I understand everyone’s hesitancy about assessment, but the reality is you are going to be given performance reviews in your career. That’s on-the-job assessment, folks! I call it feedback. Giving and receiving feedback is an essential life skill. Period.
Sixteen years prior to becoming a teacher, I was in the graphic design industry. I got both 6-month and annual reviews from my employer. On TOP of that, I became Creative Director and had to present designs to clients for feedback. Boy, talk about being tested!
So, how does this translate to the art room? What does this look like for grading student artwork? I tell my elementary students about my prior career. I tell them, “I’m your client.” Under the auspices of that role, they understand from classroom discussion that I give them some artistic freedom and some guidelines.
I’m sorry, but doing what you want with your art supplies, while certainly creatively liberating, isn’t real world … except for that tiny fraction of our students who are going to try their hand at making it as a full-time artist. Even there, you are still going to have to please your public. See? I couldn’t even come up with an example that didn’t include some level of ‘assessment.’
So, I say make the best of it. Help your kids understand that this is ‘life stuff’ and help them think critically about what they are doing whether it’s full-choice or limited-choice or no-choice.
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