Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fourth grader Scott's reflection in his electronic portfolio on his mural making process. Posted by Hello

Third grader Sarah's multimedia landscape. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Time To Assess Where We Are Going.....

I have been thinking about assessment since day one. One of the things we do here that I believe is unique to our program is electronic portfolios. Most days I have been walking around the room near the end of each class time with my digital camera and I have been taking pictures of student art and students engaged in art making activities. I take the image files and transfer them to folders on our LAN for our kids to access. Over time, the folders fill up with all kinds of images so kids have a lot of images to reflect on. I have the kids insert their images onto a PowerPoint file that serves as their electronic portfolio. Then, I ask them to write reflectivly on their art and experience. So far, we have had our 5th and 4th graders work with their electronic portfolios and I am quite pleased with the reflection aspect of the work. One of the things I also need to do is ask the right questions. I was talking with Clark about assessment the other day and had a dialectic of sorts on the Teaching Artistic Behavior list serve about essential questions. The question we came up with was "What do artists do?" From this question we can spin other essential questions for more reflective thinking and writing. So, assessment from electronic portfolios and reflective writing is where we are headed. I think we are also going to use checklists, and insert those into portfolios. Speaking of reflection...I have been looking at the quality of the art we are generating and I am seeing something of a mixed bag. Some of the work is very complex, especially considering it wasn't my idea for them to work from. Other works are very simplistic. The other thought I have is so what? If they are the originator of the idea, and they take the work as far as it can go....then they will have begun to undertake the work of the artist. Real artists work from their own ideas, not someone elses. This issue is what got me interested in Choice Based Art Education in the first place. I still feel like I need to do more to facilitate the complexity of student art....I know there is a balance to work toward and from....We will press on.