I admit it. I am a bit shamed. We have a bubble test (fill in the blank, A, B, C test in art). Remember filling in bubbles? The pressure? The agony? Well, I get to administer those types of tests in my classroom. Because I like data, I am happy to have these numbers to show student growth… but there are issues. First, let me fill you in.
Each Course or Grade in our K-12 Art program administers a pre and post test at the beginning and end of each school year, semester or 7 week period of study. These are graded by a machine and use an A, B, C answer structure. This is the only assessment we have. All students and courses must complete the Pre and Post Test. I could bore you with an example. Ok, I will…. because these tests really are not THAT bad, they just don’t measure everything we are teaching…
This is our 2nd grade pre/post test – Click below to view
According to Beattie (Assessment in Art Education by Donna K Beattie, Davis Publications, p. 7) assessment is used to gain information from one of three broad categories.
-Student Learning Outcomes
Our one assessment is trying to accomplish all of these things! It’s not working!
The information on our pre and post tests revolve around vocabulary, information recall and procedural knowledge.
This is important information to have about what our students know…. BUT.. According to the research shown next, it is a mere 1/6 of what arts are really teaching and should be assessing and reporting out on to gain a true picture of student growth.
Arts Assessment Should Show….
1.Knowledge of the content
2.Knowledge of skills and process integral to the discipline
3.Knowledge concerning why certain processes are used
4.Knowledge concerning metacognative skills for self reflection
5.Knowledge concerning motor skills and manipulation of tools
6.Knowledge about attitudes, interests and personal states of mind.
We are ready to make a huge change. I met with the administrators and told them some of the facts I have told you and we have FREE RANGE, a go ahead to dream and come up with any assessment plan we want, as long as we can show student growth.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO? What program wide assessment do you think would better represent what our students are truly learning? Does your district have a system assessment plan you use? Do tell!