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Structures of and values inherent in senior secondary student asessment in studio art in Britain and… Blaikie, Fiona 1992

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We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASTRUCTURES OF AND VALUES INHERENT IN SENIOR SECONDARYSTUDENT ASSESSMENT IN STUDIO ART IN BRITAINAND NORTH AMERICAbyFIONA MARY BLAIKIEB.A. (Art)., The University of Cape Town, 1978M.A., The University of Victoria, 1989A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction)November, 1992© FIONA MARY BLAIKIEIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of Centre for the Study of Curriculum & InstructionThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate ^-Vtii) 0 d-010.0.// l 1 2-DE-6 (2/88)AbstractVisible models of assessment of senior secondarystudio art in Britain and North America are analysedand compared. In Britain, The General Certificate inSecondary Education (GCSE), specifically, the LondonEast Anglian Examining Board (LEAG) assessment model isexamined, and in North America, Advanced Placement(AP), Arts PROPEL, and International Baccalaureate(IB). Assessment structures and criteria forassessment are examined in order to reveal arteducational values inherent in assessment practices.The problem is threefold: The subjective nature ofstudio art has rendered assessment difficult; problemshave been associated with methods adopted for assessingstudio art, and with determining the purposes of arteducation.Findings are that similar structures characterizethe qualitative studio art assessment strategiesstudied: Criteria are delineated; norm referencingthrough rank ordering occurs, and assessments depend onprofessional judgements by art educators. In all casesexcept for Arts PROPEL, judgements occurintersubjectively through moderation, enhancingreliability.With regard to values implicit in assessmentcriteria, all the strategies focus on understanding ofform.^LEAG and IB assessments are similar in theiremphasis on linking art and design, form and function,historical, critical, and contextual understanding.LEAG, IB, and Arts PROPEL assessments focus on evidenceof process as well as product. All the strategies arepersonally relevant to students in that they determinethe thematic nature of their studio inquiries.The assessment approaches examined are adaptableto varied teaching contexts, and thus are suitablemodels for regional or national assessment. Because ofits grassroots support nationally, and itssophisticated accommodation of contextual andmulticultural understandings of art, LEAG emerges as aworthwhile model to emulate.iiiTable of ContentsAbstract  ^ iiTable of contents ivAcknowledgements^ ixCHAPTER ONE: Introduction^ 1Background to the study 1Assessment and evaluation^ 3Purpose of the study 6Statement of the problem^ 6Rationale^ 12Research questions^ 13Research strategy 13Limitations^ 14Organization of the study^ 15CHAPTER TWO: Assessment structure in Britain^ 17Introduction: Background to assessment practicesin Britain^ 17Foundations of assessment practices^ 19Curriculum structure and its relationship toassessment^ 20ivvThe role of the teacher in assessment^ 26The role of the student in assessment 32Assessment procedure^ 37Conclusion: Outcomes of assessment^ 45CHAPTER THREE: Values inherent in assessment in BritainIntroduction^ 47Conceptual understanding of form in art anddesign^ 48Understanding process^ 50Art and design as interrelated^ 51Form and function; contextual understanding^ 53Historical understanding^ 56The personal critical opinion 58Conclusion^ 61CHAPTER FOUR: Assessment structure in North AmericaIntroduction^ 65Standardized tests^ 65Assessment and discipline-based art education^ 78Advanced Placement: assessment structure^ 82Arts PROPEL: assessment structure^ 92International Baccalaureate:assessment structure^ 97Multiculturalism and assessment inNorth America^ 104Conclusion 104CHAPTER FIVE: Values inherent in assessment in NorthAmerica^ 106Introduction 106Conceptual understanding of form inart and design^ 106Advanced Placement^ 107Arts PROPEL^ 110International Baccalaureate^ 114Understanding process^ 116Advanced Placement 116Arts PROPEL^ 118International Baccalaureate^ 121Form and function; contextual understanding^ 122Advanced Placement^ 122Arts PROPEL^ 123International Baccalaureate^ 125viviiHistorical understanding^ 127Advanced Placement 127Arts PROPEL^ 128International Baccalaureate^ 129The personal critical opinion 130Conclusion^ 131CHAPTER SIX: Comparative analysis of strategies andvalues inherent in senior secondary assessment ofstudio art in Britain and North America^ 131Assessment structure^ 136Values inherent in assessment practices^ 141Conceptual understanding of form inart and design^ 141Understanding process^ 143Art and design as interrelated^ 145Form and function; contextualunderstanding^ 146Historical understanding^ 148The personal critical opinion^ 149Conclusion^ 150viiiCHAPTER SEVEN: Conclusions^ 153Implications^ 160Recommendations 166REFERENCES^ 169APPENDICESAPPENDIX 1: London East Anglian Group: Structure andCriteria for GCSE Assessment^ 182APPENDIX 2: Advanced Placement: Structure and Criteriafor Assessment^ 183APPENDIX 3: Arts PROPEL: Structure and Criteria forAssessment^ 185APPENDIX 4: International Baccalaureate: Structure andCriteria for Assessment^ 186AcknowledgementsWith affection and gratitude I should like toacknowledge the support given to me by my advisor, Dr.Ronald MacGregor, and by members of my committee, Dr.James Gray, Dr. Graeme Chalmers, Dr. Anna Kindler, andDr. Stuart Richmond. I should like to thank Dr. AnnaKindler most warmly for her role as mentor. At timeswhen I needed support, affection, and advice beyond thedissertation, she was there.Several people were most helpful in sending mepapers relating to my dissertation topic. In thisregard, I should like to thank Dr. Arthur Efland, Dr.Mary Ann Stankiewicz, Dr. Nick Webb, Ms. PatsyMcCorkell, Dr. Sandra Finlayson, Dr. Howard Gardner,Dr. Michael Day, Dr. Louis Lankford, Dr. Ted Miller,Dr. Gilbert Clark, Dr. Ronald Silverman, Mr. JohanLigvoet, and Dr. Doug Boughton.As a result of an introduction by Dr. StuartRichmond, I have engaged in most worthwhilecorrespondence with Mr. Tony Chisholm at Bretton Hallin Yorkshire. I should like to thank Tony warmly forthe invaluable papers, videos, and monograms he hasi xsent me over the last two years, for reading drafts ofthis dissertation, and for his interest and support. Ishould also like to thank Mr. John Steers, and Dr.Brent Wilson for most stimulating conversations andadvice on the topic of assessment.Over the last three years I have grown very fondof my fellow graduate students in Visual and PerformingArts at the University of British Columbia. Inparticular, I wish to acknowledge the consistent andsubtle caring of Gudrun Helgadottir. I have learnt agreat deal from her example as a human being. I shouldalso like to thank Kirstie Lang, Pamela Tarlow-Calder,Christa Volk, Akosua Addo, and Alex Allen who was mosthelpful with faxes and couriers.I have enjoyed support from many friends, andfamily members. I should especially like to thankDavid Blaikie, Carol Wright, Alix Allen, ReneeFountain, Rod Sharman, Lynne Malyon, and Simon andJanice Chetwynd-Palmer. Special thanks go to TerryHumby, who endured countless hours of misery on thetelephone.xCHAPTER ONEIntroductionBackground to the studyIn recent North American history, assessment inart education has been almost taboo, particularly sincethe trend established by Lowenfeld (1947) in Creative and Mental Growth, against imposing adult conceptionsof art on students. Another trend which has had animpact on assessment has been Dewey's (1934) thesis inArt as Experience that the process of making andexperiencing art is singularly important, leading to apersisting emphasis on process rather than product.Burkhart (1965) maintains that from 1957, a movementoccurred away from the notion of developing aestheticcriteria for assessing art products, to one based onthe nature of the individual student's strategies andprocedures. The emphasis on process is evident inGodfrey's (1964) paper, where she stresses the role ofself assessment through self reflection. Other arteducators are wary of assessment (Eisner, 1971, andRoss, 1985): Eisner asks "How Can You Measure aRainbow?" and Ross declares that in art education1grades must be eliminated entirely. More recently,Hamblen (1988) conceives of art learning as unique inthe curriculum, and threatened by assessmentstrategies.In contrast, Richardson (1980) maintains that thequestion "'Is it ethical to evaluate'? is a nonsensequestion. It is a psychological impossibility for aconscious human being not to evaluate every situationin which he/she is" (p.5). He declares that althoughthe artsexist in what might be called the aesthetic realmof the human psyche and experience...This realm ischaracterized by its involvement with theemotional, the emotive, the subjective and theirrational. But it is quite possible to be clear-thinking and rational about irrational things.(p.3)In spite of negative views of assessment in art,sophisticated strategies are in place in Britain andNorth America. These strategies are regional,national, and international with regard to the studentpopulations they serve. This study will address howqualitative assessment of studio art functions, andwill identify values upheld in assessment practices.2Assessment and evaluationIt is essential that I define the terms assessmentand evaluation, because I shall be referring to both,and they are not synonymous. There exists a variedliterature on the subject. Evaluation frequently isassociated with programme evaluation. Stufflebeam(1971) for example, delineates the CIPP model, which islinear in nature, and concerned with examiningprogrammes with regard to context, input, process, andproduct. Scriven (1967) describes evaluation as bothsummative and formative. Stake (1975) proposes what heterms a responsive model to programme evaluation, inwhich the emphasis in gathering and interpreting datais qualitative, informal, and cyclical.Evaluation takes on a number of functions, asdescribed by Stufflebeam and Webster (1980), rangingfrom objectives-based studies, to accountability-basedstudies which examine whether educators are carryingout their responsibilities, to experimental evaluationwhich links causal relationships between treatment andachievement. Evaluation usually is directed withparticular clients in mind: consumers, politicians, andeducational agencies. To assist educational clients,3Stufflebeam and Webster identify standardized testingof individual students (pp.9-10), which serves toprovide general information about achievement levels inschools.It will be apparent from the above thatevaluation, in the broadest of terms, is concerned withcommenting on the worthwhileness of programmes andactivities. In education, as in other enterprises, thedefinition of evaluation changes depending on itsfunction in a particular context.Assessment and evaluation both involve makingjudgements, but they are somewhat different in nature.Assessment is related more definitively to providingfeedback on individual students. Tyler (1967) forexample, defines assessment as "dependable measures ofoutput" (p.15) related to "level of studentachievement" (p.15). According to Maurice Barrett(1990), assessment refers to the judgement of a processor product, in terms of a spectrum of explicitly statedcriteria. Assessment implies some form of measurementof achievement, based on a student's performance.Detailed descriptors which characterize typical effortsat various achievement levels provide an accurate4account of performance. A learner seeking feedback maybe made aware of qualitative differences betweendegrees of average, good, and so on.Assessment involves finding the descriptor levelwhich will best describe the work under examination.This involves measuring the degree of successfulachievement in terms of a specific criterion.Assessment is specific, and analytical, and looks atparticular aspects of a student's performance. Allison(1986) holds