Monday, October 24, 2011

Assessment of Student Learning

      I believe professional educators should consider the following assumptions when assessing both their student's progress and their own educational practices inside of the art classroom. Listed below are a wide variety of assessments that I conducted during my both art internship and state internship experiences.

    1. Because the quality of teaching directly affects the quality of learning, the development of my teaching skills directly enables those who are educated by me. I am expected to improve upon these skills in order to translate my knowledge base to my students in a contemporary/current teaching fashion. During my art internship, I observed and applied adaptations to lessons and then reflected upon the results concerning a “gifted student” in my classroom. The writing of the case study helped me to assess my own conduct by contrasting my student’s responses to the accommodations I made for him.
    2. I believe that making goals and objectives clear in the classroom also improves upon the realistic assessment of those skills/knowledge my students have gained from experiences they have had under my direction. These goals must state clear, measurable tasks and realistic, age appropriate thinking skills based upon Missouri standards. I’ve included a variety of rubric assessment prototypes that were used by myself and my cooperating teachers during my state internship in my portfolio.
    3. Consistent feedback from me helps my art students to measure their progress and learning style. Self-assessment techniques that promote self-instruction, frequent practice and self-motivation all insure students will perform tasks and fulfill goals set by me in the classroom. I taught a integrated lesson plan called “Luck of The Draw” while students teaching at a local high school. In this lesson, students were required to include both self-assessment and creative writing in order for me to measure their progress and learning styles. The completion of a studio assignment was worth only half of their grade. Students were required to translate their thoughts into writing in order to attain an additional 50% of their grade. This grading method definitely motivated the students to “self-assess.” Whereas, If I had only graded their studio project, I might not have the benefit of understanding and analyzing their deeper comprehension of this assignment. 

    4. Informal assessments about individuals best inform larger, more formal assessments made by the greater community. Successful teaching and assessment become closely related activities in order for valuable growth to occur. Only after this kind of training can formal assessments be made accurate by larger assessment communities like college institutions, SAT tests, or other governmental research groups. During my state internship, I was given ample opportunity to teach lesson plans that I personally composed. The "Parody and Satire Lesson Plan" is one of those lessons that I developed and “fine tuned” over several semesters. I conducted interviews personally with twenty-five of my students who produced artworks resulting from my original cultural lesson plan. These informal inquiries helped me to assess the developmental learning my students were experiencing. In time, I will be better equipped to accommodate state mandates if I consistently review and assess those lessons adapted for a variety of circumstances.
    5. By consistently challenging the student to ask questions and formulate new answers, I am providing challenges that motivate growth. It is not nearly sufficient for me to research my own materials and supply them. I must actively learn myself how to study the art of teaching those materials as well and transfer that information beyond academic research and exhibition. I must literally teach those materials to the students under my supervision. While teaching a simple drawing lesson to high school students, I discerned by looking at their work, they did not understand an assignment properly. I conducted a “Gallery Walk” in order to stimulate their self-examination concerning the assignment. Students were required to repeat the assignment in order for me to determine their comprehension of the activity. Their second drawings were by far superior to their first. Both my students and myself learned to be persistent in our assessments in order to gain greater understanding of the education processes.
    6. If am dedicated to my profession, I will be able to determine the learning processes of my students without relying on outside resources completely. I will be able to design "low tech" solutions to assessing my students without relying on expensive, outside resources. While working at an elementary school, I learned to write/draw visual instructions describing detailed processes for ceramic lesson plans after determining through observation that young students had difficulty remembering more than three procedures at a time.
    7. I can collaborate with other teachers and artists to conduct assessments and learning procedures that will enhance art activities in general. Synergy enables excellent assessment! Teachers achieve greater results when they work together as apposed to working alone. While attending a “work day” conference at a local high school, I took part in a literacy challenge. The English dept. assigned to me personally, the development of an art lesson including text features. The serious fulfillment of this challenge represents my willingness to work with other staff members in order to produce superior education materials that realistically address the needs of my students.