Evaluating Art Learning
As teachers plan art learning activities, they should consider what students know about various art concepts and processes in order to develop useful experiences for them. Should thieve art tests? If so, what should they look like? A drawing test? An art history quiz? That sounds pretty intimidating. And, it probably goes against our very ideas about art. What about individuality, anyway?
Many times when we think of evaluation, our thoughts turn to papers and pencils, stress, and percentages. Actually, there are any number of ways to figure out where students level of art learning is without all the anxiety and averaging. If you want to know what students know and can do, why not ask them? Or, better still, let them show you.
Evaluation is all about collecting evidence of learning and assigning some “value” to it. We usually place value by comparisons. Some basic comparisons in art education are, product or performance against:
Basically, what you as a teacher need to do for sound evaluation in art is to clarify what you want your students to know, figure out what your students could say, make, or do (your “criteria”) to show you they know, and then compare what they actually say, make, or do to your criteria. How much did each student change? Write it down in a short description. Don’t bother with a grade! That way, when parents come, you (and your students) will have something to tell them, and probably something to show, too!
I teach future art teachers at Emporia State University. Here is what is going on in my classes.