that assessment is different fromevaluation because "it is one of the factors upon whichevaluations can be made" (p.115). Evaluation tends tobe wholistic--one tends to be looking at an overallimpression in evaluating; seeking for themes,metaphors, patterns, and general trends. Evaluation isoften intuitive--more concerned with the assessor'soverall response to a qualitative phenomenon. It couldbe argued that all evaluation is to some extentsubjective, and that the ontology of the evaluator isclosely linked to the phenomenon being judged.Eisner's (1985) notion of educational connoisseurshipis a good example of evaluative, intuitive, wholisticjudging.5Purpose of the studyThe first purpose of this study is to analyse andcompare visible models of assessment of seniorsecondary studio art in Britain and North America. Thesecond purpose is to examine objectives and criteriafor assessment, in order to report on art educationalvalues inherent in assessment practices.Statement of the problemSeveral issues contribute to the definition of theproblem: First, the activity of assessment isfundamental in education, and in the art world--artists and art critics engage in ongoing criticalreflection. Yet many art educators are reluctant toassess student learning in art. Assessment is acontentious issue.The idea that art teachers should not makeaesthetic judgements is prevalent in the literature(Eisner, 1971, Ross, 1985). Quast (1985), for example,maintains that grades "threaten the individual"(p.149), and that art should be a place within theschool system where "there should be a refuge fromstandard systems of marking" (p.149).6While the activity of assessment is fundamental inthe arts and education, in the school context,historically, problems seem to arise from the nature ofmaking an aesthetic judgement. Burkhart (1965) pointsout that the issue is rooted in deciding the meaning ofan aesthetic judgement, declaring that judgements aboutart products are difficult to accept because they aresubjective. Burkhart, citing Beittel, declares that noobjective or stable aesthetic criteria can be appliedto the assessment of art products. Further to this,Burkhart suggests that students and teachers alikeperceive the meaning of aesthetic quality in differentways.The difficulty seems to lie in confusion betweenaesthetic and educational judgements. Teachers areuncomfortable about making aesthetic judgements becausein addition to concerns about subjectivity, theyquestion the educational value of such judgements. Inlight of this problem, Stevenson (1983) holds thatteachers should focus on assessing the degree oflearning achieved, rather than aesthetic quality itself(p.311). This still presents a difficulty, however,because it is not always easy to separate achievement7from the aesthetic quality of art work.The second problem, which emanates from the first,is that while assessment is a central activity in artand in education, difficulties originate fromassessment methods adopted. Hausman (1988) declaresthat problems arise as a result of strategies which areinappropriate and antithetical to the values of art.He believes that this happens because the qualitativenature of art sometimes is forced into quantitativemodes of measurement. For example, in the UnitedStates some states have developed standardized tests toassess students in art (Finlayson, 1988). Finlaysonnotes that some of these tests are based on questionsin the National Assessments of Educational Progress(NAEP) in art. The NAEP tests were conducted in theUnited States in the 1970s (NAEP: The art exam, 1978).The standardized testing approach to educationalassessment holds an important position in NorthAmerica, although many art educators do not consider itsuitable for the assessment of studio work (Burkhart,1965; Chalmers, 1989, 1991; Clark, Zimmerman &Zurmuehlen, 1987; Day, 1985; Dorn, 1988; Efland,Koroscik, & Parsons, 1991; Eisner, 1985; Finlayson,81988; Gardner, 1989, 1991a, 1991b; Godfrey, 1964;Hamblen, 1987, 1988; Hausman, 1988; Kobisz, 1976;MacGregor, 1991a; Rubin, 1982; Ross, 1985; Stankiewicz,1991, Zimmerman, 1991).While standardized testing is characterizedsometimes as an inappropriate strategy for assessingstudio art, there are alternatives based on qualitativemethods. Duthie (1969) for example, notes that thedesign of any assessment strategy, including a test, isa subjective, creative act. Yet he maintains that whenimpressions of judges are matched on an inter-subjective basis for assessment, it is possible toassess what he terms the uncountable.Richardson (1980) and Stevenson (1983) believethat assessment should focus on what has been learned.Further, Richardson holds that an important aspect ofart assessment has to do with learning to express ideasverbally about art:We must work diligently to refine our verbalexpression about art--define our terms and usethem consistently. Literary and music criticsseem to have less of a problem in this regard....That it must be possible to break through thecommunication barrier is shown by the waypsychologists, who deal (as artists do) with theirrational (or arational or non rational, lessloaded terms) are able to communicate pretty well.(p.6)9Currently, there are thriving qualitative studioassessment models in place on a national basis invarious countries--for example, Britain, TheNetherlands, and Australia. In addition,internationally based qualitative assessments of studioart exist through Advanced Placement and InternationalBaccalaureate programmes. Maling (1983) holds thatwith the tendency toward a more content-basedcurriculum in art in North America, art educators aremoving away from the progressive art education trendwhich saw assessment asdistorting the processes of both art andteaching/learning in pursuit of a "scientific"truth. Such a reaction, however relevant twentyyears ago, is now, I believe, outmoded: the fieldof evaluation has shifted; the demands forevaluation have increased; the challenge is forart educators to respond--and there are nowevaluative approaches available to the professionthat can work for it rather than against it.(p.29)A third problem is that there has been difficultydefining boundaries in art education, and thereforedifficulty defining an exclusive conception of artknowledge. In this regard, Stevenson states thatwhile it has been much harder than most peopleenvisaged to state goals and evaluate theirattainments in the basic skills of reading and10mathematics, it is a formidable task for thearts...^(p.299)Currently, the field of art education is represented bya plurality of values and value systems. This conflictconcerning the meaning and purpose of art education isreflected in resistance to assessment, and in variedapproaches to assessment ranging from standardizedtests (Finlayson, 1988), to several qualitativestrategies (Askin, 1985, Gardner, 1989, Chalmers, 1990,Taylor, 1991).Positions dominating the field in North Americainclude discipline-based art education (Greer, 1984); afeminist emphasis in art education (Collins & Sandell,1987); a child-centred conception of art education(Jeffers, 1990), which is linked to a studio-basedconception of art education (Read, 1958; Michael,1980), and a multicultural emphasis rooted in sociologyand anthropology (Chalmers, 1981; McFee, 1986). InBritain the notion of Critical Studies is dominant, andcombines art, craft, and design, art criticism, and arthistory (Taylor, 1986; Steers, 1987).Three problems drive this study: First, assessingart is a contentious issue, as practices for art1 1assessment are born of contending and conflictingpositions. Second, assessment methods often areincompatible with the qualitative nature of studio art.Third, art education is represented by a plurality ofvalue positions, each with its own agenda in terms ofeducational purposes. This makes for a difficult taskof articulating any one kind of assessment strategy fora variety of learning objectives.RationaleIn my search of the literature, I found that astudy of this kind has not been undertaken previously.While papers have been written and presented onspecific assessment strategies, I found no evidence ofa comparative analysis on an international scale. Nordid I find evidence of an examination of valuesinherent in assessment practices.I believe this study will be useful in thefollowing ways: First, I will address the fundamentalproblem of assessment in studio art, examiningstrategies in place in Britain and North America.Second, I will report on aesthetic and educationalvalues inherent in the assessment strategies analysed.12Third, I will compare approaches to and values inherentin senior secondary studio art assessment in Britainand North America, examining similarities anddifferences. I will conclude by arguing for aconception of assessment which embraces the largerconcerns of the field.Research questions1. What are the structures of, and strategies employedin senior secondary studio assessment in Britain andNorth America?2. a. What criteria emerge as significant in assessmentstrategies?2.b. What values do these criteria support?Research strategyThis thesis is a study of assessment of seniorsecondary studio art in Britain and North America, asreported in the literature.First, I analysed assessment strategies,scrutinizing the relevant literature. This includedjournal articles, curriculum materials, and guides13preparing art teachers and students for upcomingassessments.In closely examining criteria for assessment, Ifound that common themes emerged, some unifying all theassessment strategies through similarity, othersreflecting fundamental differences in approach. Thisdiscovery led me to the second step: To reveal valuesinherent in assessment practices through examining andcomparing assessment strategies. On this evidence, Isum up this study by focusing on similarities anddifferences in visible models of senior secondarystudio art assessment in Britain and North America,examining strategies and inherent values.LimitationsThis study is based on an examination of theliterature on art education and assessment. Therefore,while I report on assessment strategies currently inplace, my conclusions are not related to personalobservation of practices, but rather, to what isreported about assessment practices in the literature.Second, this study is limited to the assessment ofstudio art. Other components of art education, such as19art history, are assessed formally by various agenciesof bodies. However, discussion of assessment in theseareas would have rendered the study unmanageable,because of the overwhelming amount of materialavailable in the literature on art history and arttheory assessment.Third, the study is limited to the assessment ofstudents, and further, to the assessment of seniorsecondary (or grade eleven and twelve) students ofstudio art.Fourth, this study is limited to assessmentstrategies which are visible in the literature, and inthe field, and which are widespread rather thanoccurring as the initiative of one school, for example.Organization of the studyIn Chapter Two, I examine senior secondary studioassessment in Britain. This is followed in ChapterThree by an analysis of values inherent in assessmentstrategies in Britain. In Chapter Four, I examinestudio assessment in North America, followed in ChapterFive by an analysis of values inherent in assessmentstrategies. In Chapter Six, I compare approaches to15assessment and values inherent in assessment of studioart in Britain and North America, highlightingsimilarities and differences. In Chapter Seven, Iconclude by reflecting on the problems addressed inthis study, discussing implications, and formingrecommendations.16CHAPTER TWOAssessment structures in BritainIntroduction: Background to assessment practicesBritish art educators have conducted formalassessment and evaluation in art since the nineteenthcentury. As far back as 1843, art inspectorship wasestablished as a diagnostic and evaluative office(MacDonald, 1970, p.379).Currently, students in art and design are formallyassessed in Britain at the senior secondary level.Students aged sixteen may opt to take art and designfor the General Certificate of