The Politics of the Assessment Process
In chapter 1, the results of the project survey of artists, art teachers, and students suggest that the teacher’s perception of K-12 learning outcomes differs significantly from what artists and K-12 students seek to achieve. Although 90% of the teachers surveyed considered the elements and principles of design to be essential in learning art, both artists and students thought that “getting better at making art” should be the most important goal in art learning. Standardized tests also encourage the development of tests that are empirically based, including knowledge of elements and principles rather than strategies that measure expressive outcomes, such as the aesthetic quality of the art products and visual problem-solving abilities. Consequently, standardized assessment models may not be the best answers or “quick fixes” for improving instruction and raising student achievement. The variance between the goals set by art teachers and by artists and students, as well as other concerns, make a strong case for designing alternative art evaluation instruments and techniques for assessing expressive content more closely related to the nature of the artistic process.