your teaching, making sure you are hitting the things that matter most. It holds you accountable for your teaching.

4. Intimidating: Yes, you really put yourself out there when numbers are attached to YOUR teaching and YOUR students learning, and it can be intimidating, but without risk there is no reward.

5. Risks: Obtaining data lets you take risks with your teaching, try new methods to ensure learning and in the end gets you to do things you never would have done, thus helping you as a teacher grow.

6. Teacher Reflection: Data shows a teacher EXACTLY what his or her students are not understanding. It helps you become a better teacher to zero in upon what you can improve on.

7. Student Reflection: Data shows students and parents EXACTLY what they are not understanding an provides a foundation for growth.

8. Pride: Having data to back your program gives you a sense of pride at what you have accomplished. I feel great to see my students started somewhere and ended up somewhere else. It’s so powerful. It also gives a student a sense of pride to see their accomplishment.

9. Innovative: Not everyone is doing it, kids. There are so many schools that are not using arts assessments. Do you want to be cutting edge? Get on the performance assessment bandwagon. Someone will notice.

10. Lets Face It, our Kids Deserve it: Kids deserve teachers who help them learn and grow. That is what our profession is all about. Showing that growth (through a variety of methods) is one way we are doing justice to our students and their learning. 

Arts Advocacy

I know that this document has been around for a while, but I think it’s important to reread every so often to remind ourselves of the power of the arts.
The excerpt below was taken from the National Art Education Association.

10 lessons the Arts Teach.
By Elliot Eisner

1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships.Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it
is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solutionand that questions can have more than one answer.

3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.

4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving
purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity.

Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

5. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know.
The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.

6. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects.The arts traffic in subtleties.

7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material.All art forms employ some means through which images become real.

8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said.When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.

9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other sourceand through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.

10. The arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young
what adults believe is important.

SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press.