Secondary Education(GCSE) qualification. The GCSE is a high schoolqualification for students not intending to pursue auniversity career. Eighteen year old studentsintending to pursue a university career must completeat least two A (Advanced) level examinations, but moreusually three, at specified grades, depending on therequirements of the university.The GCSE qualification replaces the old CSE(Certificate of Secondary Education) which was offeredto students intending to pursue vocational goals, and17the 0 (Ordinary) level examinations for those intendingto continue with A levels. GCSE was introduced in1986, and first examined in 1988 (J. Steers, personalcommunication, September, 1992).As a result of the Education Reform Act of 1988,the CSE and 0 level qualifications were mergedofficially in the new GCSE. In addition, formalassessment in art has been extended, in principle, fromsenior secondary assessment at age sixteen (GCSE), toinclude nation-wide formal assessments of all childrenat ages seven, eleven, and fourteen. The new NationalCurriculum--the outcome of the Education Reform Act of1988, is due to be introduced at Key Stages 1, 2, and 3in the Autumn of 1992, and in Autumn 1995 for Key Stage4 (J. Steers, personal communication, September, 1992).The GCSE and A level qualifications in art anddesign will remain in place in the new NationalCurriculum. Because primarily I am concerned withsenior secondary level assessment in art, I will focuson these two qualifications, but specifically on theGCSE.18Foundations of assessment practicesThere are several variables which reinforce thesmooth functioning of assessment in Britain.Assessment is mediated between teacher and studentthrough a self directed programme of study, selfassessment, reflection, and open dialogue. Assessmentis primarily local-teacher controlled rather than beinga top down practice where the teacher acts as passiveagent. In addition, a system of moderation operates inwhich the teacher's final assessment is calibrated byone or more external examiners. In this regard, Duthie(1969) points out that it is possible to quantify theuncountable, or qualitative, by comparing andcorrelating the opinions of judges with regard tospecific criteria.While moderation guarantees a form ofstandardization across schools, it can lead to apredictable form of orthodoxy in the type of workproduced. British art educator Chisholm noted in anearlier draft of this study that this is a danger whichneeds to be addressed (A. Chisholm, personalcommunication, May 1992).The permutations which assessment may take are19numerous: formal and informal; formative andsummative; process versus product; criterion and normreferenced; learner and teacher judged, and finally,internal versus external assessment. The Britishassessment system involves all of the above.Taylor and Taylor (1990) write that the purposesof assessment are numerous: to motivate; to predictability and to identify excellence; to diagnoselearning and teaching problems and achievements; tocertify, classify, and compare (p.5). In this regard,the Task Group on Assessment and Testing state that"Assessment is at the heart of the process of promotingchildren's learning" (National Curriculum, 1989,p.6:1).Curriculum structure and its relationship to assessmentIn this section I shall examine what is assessed;in the following sections I shall examine the role ofthe teacher, and then the role of the student withinthis assessment framework, which will lead me toexamine more specifically how assessment isaccomplished.20Chisholm (1991) points out that in Britain, arteducation is composed of two interactive components:art and design. Four general focus areas directlearning in art: expressive/productive; perceptual;analytical/critical, and historical/cultural. Chisholmnotes that over and above the critical andcontemplative, practical engagement is the predominantfocus of activity at the GCSE level.Students are encouraged to develop pluralistic,comparative, and receptive understandings andperspectives in the study of art in design, and designin art. These foci indicate an emphasis whichencompasses knowledge of and sensitivity tomulticulturalism and gender issues (Steers, 1990,p.12).In a study guide for students at the GCSE level,Read (1989) outlines four fundamental aspects of thecurriculum, which are similar to those mentioned abovebut which stress a more research-based focus: critical,historical and contextual appreciation; observation andanalysis; investigation and experimentation, andinterpretation and imagination. Read's analysis isreflected in Steers' (1990) description of the three21foundational domains in art and design education,delineated by the Report of the Working Party: DraftGrade Criteria in Art and Design. These three areasrefer to a research-based approach to examiningcritical, contextual, conceptual, and studio content inart and design education:A Conceptual Domain that is concerned with theformation and development of ideas and concepts.A Productive Domain that is concerned with theabilities to select, control and use the formaland technical aspects of art and design in therealisation of ideas, feelings and intentions.A Critical and Contextual Domain  that isconcerned with those aspects of art and designwhich enable candidates to express ideas andinsights which reflect a developing awareness oftheir own work and that of others. (p.11)Even after the national curriculum is implementedin Britain in Autumn 1992, assessment procedures willcontinue to be administered by several examiningbodies, known as examining boards or groups. Thissystem will remain in place for the foreseeable future,but there will inevitably be a standardization ofassessment procedures. At present there are fiveexamining groups for England and Wales, and thus fivesomewhat different assessment models. Nevertheless,all cater to the same national criteria for art anddesign. In selecting one group, the London East22Anglian Group or LEAG, for my discussion of GCSEassessment, I am confident from my examination of eachof the five examining groups, that it conforms to acommon assessment pattern.In the London and East Anglian curriculum model(known as a syllabus in Britain) students must involvethemselves in exploring three areas: Basic elements andprinciples of design, varied processes and procedures,and studio practices. Studio areas offered range fromdrawing, painting and collage, and textile design, tophotography, film and video. In principle, a widerange of choice is possible: In the endorsed option, astudent chooses to focus on one of these studio areas.In the unendorsed option, a student could combine twoor three studio areas for submission. Constraints maybe determined by access to studio facilities within theschool, and the specialist interests of the teacher.Studio practices and research procedures togetherprovide the link between concepts and studio work inart and design, and the thematic direction the studytakes: Students elect to investigate their chosenmedium or media and related concepts/context via aspecific research focus. For example, studio work may23be explored through an approach based on thematicenquiry and response, or the approach may be based oncritical appraisal and analysis. The LEAG syllabus(1991) states: "For example, a study mainly based onthe SEQUENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF IDEAS, STUDY AND PRACTICEmight explore only SHAPE, COLOUR AND PATTERN, whilstconcentrating on TEXTILE DESIGN, FABRIC, WOVEN ANDKNITTED" (p.5).Assessment is based on a final presentationcomposed of coursework, and an examination. The latteris set externally by the Examining Group, and iscomposed of themes from which, and related to which thestudent must develop ideas for studio pieces.Examination preparation over a period of ten to twentyweeks is conducted in much the same way as coursework,and is known as preparatory studies. Students conducta series of studio based explorations of the topic(s)in which they are interested. The examination periodconcludes with a ten hour controlled test, in whichstudents are required to produce studio piecesdeveloped from their preparatory studio work. The tenhour controlled test is not undertaken in one sitting,but over a period of days. As part of their24coursework, and in the preparatory studies component,students are required to show evidence of thedevelopment of their ideas, and evidence ofdocumentation of ideas (see Appendix 1 for Structureand Criteria for GCSE assessment).At the A level, assessment structure is somewhatdifferent. For example, in the University of CambridgeLocal Examinations Syndicate Examination Regulationsfor 1990, both or either Art and Design (studio based),and Art and Design: Historical and Critical may beselected. In the studio based course, assessment isderived from coursework, and a ten hour controlledart/design studio assignment, which students preparefor in advance. In addition, students are required toconduct a critical/historical/cultural research projector Personal Study. In the Historical and Criticalcourse, students are required to sit a three hourwritten examination based on Western Art, Architecture,and Design since 1900, as well as to present a researchproject, titled Individual Study. The Individual Studymay not be the same subject as that submitted for thePersonal Study. In addition, students must write athree hour examination based on selected aspects of25Pre-Modern Art, Architecture, and Design.Steers (1990) asserts that since 1960, when theassessment system in Britain was expanded to includeeighty percent of sixteen year old students, "there isa consensus view that standards of teaching andlearning have improved" (p.1). He maintains that atthat time there was concern that the expansion of theassessment system would hamper creativity, althoughthis has not been the case (p.1).To conclude, curriculum structure is centred on anintegrated combination of production, perception, andcriticism, within historical and contextual frameworks(Chisholm, 1990). Taylor (1989) asserts that in theart and design curriculum, of foundational importanceis creating a bridge between the study of otherpeople's art and design and one's own. This is thekeystone of the Critical Studies approach in Britain,along with the individually determined research-basedemphasis of art and design education at the seniorsecondary level.The role of the teacher in assessmentThe teacher's role in assessing students in art26and design is central. Assessment is locallyadministered, so that the teacher is not implementingstrategies which are externally determined.The teacher is instrumental in establishingassessment criteria with each student on an individualbasis, using the self-determined intentions andcriteria established by individual students with regardto their work.John Steers (1990), Secretary of the NationalSociety for Education in Art and Design, describes thesystem in Britain as a "'bottom up' process as opposedto the 'top down' model where the assessment experthands down from on high a perfectly designed assessmentsystem" (p.3). He argues that although individualteacher assessments coupled with moderation areessential aspects of the systemit is not enough to rely on simple teacherconsensus based on a kind of connoisseurship ofthe culture of art education. In common with theDutch, the British examination system at the GCSEand "Advanced" level has moved steadily in thepast ten years from a dependence on the "gutreactions" of experienced external ("off-site")examiners to a more open, teacher controlledsystem in which increasingly refined assessmentcriteria are being developed. (p.9)27Steers maintains that in the United Kingdom, teachershave less faith than they once had in theinfallibility of the external examiner and,commensurate with increased teacher "ownership" ofthe examination system, there is a greateremphasis on the interactive roles of the teacherand pupil in the assessment process. Thisinvolves sharing criteria for assessment and hereparallels can be drawn with Schonau's descriptionof the significance of the notions of "self-reliance" and "differentiation" and the importanceof understanding the student's "different lines ofapproach" in the Dutch examinations. (p.9)A basic assumption implicit in the practice ofassessment is that art and design products reveal theexperiences and understanding which the student hasacquired. Along with these products are ongoing workprojects revealing procedures, or process, and writtenwork revealing the students' thinking, problems,strategies, and decisions. The product is seen asdeterminate with regard to meaning: It is assumed thatknowledge, skills, and understanding which havedeveloped are visible in art products, and will revealexperiences and procedures as well as outcomes.This is because the products which assessors examineare not just finished pieces of work, but ongoingsketches, ideas, written and visual, revealingcontinuing process and progress.28A second assumption is that the teacher is able toteach basic skills and techniques in studio art, aswell as the strategies needed to think critically aboutart. Therefore it is assumed that the teacher hasacquired a body of knowledge and skills to impart tothe student. For example, Taylor and Taylor (1990)declare:They can be taught how to measure, how to copewith foreshortening and proportion, how tosummarise and capture the essentialcharacteristics of each particular pose and how tomake constructive use of all the other elementswhich contribute to the rigorous study of thefigure--movement, surface and texture, and so on.In other words, all students can be taught to drawthe figure at an objective level and can thenbegin to utilise the resulting skills in otherareas of their art practice. (pp. 2-3)Third, it is assumed that the teacher is able to makeaesthetic judgements about the students' artwork, andthat it is legitimate for the teacher to do so, basedon his/her expertise with regard to the body ofknowledge which constitutes the content of art anddesign education. Further, it is assumed that theteacher is able to understand and critically assess thedynamics of images in terms of form, content, andintention. Finally, it is assumed that the teacher is29able to impart this critical ability to the student.In this regard, Price (1989) states:My central intention is to argue that theacquisition of critical skills should be anessential objective in the education of each andevery pupil, and that within the broad spectrum ofthe visual arts there is enormous potential forproviding the means to develop the individual'scritical powers. In particular, I maintain strongcommitment to the feasibility of taught access tothe artistic product of any and all specificperiods or cultures. (p.113)While the teacher's job is made easier bypublications such as Clement's (1990/1986) The Art Teacher's Handbook, in which curriculum foundations,approaches, and procedures are clearly described,Clement's approach seems overly concerned with formalaspects of images, and with figurative style. Clement,a member of the Art Working Group Committee, hadconsiderable input into the 1990 Interim Report of theArt Working Group, advising the British Government onpractices in art education for the new NationalCurriculum. In response to that report, Steers (1991a)warns that the conception of art education content inthe Report is too rooted in objective study. He30states:The Interim Report gives the impression that allvisual work begins and develops in a given manner:a drawn observation of the external world from avisual stimulus. The implicit notion of first-hand experience "recorded, analysed and presented"as the only way of stimulating responses or actingas starting points is too narrow and, unlessbalanced by other approaches, there is a danger ofthe report encouraging a narrow orthodoxy. Amongthe many undesirable results of this would be asevere limitation of the contributions art anddesign is capable of offering to technology. Forexample, it would eliminate entirely the conceptof design ideas originating as a result of theaesthetic engagement of an emotion. The conceptof styling, which is often non-figurative inorigin, would also be excluded. (p.4)Conflict relating to the teacher's role in determiningthe form, content, and style of images is evident.Swift (1991), for example, is critical of a new book byRod and Dot Taylor (1990), a study guide for seniorsecondary art and design students. Swift finds theprojects overly concerned with the figurative, and witha particularly linear stylistic quality. Examinationof the Taylors' book is likely to leave the experiencedart educator more than half persuaded that Swift has apoint. As in the Clement (1990/1986) text forteachers, there does seem to be a tendency towardsimagery which is figurative in nature.31The role of the student in assessmentThat there is a body of knowledge to be acquired inthe GCSE art and design curriculum--a subjectdiscipline with a specific body of information, skillsand strategies, is revealed in several books publishedspecifically for students as study guides (Clement,1990/1986; Read, 1989; Taylor & Taylor, 1990). Thesebooks aim to show students how they might achievehigher grades, and thus are geared to making thefoundations of the curriculum, and the criteria forassessment very explicit to the individual student.Central in the students' experience of the GCSEart and design course is the need for them to developcritical skills, both with regard to their own work,and the work of others. This ability to understand andcritically reflect upon images is seen as pivotal inart learning in Britain. The development of aestheticsensitivity, and a sense of critical perception arerequired of the student. Along with these is the needfor students to develop their own programmes of workwithin the curriculum structure and criteria for theGCSE qualification. A high degree of personal32involvement, commitment, and motivation are required,as well as an interest in independent research which isapposite and personally relevant.Critical Studies (Taylor, 1987; Taylor & Taylor,1990) involving art and design production andreflection, perhaps best epitomizes the centralactivity of GCSE art and design candidates. In hisstudy guide for GCSE candidates, Read (1989) describesthe approach:The personal opinion is the essential content of a critical study. You are not expected to just reada book, precis it and write it all out for yourteachers and the examiner. Your teachers and theexaminer are more concerned with what you think than with your ability to read and precis someother person's work. Of course, your opinion canhave more credibility if you can find cases ofother people supporting what you say and argue, soa sensible mixture is called for (p.67).With regard to response, Read (1989) maintains thatthere is no reason why a critical study must bewritten. Read suggests that visual studies may beundertaken based on the work of other artists (p.79).However, he warns:The only danger where you choose to do this isthat your work may turn out to be no more than a"copy" of the work of another artist or designer,done without any real knowledge about the artist33or designer or the reasons why the original worklooks like it does. What you can do through yourown work is to try to understand why the work ofother artists and designers looks the way that itdoes. Of course, this is best done by studyingthe work of other artists and designers in theiroriginal form if possible, and by reading aboutthe artist or designer in question. (p.81)Read suggests that students engage in criticallyexamining images by asking questions of them, such aswhether the work is imaginative or analytical in natureand intention; if there is evidence of experimentation,and to what extent investigation and interpretationhave played a part in the work (p.85). He maintainsthat asking these sorts of questions will providestudents with an excellent example of a critical study:It does not matter that you have used my suggestedcriteria and another student's work for this.What is at stake, as far as you and yourassessment is concerned, is that you should show your ability to construct and conduct a criticalargument. At a later stage you can easily set upyour own criteria and use your own examples forfurther critical study. (p.85)It is vitally important, Taylor and Taylor (1990)inform students, that they record all theirachievements in their sketchbooks, in note and visualform. This is in order that the teacher has anunderstanding of the students' intentions, procedures34and research strategies, and their whole approach tostudio production, to critical reflection, and to theoutcomes thereof. Therefore the ongoing workingsketchbook is a very important aspect of curriculumcontent, both for research and for assessment purposes.Another important aspect is reflection on thecontextual nature of the particular aspect of art anddesign on which the student is concentrating, as wellas knowledge of other artists, and engagement withoriginal works of art, craft, and design. Taylor andTaylor (1990) state: "...students must study art andcraft objects in the original, and must therefore visitgalleries and museums on a regular basis" (p.89).In a similar vein, Read (1989) states:you should try to show that you really knowsomething about the history and knowledge which goto make up this specialist activity in Art andDesign. The mark you get is then likely to behigher than if you rely on your ability to "drawand paint" alone, no matter how good that abilityis. (p.58)Read (1989) maintains that these research ideasare best pursued initially through brainstorming. Hesuggests to students that they research a topic that islocal community-based, by conducting survey35questionnaires or interviews, for example. Readstresses that students must spend a great deal of timeon preparation, because an important criterion is thatstudents have explored ideas diligently, although theymay not necessarily have brought their ideas to asuccessful conclusion artistically.For a student to get a good grade, there must beevidence of extensive research of the topic, andexperimentation in studio work:I want to stress that there is no single andcorrect way of working in Art and Design.However, I do believe that in your work for theGCSE you would be wise to avoid making your workconsist of a series of "one-offs". (Read, 1989,p.55)Thus, students must show that they approach their workthematically; that they follow through on ideas; thatthey remain open to change, and that they are willingboth to start afresh and pursue a project whennecessary. Describing what might happen in a studioproject, Read gives direction to students on how theymight follow through on ideas technically,experientially, and aesthetically:The lichen and the plants growing on the dry-stonewall are worth recording. However, instead ofactually trying to print the effect of the lichen,36we might print the stone shapes onto paper bypainting the end of an indian-rubber with greypaint and then pressing this down on the paper torepresent the stones in the wall. The mottledeffect of the printed image then "looks like"lichen. If this is so, we might decide to retainthis "accidental" effect. If you do this you willbe exercising a value judgement in your work.Value judgements are part of a "critical approach"in your work, so you can see, "being critical"does not mean that you need to write. It wouldhelp your eventual grade, however, if you did makea note of such a critical decision as this, sothat your teachers and the examiner know of it.(p.56)Thus, in order to get an above average grade, studentsare urged to provide evidence continually of theirabilities to critically evaluate their results instudio and in written work. Students must approachtheir work with critical and aesthetic awareness, andsearch for metaphors and analogies, exploring new ideasand following through on fruitful ones. This emphasissuggests that talent and ability are not essential inorder to achieve top grades: What is essential isconsistency in one's work habits, and in approach toproblems, and a sense of commitment to the study of artand design.Assessment procedureThree variables are essential to the practice of37assessment: validity, reliability, and utility.Steers (1990) characterises validity as "theextent to which it (the assessment) serves itspurpose...A valid assessment will therefore employmethods--and accord them relative importance--thatreflect the aims and objectives of courses and units"(p.3).In Britain qualitative assessment in the form ofcriterion referencing provides the basis for assessingperformance in art and design. Proponents of criterionreferencing (particularly the Working Party chargedwith establishing criteria for the National Curriculum)see it as valid, because the qualitative nature ofartistic understanding is accommodated through thedelineation of verbal criteria for assessment.Criterion referencing involves the establishmentof a criterion, or benchmark, that students may or maynot attain. It may be presented as a series of steps,each reflecting a degree of mastery of a complex skillor area of activity. Each of these steps, typically,is described in two or three sentences or descriptors,which allow examiners to determine with some accuracyhow adequately the student has met the criterion.38Norm referencing grows out of a quite differenttradition. It provides an index of student performancerelated to expectations for fulfillment of aims orobjectives, and in that respect, it resembles criterionreferencing. But norm referencing is determined bycomparing the scores achieved by any one group ofstudents with scores achieved by large numbers, ofstudents who have previously taken the same test.Since large numbers fit a "normal curve", the scores ofany smaller group may be adjusted to fit that norm.Unlike criterion referencing where the student's levelof performance is set by fulfillment of a criterion,norm referencing produces scores by statisticallycomparing the individual's performance with those ofothers who have undertaken the same task, and by rankordering in accordance with the strictures of thenormal curve.In practical terms, criterion and norm referencingsometimes occupy a grey area in which one provides rawmaterial for the other. When a criterion is appliedover time to large numbers of students, numericalevidence of typical performance is bound to result.This evidence may be interpreted normatively, even39though, strictly speaking, that subverts the purpose ofcriterion based assessment. Similarly, perception ofnormal, or typical performance may guide theestablishment of descriptor levels, rather thanintrinsic, or criterion determined levels of mastery.Steers (1990) offers an explanation:Assessments should, as far as possible, bedesigned and operated so that they give a similarresult when taken by students of similar abilityunder similar conditions. A perfectly reliableassessment is, however, impossible: unreliabilitymay be caused by differences in the conditionsfor, or the context of the assessment, in thejudgements of markers, etc. (p.3-4)In GCSE assessment reliability is achieved throughthe activity of moderation. Moderation is afundamental aspect of reliability in qualitativeassessment in that it ensures the fairness ofjudgements through combining intersubjective andinformed opinions. This form of reliability is knownas external reliability. Internal reliability refersto the even distribution of individual items ofdifficulty--questions in a test, for example, which isnot applicable in the case of GCSE assessment.Utility refers to the convenience, flexibility,practicality, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness ofthe assessment strategies employed. In this regard,90Steers (1990) points out that British Task Group onAssessment and Testing (TGAT) in art and design gavepriority to four criteria, which contribute tot heenhancement and the utility of assessment: It shouldserve the student; it should be criterion referenced;it should be formative, andscales or grades should be capable of comparisonacross classes and schools, if teachers, pupilsand parents are to share a common language andcommon standards: so assessments should becalibrated or moderated. (p.4)Finally, it is stated that assessment should be ongoing(TGAT, 1987, p.4).Two important factors affect utility further:Steers (1990) points out that GCSE assessment is a"large scale" exercise, and in addition, "classroomteachers are the principal assessors" (p.12). In thisregard, moderation is an integral aspect of GCSEassessment, and enhances the utility, validity, andreliability of the assessment procedure.While moderation answers some of the "how"questions asked of assessment, the question of what isassessed is still difficult, especially if oneconsiders Clement's (1990/1986) questioning of41how you take account of those aspects of thechildrens' work in art that are not evident in thework itself. Although much of what the child hasachieved will be evident in the work, there aresome perceptions and responses that willcontribute to the making but which may notnecessarily be present in the final form. (p.235)Yet Clement points out that one must work to a simplemodel "based on what thinking, looking and makingskills are evident within the work" (p.235). AlthoughClement is talking about the assessment of primarychildren, the problem is similar at the secondarylevel. It seems that the only way to get at thoseaspects of artistic understanding which are not presentin evidence of process or product, is throughcommunication between teacher and student. Clementpoints out: "A characteristic of good art teaching isthe way the art teacher sets up a continuous dialoguewith individual children about their work as itprogresses" (p.236). Similarly, Taylor and Taylor(1990) maintain that material for assessment comes fromconversations between teacher and student (p.v).Steers (1990) also asserts that it is throughnegotiation that teachers can take into account"'ephemeral evidence', such as a number of 'false'starts or shifts in the student's stated intentions'"42(p.14). By focusing on the process of art productionrather than the end product, and through sharedunderstanding of meaning and criteria, teachers andstudents can gain an understanding of and an ability toassess less determinate aspects of artisticunderstanding. According to Roberts (1990), views ofprocess and product as separate entities are ratherobsolete: He argues that the process is evident in theproduct, and vice versa.In light of the ephemeral nature of artisticunderstanding, Steers (1990) cites Gardner, whoasserts that where tangible evidence is sought, such asa realistic drawing, "assessment is not problematic"(p.14), because the criteria for success aredeterminate and specific. Steers points out thatthis may indicate that it is much morestraightforward to design reasonable assessmentprocedures for limited aspects of a subject ratherthan take a holistic approach. For example, it isrelatively easy to establish a sequentialprogramme of study to introduce basic techniqueswith, say, print-making or clay: devisingstatements of levels of attainment to correspondwith the programme of study does not present aninsuperable problem. In art and design theparticular difficulty lies in how to design asequential curriculum and an assessment procedurewhich accommodates the breadth of the subjectwithout fragmenting the nature of the teaching andlearning. It is the complexity of the43interrelated experiences considered as essentialelements in a good art education which presents amajor obstacle. (p.14)Another area of difficulty has centred on whetherability or performance is being assessed in art. Itseems that in the British model, performance is beingassessed, rather than ability. Steers (1990) cites theTGAT:There has been some misunderstanding about theassessment of "ability"...We had intended toconfine our proposals to the assessment of"performance" or "attainment" and were notrecommending any attempt to assess separately theproblematic notion underlying "ability". If"ability" were to be assessed, its meaning wouldhave to be carefully defined; and the problem withdefining it without making it merely a measure ofa particular type of performance is hard to solve.(p.16)If one is looking at art products, levels of abilitywill be present. As Steers points out, while it isdifficult to assess ability, ability will influenceattainment (J. Steers, personal communication,September, 1992).The outcome of all this is that students should beable to make a number of critical decisions, based onthe subject of study, and the method of investigation.The approach is open ended: Students are asked44constantly to re-address and re-examine their work, andthe work of others, in the "interest of the intentionsbehind the artwork" (Read, 1989, p.49).Conclusion: Outcomes of assessmentCertain variables are in place in art assessmentat the senior secondary level in Britain: Thearticulation of criteria; moderation; student-teachernegotiated objectives and criteria; a balance betweenprocess and product, all within a local grassrootsteacher-controlled framework. The result is that artcan be assessed on a national basis at the seniorsecondary level. Further, what is assessed is not asimple, factual understanding of art and design, suchas whether students know that red and blue make violet.The epistemological base is broad, wholistic, andcomprehensive. Students are being assessed for acritical and perceptive understanding of art anddesign, so that there is transference fromunderstanding one's own art work in the school genre,to understanding art and design in the world beyond.While the national assessment system in Britaindoes not imply that assessment must be centrally45controlled, it does point to the necessity of having inplace common goals and objectives, and criteria for theassessment of artistic understanding, in order forassessment to occur on a co-operative, consensualbasis, even at a regional level. In Britain, theobjectives of art education and of assessment practicesare shared, in spirit, under the umbrella of a nationalframework, but administered in a school-centred,community-based, decentralized way.The fact that the students are adolescents is notforgotten. Taylor and Taylor (1990) state thatadolescent art isworthy of consideration in its own right andshould not be seen as being just an inferior andless competent form of adult art...itspractitioners are constantly aspiring to the adultstate and looking to adult exemplars in theprocess. Equally though, a girl holding a candleto symbolise humanity capturing the sun, boltsdriven into pork alongside the study of actualfeet complete with cochineal painted stigmata asdata for a crucifix, gorged figures satiated withapples encircling a still-life bucket; these arenot adults' ideas but are those of adolescence.(p.174)46CHAPTER THREEValues inherent in assessment in BritainIntroductionIn this chapter I examine values inherent incurrent British art assessment practices at the GCSElevel. Though assessment is handled in England andWales by five regional examining boards, these boardsshare nationally developed criteria for assessment.Hence, desired outcomes are not much different from oneboard to another. In this regard, I examine objectivesof and criteria for assessment in the London EastAnglian Group (LEAG) General Certificate of SecondaryEducation (GCSE) examination, and show how theseobjectives and criteria reflect values about what isconsidered important in assessing art and design.The critical studies approach advocated in theliterature by Taylor (1986), Taylor and Taylor (1990),and Thistlewood (1991) emerges as a significant factordetermining values inherent in assessment practice.Critical studies is strongly present in the LEAGsyllabus, through studies of art and design which arecritical, contextual, and conceptual in nature.47The assessment objectives of the Art and Design syllabus (1992) are stated in terms of three basiccurricular components: Production, (studio productionactivities), Processes and Procedures (individualresearch strategy), and Basic Elements (understandingconcepts). The basic components of the curriculum formthe objectives and criteria for assessment. Thefundamentals of what is taught determine what will beassessed. Several themes emerged from my examinationof criteria for assessment.Conceptual understanding of form in art and designFundamental to the 1992 Art and Design syllabus isdevelopment of a critical vocabulary grounded in theelements and principles of design. The acquisition ofthis vocabulary is essential in talking coherentlyabout images and artifacts, in describing, analysing,interpreting, and stating personal opinions.^Thisunderstanding amounts to a specialized knowledge ofform, and the way in which formal components work, ordon't work, in visual imagery of all kinds. The BasicElements component of the Art and Design syllabusrequires that students attend to specific design48principles which are pivotal in their work.Although in critical reflection there is anemphasis on formal qualities, it is not sufficient forthe student to rest at an analysis of form. In thisregard, influential British art critic Peter Fuller(1988) points out that aesthetic experience simplycannot be reduced to response to form. The LEAGsyllabus would seem to concur with this view. Fullerwrites that aesthetic response "evokes a wide range ofnuanced feelings which merge with a labile world ofsymbolization, imaginative metamorphosis, andrepresentation" (p.14).With regard to formalism, the debate betweenwhether art can be enjoyed for its own sake, or whetherthe artist or designer is a conduit for wider socialmessages and implications, is active and difficult.Read (1931) maintains that while the social context ofthe production of art, and the profound inter-relationof artist and community cannot be denied,the individual character of the artist's workdepends on more than these: it depends on adefinite will-to-form which is a force within theartist's personality, and there is no significantart without this intuition of an appropriate form(p.268).49Understanding processThe Processes and Procedures component of the Artand Design syllabus is central in determining how thestudy is approached and undertaken: A specificresearch emphasis is to be selected by the student.Students are expected to work from direct experienceand accessible resources. Further, they are expectedto show "some ability in their work to see the (studio)activity in its widest cross curricular, cultural,environmental and historical context" (p.4).In Appendix C of the Art and Design syllabus are"Notes of Guidance" for the teacher, which furtherreveal the importance of process:candidates should provide tangible evidence of thedegree to which they have studied and understoodthe relationship between the "Processes andProcedures", the "Basic Elements", and the"Practices" laid out in the syllabus, and alsothat a sound working habit is employed as a matterof course and is clearly demonstrated in theevidence presented. (p.20)Evidence of working habits, of investigative approach, andof the process of research from conceptualization torealization are all important considerations in LEAGassessment.5051Art and design as interrelatedThe centrality of design in current curricula inBritain has a long history, going back to the era of HenryCole and the South Kensington School of Art and Design inthe nineteenth century (MacDonald, 1970). At that time,design was introduced at all educational levels, largely inorder to serve as a handmaiden to industry.Another major influence on British art education wasinnovative art and design education at the Bauhaus inGermany in the 1920s and 1930s, marrying form and functionin a rigorous series of exercises focusing on designprinciples via largely abstract imagery and mediaexploration (Itten, 1961, Itten, 1963). In this regard,Hughes, Stanley and Swift (1990) report that from the late1950s, a new non-figurative approach to art evolved inBritish art schools:The accepted and comfortable figurative tradition,skills emphasis, and craft production waschallenged by a new rationale that demandedgreater experiment and creativity--the developmentof concepts rather than skills, and a richerintellectual engagement, leading to graduatequalifications. (p.14)In the 1950s foundational courses in art began,focusing on media and design exploration. The idea ofBasic Design spread to secondary art education, as wellas to contemporary public art. All learning wassequentially ordered according to foundational courses--for example, drawing before painting. This design-centred approach is evident, not just in the GCSEtitle, Art and Design, but in the literature.Both Read (1931) and Thistlewood (1991) reiteratethe importance of design as a central component inaesthetic understanding in art education in Britain:Read referred to a "pernicious" distinction betweenfine and applied art or design (p.49), while Fuller(1983) writes that an aesthetically healthy society isevident where there are "no clear boundaries betweenart and other forms of work" (p.17). Thistlewoodwrites that in Herbert Read's workwe discover a model for a dominantly aestheticcivilization, served by functionalist designers,and having all of its value-systems inculcatedthrough art. An equally vital purpose of art inthis model is to keep the civilization and itsinstitutions alive to a motive of constantrenewal, and the purpose of design is to servethis principle with an equally-constant supply offunctionally-fit environment and artifacts.(p.140)Read's vision of enhancing aesthetic understandingthrough consistent attention to design conforms to themodel of art, design, and technology education employed52in British art education today. Steers (1988), in aletter to the Design and Technology Working Group ofthe National Curriculum, pointed out that the NationalSociety for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) holdsthe practice of technology to be an "essentialcomponent" of art and design curriculum (p.320).Form and function; contextual understandingThe relationship between form and function, andcontextual understanding emerges as significant in thatstudents are required to make connections betweenimages and/or artifacts and the social conditions ofproduction, and use. The Art and Design syllabusstates that "the meanings of words, forms, images,customs and so on, only have credibility within asocial and cultural framework" (p.21), thus attestingto the importance of understanding culturaldeterminants of form and function, and the contextualnature of art and design production.The contextual emphasis of the Art and Design syllabus reflects concerns in related fields--artcriticism, art history, and so on. For example,Lippard (1984) in Get The Message? A Decade Of Art For 53Social Change notes, "As this book demonstrates, I havesince come to think that artists can also make artdirectly involved in social change" (p.2). She statesthat "Political art doesn't have to have politicalsubject matter to have political effect, so long aspolitical awareness is a motivation" (p.33). Further,an important purpose of art is instilling new values.Indeed, the personal is political, she declares.There are objections to understanding art anddesign in terms of socio-political and contextualphenomena. Fuller (1988) writes thatThe new "methodologies" (as their supporters liketo call them) treated works of art as products ofparticular social circumstances, as historicaldocuments, but somehow they managed to miss whatit was about such works that made them worthattending to in our own time. (p.ix)Fuller maintains that "left wing aesthetic theorists ofthe 1970's...ended up with 'art-shaped' holes..."(p.ix), rather than paying attention to thetransformative qualities of the art itself. In fact,contrary to Lippard (1984), Fuller writes that art isan area of life that lies outside political argumentThe Art and Design syllabus states that a cross54cultural approach is encouraged, because "To study aculture as a discrete entity often only serves tohighlight the inaccessibility of others, and fails toencourage and enhance understanding and receptivenessas a result" (1992, p.22). Dyson (1991) notes that thequestion of culture is complicated, and "it is hardlysurprising that emotionalism often obscures the centralissues" (p.4):To begin with, the term "culture" is often thoughtto refer exclusively to the ways of life of thedifferent ethnic groups, and a charge of"Eurocentrism" is frequently levelled at those whoseem not to be paying proper attention to theartistic activity of a variety of these. I reallydo not understand, though, why this term shouldnecessarily be disparaging. The University ofLondon contains an institution, the CourtauldInstitute of Art, which is dedicated exclusivelyto the study of European art; it also contains onedevoted to the study of Chinese art, and anotherin which African art may be studied. In none ofthese cases, it seems to me, is the exclusivityreprehensible. However, what would be unfortunatewould be reserving the first for students ofEuropean origin, the second for those with Chineseancestry, the third for persons of Africanextraction. Similarly, at school level, it wouldmake little sense to introduce into a syllabus apreponderance of, say, Byzantine art simplybecause a number of schools in which the syllabusis said to be used happens to contain a highproportion of children from Greek Cypriotfamilies. John Blacking, in Culture and the Arts,(1986), one of the sanest treatments of thisissue, argues for a study of the best of theworld's art for all children in British schools.(p.4).55Dyson asks whether art travels well, and to what extentcontext determines interpretation (p.6-7). Yet heargues that art cannot be "divorced from its social andeconomic context" (p.8), thus reiterating the need tounderstand art and design in a contextual way.Historical understandingHistorical understanding of art and design ispresent as an important variable in LEAG GCSEassessment. The LEAG syllabus emphasizes that theunderstanding of art historical phenomena is determinedby social factors--by the conditions of art and designproduction, by authors of art histories, and by readersof art histories:the historical is not envisaged as a form ofabsolute chronological study, whereby personalcreative work is either related to it, or isforced into a parallel form of study. Instead thehistorical is used to illuminate, explain andjustify personal art and design decisions. (LEAGArt and Design, 1992, p.21)These values reflect positions in the field held byHadjinicolaou (1978), Hauser (1962), and Wolff (1981).The syllabus states that the chronological natureof art history should be seen as an "enabling frameworkrather than as a crushing burden of facts to be56memorized" (p.24). This might suggest that noknowledge base in art and design history isdeterminate, and that historical artifacts have nopermanent meaning. Yet Dyson (1991) holds that achronological understanding of art history isimportant. Clearly, however, it is the interpretationof such data which is the crucial factor. In the LEAGArt and Design syllabus (1992) there are three thematicapproaches to historical study which candidates mightadopt: technical, stylistic, and contextual.The idea of high art as exemplary is stronglychallenged. For example, the 1992 Art and Design syllabus states that afalse impression which may be conveyed by many ofthe examples given is that the compilers have inmind a strongly Eurocentric programme and onebased exclusively on the concept of "high-art".This is not so; it is encouraged that all pupils,whatever their social or cultural backgrounds,will be engaged in cross-cultural study and willbe helped to appreciate the significance of allartifacts from the prestigious to those regardedto be more humble. (p.3)In contrast with this position, Dyson (1991) holds thatwith regard to degree of prestigeThere are many ways of approaching the History ofArt. Perhaps it is most usual to do so in termsof "great masterpieces". Everyone will knowRodin's "Thinker". Although the notion of art asthe product of an individual genius is somewhat57out of favour in certain art-historical circles,there is no doubt that the "Thinker" is the workof a person with very special gifts. Assculpture, it is certainly far superior in everyway to, for example, a carnival effigy. (p.3)Hughes, Stanley, and Swift (1990) report thatScottish, English, and Welsh systems "argued that theearlier method of teaching art which principallyinvolved making art was, in itself, insufficient todevelop critical, aesthetic, and contextual awareness"(p.26). They write that these debates in North Americaresulted in the move to discipline-based art education,and in the United Kingdom to the roughly paralleldevelopment of critical studies (p.26), in which it isclear that historical knowledge is important. Thiscross Atlantic trend towards a more content-basedcurriculum in art reflects what Dyson (1991) terms afusion between maker and viewer models of art education(p.2).The personal critical opinionDeveloping a personal, critical opinion is centralto the critical studies approach, as evidenced in theArt and Design (1992) syllabus:58Visual communication is paramount but theimportance of verbal communication in relation toart and design practice and theory is stressed.It is particularly important to encouragediscussions, critical appraisal and the ability toform and articulate judgements about art anddesign. (p.3)This theme reflects the individual research emphasis,but it also reveals the aim that students shouldexperience and reflect on art and design--that theyshould engage in aesthetic contemplation.In the 1992 Art and Design syllabus an emphasis isput on strategies involving investigation,experimentation, and documentation, through which, asRead (1988) puts it, students' personal opinions are ofutmost importance. The emphasis is on examining,investigating, and realizing one's individualinterpretation, whether working in studio ortheoretical areas. This suggests that there is no onelegitimate and determinate interpretation of art anddesign phenomena, whether considering these critically,aesthetically, or contextually.Further, the teacher's personal critical opinionis central in GCSE assessment, in that5960assessment by the candidate's teacher is fundamental.The candidate's teacher is in the position of beingable to take into full account the candidate's personalcontribution to the work which is being assessed andthe extent of any assistance from the teacher or otheroutside sources. Consequently, the teacher is also inthe position to judge the merits of his or her owncandidates in relation to each other. (LEAG Art andDesign, 1992, p.16)That norm and criterion referencing are to some extentcombined in the assessment system is evident in the Artand Design syllabus:The assessment of the work of each individualcandidate must be a process of determining theextent to which that candidate has fulfilled theassessment objectives, using grades and marks todifferentiate reliably and validly between thatcandidate and others taking the examination.(p.15)A great deal of art assessment involves aestheticjudging. Read (1988) holds that art teachers must havean instinct for the aesthetic, which will informjudgements that cannot be reduced, simplified, orrationalised in other ways. Similarly, Herbert Read(1931) maintains that most theories err inunderstanding the working of the mind in artisticappreciation and evaluationby overlooking the instantaneity of the event. Ido not believe that a person of real sensibilityever stands before a picture and, after a longprocess of analysis, pronounces himself pleased.(p.38)What occurs, Read holds, is an emotional activity(p.38). It is this emotional connection andunderstanding that teachers and examiners want to seeevidence of, and which they too must exhibit in theirassessment of art and design work. In this regard,Read (1931) declares, "Frankly, I do not know how weare to judge form except by the same instinct thatcreates it" (p.25). Teachers and students alike are,or become critical connoisseurs (Eisner, 1985) of artand design, the elitist connotations of connoisseurshipnotwithstanding.ConclusionIn conclusion, values inherent in GCSE assessmentare related to critical studies, in that they reflect asearch for critical, contextual, and conceptualunderstanding of art and design. These pivotalunderstandings are addressed via LEAG curriculumstructure, composed of three parts: production,61processes and procedures, and basic elements.Understanding form is central in LEAG GCSEassessment. it is most evident in the elements andprinciples of design delineated in the basic elementscomponent of the LEAG syllabus. In addition, avocabulary which includes terminology relating toformal qualities is essential in production, critical,and historical/contextual activities.The approach to preparation of the portfolio forassessment is via individual research. Students arerequired to show evidence and documentation of theirinvestigations. In this regard, working habits areimportant, and involve the recording of process fromconceptualization to realization of a project. Theimportance of process is evident in the Processes andProcedures component of the LEAG syllabus.Art and design are presented as equally importantin GCSE assessment. The inclusion of design incurriculum and assessment has a long history, from theinfluence of the Bauhaus, to Herbert Read's charge thata design-conscious society is preferable. In addition,the presence of the terms art and design in the titleof the syllabus and examination suggests the equal62importance of these components.Contextual understanding and the understanding ofform and function emerge as significant values. Thisis evident in that students are encouraged to explorethe conditions of art and design production, and themeaning and function of images and artifacts. Theprominence of contextual understanding in the LEAGsyllabus is reflected in the literature too. Forexample, art critic Janet Wolff (1981) holds that artis socially produced, consumed, and understood.Historical understanding emerges as significant,and highlights the social conditions and constructsdetermining artistic production, rather thanchronological knowledge of the evolution of stylethrough formal qualities. However, it is stated thatbasic art historical information is important.The personal critical opinion emerges as animportant value: Evidence of the personal criticalopinion is a central variable in assessment. It is tobe included in written form--documented, and is torelate to students' own work, and to that of artists ordesigners working within the students' area ofconcentration.^As well, the personal critical opinion63of teachers is central in LEAG GCSE assessment. Inthis regard, Read (1931) writes that the teacher'sopinion is driven by the same intuitive spirit whichinspires the artist: The teacher's is an instinctive,yet informed professional opinion. The teacher'spersonal critical opinion is essential in a systemwhich values the process aspect of learning, which theteacher is qualified to assess most effectively.Assessment procedures confirm that the teacher ispivotal in controlling assessment, and that assessmentis a grassroots, bottom-up operation.64CHAPTER FOURAssessment structures in North AmericaIntroductionIn contrast to those in Britain, approaches tostudio art assessment in North America are diverse. Inthis chapter, I examine visible models for assessmentat the secondary level in North America, starting withstandardized national assessment tests in the 1970s.Then, I compare standardized testing with alternative,qualitative approaches. Finally, I examine AdvancedPlacement, Arts PROPEL, and International Baccalaureateassessments, analyzing the structures of each model.Standardized testsIn conducting my research for this dissertation, Iwrote to several art educators in North America,prominently involved in assessment, in order to requestinformation on assessment strategies. In my letter, Inoted that assessment of student learning in art doesnot occur on a national basis in the United States orCanada. In response to my letter to him, Dr. RonaldSilverman (personal communication, July 29th, 1991)pointed out that a national assessment of art education65was undertaken twice in the 1970s: The NationalAssessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. The NAEPwas implemented in 1974/5, and 1979. However, the termassessment is used in a different way here, and for adifferent purpose, from the way it is used to describenational assessment in Britain. The NAEP was a census-taking programme assessment activity (NAEP art test,1978, Stankiewicz, 1991, Tyler, 1973), rather than anassessment of individual students in order to providefeedback to them on their progress in art learningactivities at school. In this regard, Tyler (1973)reports that themajor purpose of the national assessment programis to provide the lay public with census-like dataon the educational achievements of our children,youth, and adults--data which will furnish adependable background of information (p.23)The NAEP was administered to seventeen year olds, aswell as young adults under twenty five, and youngerchildren. Authors of NAEP (1974) policy state:NAEP does not develop or use scores for individualrespondents. Rather, it determines how the fourage levels perform on specific exercises and,within each age level, how groups of individuals(based on demographic and sociological variables)perform. Thus, it is not necessary for eachrespondent to take every exercise. (p.3)66While most standardized achievement tests arenorm referenced, NAEP tests are content or objectivereferenced (NAEP, 1974, p.3). In the art tests,questions are designed to measure achievement in fivecontent areas: perceiving and responding to art;valuing art; producing art; knowing about art, andmaking and justifying judgements about aesthetic meritand quality of works of art (pp.2-3). Findings were tobe interpreted by professional teacher bodies, such asthe National Art Education Association (p.33).The NAEP has had an important influence on currentassessment trends in several states in the. USA(Finlayson, 1988). For these reasons, I shall discussthe studio and responding to art components of theNAEP. In addition, I shall discuss Wilson's (1971)tests, because of his involvement with the NAEP,resulting in a significant degree of similarity betweenWilson's (1971) strategies, and those developed for theNAEP art test (1978). In this regard, Wilson (1971)notes that there is a long history of standardizedtesting in the United States. More importantly, heholds that "most of the outcomes of art education areultimately testable" (p.556).67In the early 1970s Wilson (1971) designed testsbased on Bloom's taxonomy. Wilson's tests employ avariety of strategies, including standardized multiplechoice questions, short answer essays, and a drawingdone to a test brief. For testing studio production,Wilson (1971) delineates a test brief. Studentsproduce a 14x20 inch composition in water or temperacolour, or a combination based on one of the followingsubjects: "Ocean Bathers", "Metamorphosis", or"Building Site" (p.551).^He directs that, using adescriptive scale, the teacher examines formal aspectsof the image/artifact in order to isolate polarities,such as unity versus nonunity. The purpose is "toassess changes in artistic behavior over periods oftime through the quantification of characteristics ofworks of art" (p.551).These descriptive scales were originally developedby art educator Mary Rouse at Indiana University in thelate 1960s, and function as much as possible tostandardize the assessing procedure for the teacher.For example, there is a scale focusing on shape, whichmoves from no variation in shapes, to extremely variedshapes. The student's work is considered stronger when68more varied shapes are evident. Because the teacher isassessing changes with regard to stable criteria overset periods of time, this seems to suggest a systembased on ordinal scales. Anastasi (1988) notes thatordinal scales share important features with criterionreferencing: "...ordinal scales are designed toidentify the stage reached by the child in thedevelopment of specific behavior functions" (p.81).A similar approach to testing drawing is evidentin objective number three of the NAEP art test (1978).A subobjective is to "Produce works of art with aparticular composition, subject matter, expressivecharacter, or expressive content" (p.147). For thisexercise, the students are asked toPretend you are standing at one end of a room andat the other end there is a square table with fourpeople sitting at it. In the space on the nextpage, draw the table and the people as you seethem from your end of the room. Put one person ateach side of the table. (p.147)Students are told that they have eight minutes in whichto complete this task. Points are scored with regardto specific criteria. The criteria are based on thedegree to which students have included the data in thebrief--for example, the table. In addition, verbal69descriptors based on the degree of realism of theimagery represented guide scorers of this drawing test.Specific descriptors include items such as whether thetable is a tilted plane showing foreshortening, andwhether the top of the table is visible with the "nearedge shown wider than the far edge so that the tableappears to recede" (p.147), or whether the table is a"tilted plane, not showing foreshortening. The foursides of the table are parallel or nearly parallel"(p.147).Clearly, the criterion here is realism andaccuracy. It seems that this assessment approach wouldpenalize inaccuracy of rendition, even if the contentand drawing were delightfully expressive.An example of a question reflecting the firstobjective of the NAEP art test (1978), perceiving andresponding to art, is as follows: Picasso's Guernica is reproduced, and students respond to a question whichfocuses on symbolism. The student is asked to identifywhat the warrior symbolises. The choice of answers is-the courage of fighting men-the suffering of fighting men-the death of fighting men-the power of fighting men-I don't know (p.26)70The third response is alleged to be the correct one.(p.26). With regard to the same image, the student isasked to identify what a broken sword means orsymbolizes. The choice of answers is-fighting-death-hate-defeat-I don't know (p.26)The correct response is purported to be "defeat"(p.26). It should be noted that these questions assumethat there is a right answer, which art educated peopleshould know. Choosing phrases or words from a list toput a stamp on meaning in a determinate way seemsinconsistent with the objective of these questions--perceiving and responding to art, which by nature is aninterpretive activity.One of the most recent metacritical analyses ofassessment strategies in art was Finlayson's (1988)thesis, in which she sought to find out which states inthe USA conduct state-wide assessment in art, and howthey go about it, and, to "develop a body ofinformation which included descriptions of actual testsusing criteria accepted by experts in the test andmeasurement field" (p.2). Finlayson gathered data from7112 states, and the District of Columbia, which conductstate-wide assessment. But only three states sentdetailed copies of tests: Utah, Minnesota, andConnecticut.Currently, in all three states, a standardizedtesting approach to assessing art dominates: Amultiple-choice approach based on the cognitive domainin Connecticut; a multiple-choice approach based onknowledge and vocabulary in Utah, and a significantemphasis on theory in Minnesota, including multiple-choice tests of cognitive and affective domains.Finlayson (1988) finds that studio art, the focusand central activity of most art classrooms in NorthAmerica, suffers the greatest injustice with regard toassessment. In Connecticut, the approach is to assessstudio art by having the students draw under testconditions. In Minnesota, there is no state-wideassessment of studio work. In Utah, studio work ismarked with an emphasis on "correctness of artwork"(p.60).The state-wide tests currently in place suggestthat standardized testing remains a popular approach toassessing art. Finlayson (1988) notes there is72considerable support for standardized testing of art inthe USA:Commentary from leaders in the arts and arteducation underscores the need for awareness ofthe role of the standardized test as an evaluativeinstrument in visual arts education. Hodsoll,chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, inreference to state level standardization oftesting in the arts, has made the forcefulcomment: "Ways must be found for such evaluationto proceed on a continuing basis; the fact that wehave less experience with 'testing' in the artsthan in other academic areas is no excuse for notfinding appropriate ways to do it". (p.2)The NAEP suggests that standardized tests couldserve broad-based programme evaluation effectively. Inaddition, standardized tests can serve as effectiveindicators of aesthetic preferences; or of conceptforming ability, and for the purposes of prognosis.Hamblen (1987) points out that standardizedtesting is more prevalent in the United States thananywhere else in the world. Yet Hamblen charges thatstandardized testing can result in the trivializing ofcontent through simplistic test items. In the samespirit, Finlayson (1988) asserts that most of the testsin her study assess in a limited way--the elements andprinciples of design, simple knowledge-based questions,and attitudes. As such, they are not comprehensive,73" nor do they measure or disclose many aspects ofstudent learning in the classroom" (p.66). They "domeasure and disclose certain specified cognitiveoutcomes, certain affective responses and attitudes,and certain production characteristics in a delineatedand limited time setting" (p.66). Finlayson maintainsthat those test characteristics assembled in her studygenerally correspond to those considered by test andmeasurement experts, although at times they are "clumsyand naive" (p.67). She states:The need for recognition of student experience ina field in which ideosyncratic (sic) developmentis seen as essential, embracing "right answer"ideals without subjecting them to close scrutinyand modification may be not only inappropriate butalso unethical. (p.70)In order for assessment of any sort to belegitimate, strategies must exhibit qualities ofvalidity, reliability and utility, whether theassessment strategies are standardized tests or not.The standardized nature of standardized testing, andits visibility and usefulness in other educationalareas, makes it an attractive strategy for many NorthAmerican educators.While standardized tests may be useful in the ways74described, it is difficult for any standardized test tobe an effective valid strategy to assess thequalitative nature of studio art, which dominates NorthAmerican art classrooms. In this regard, Anastasi(1988) characterizes validity as being concerned with"what the test measures and how well it does so"(p.139). She points out that validity is ensured bytesting a student on content which has been taught:This is known as content validity (p.140). If testcontent does not relate to curriculum content directly,it lacks content validity.On a national or regional basis, tests lackcontent validity if the curriculum content across thenation or region to be assessed is inconsistent. Inthe case of both the USA and Canada, the content andobjectives of art learning are often inconsistentwithin schools, across school districts, states, andmost definitely on a national basis. I found this tobe the case (Blaikie, 1989), as did Gray and MacGregor(1987), and the Rand Getty research team (1984), whichsought to find conceptually similar curricula of thediscipline-based variety. Dorn (1988) charged that theNational Panel who wrote the NAEP tests were not aware75of the content then being taught in schools (p.3).Without that awareness, any assessment strategy whichpurports to be a national assessment strategy, can onlyfail in terms of content validity.Many art educators in North America are concernedthat standardized testing is ineffective (Burkhart,1965; Chalmers, 1989, 1991; Clark, Zimmerman, &Zurmuehlen,^1987;^Day,^1985; Dorn,^1988; Efland,Koroscik,^& Parsons,1988;^Gardner,^1989,1991;^Eisner,1991a,^1991b;1985;^Finlayson,Godfrey,^1964;Hamblen,^1987,^1988; Hausman,^1988; Kobisz, 1976;MacGregor, 1991a, Ross, 1985; Rubin, 1982; Stankiewicz,1991; and Zimmerman, 1991). Dorn suggests that arteducators not only "mistrust standardized tests per se,but also...they view testing in the arts as beinglimited to norm-referenced paper and pencil tests"(p.4). Hamblen's (1987, 1988) papers prove Dorn'spoint, in that she seems to equate assessment withstandardized testing.North American art educators appear worriedchiefly about the demise of creativity as a result ofassessment (Hamblen, 1987, 1988, Hausman, 1988).Hamblen (1988) is concerned that the special76experiences which only art offers are unavailable tostudents in other subjects. A system of standardizedtesting would alter the very nature of those classroomexperiences, Hamblen warns. Kakas (1989) cites Marantzin his debate with Zernich as declaring that instead ofdeveloping skills and competencies, art educatorsshould be "developing the 'competent human being'"(p.3). Marantz suggests that self knowledge, andinvolvement of the whole individual in the process oflearning is a more valid route to follow, because onlythen will students "acquire knowledge of art" (p.3).Marantz charges that students should be activelyinvolved in art making and responding to art, "ratherthan theorize or speculate about art" (p.3).Educational industrialists have a grip on the notion ofcompetency, Marantz maintains, and use it "'to dull ourhumanity through endless sets of isolated andmechanical exercises'" (p.3).In Dorn's (1988) view, assessing in art must beprocess based. He premises his beliefs on Dewey'sideas, and proposes that art production and reflectionshould be "inextricably linked to aestheticcontemplation" (p.6). Similarly, both Hamblen (1987,771988) and Day (1985) argue for an approach toevaluation which is formative, context and classroombased, and rooted in ongoing classroom activities,suggesting portfolios, journals, self-evaluation, andso on, as better alternatives. These arguments aresomewhat dilatory in that several models of qualitativeassessment currently are in place in North America,albeit in limited contexts.Assessment and discipline-based art educationGreer (1984) set out a framework for art educationbased on four components: art production, artcriticism, art history, and aesthetics. Discipline-based art education (DBAE) has been supportedfinancially and ideologically by the Getty Center forEducation in the Arts in Los Angeles. It has emergedas a visible and influential approach to art education.Those supporting discipline-based art educationhave urged that assessment be an essential aspect ofthe DBAE curriculum (Day, 1985, diBlasio, 1987, Greer,1984).Eisner, Stake et al., B. Wilson, M. Wilson, andDay (1984) were commissioned by the Getty Center, in78association with Rand Publications, to report on schooldistricts implementing discipline-based type artcurricula. With the exception of Virginia Beach(Wilson 1984), process-centred studio work was thedominant activity in the art classrooms studied (Day,1984a, Day, 1984b, Eisner, 1984, Stake et al, 1984, andWilson, M, 1984,). As well, multiple choice typequestionnaires which include NAEP art test items(1978), or are similar to the NAEP assessment strategy,were dominant in Milwaukee (Day, 1984a), and inHopkins, Minnesota (Day, 1984b). The only report of acurriculum which adhered to a DBAE model was VirginiaBeach (Wilson, 1984), where the curriculum was composedof art history, art criticism, and art production. Inthis region Wilson reports that teacher Cindy Flegalprepares senior students for Advanced Placement in arthistory, while Robin Clair's students prepareportfolios for Advanced Placement in studio work.The only report of classroom based assessment ofsenior high students' studio work is Eisner's (1984)description of the Palo Alto district. In studio art,grades are given, ranging from A to D. An F isreserved for students who are absent regularly. Eisner79writes: "At the end of each semester students submittheir finished work. These final portfolios along witha number of other factors are then reviewed todetermine the final grade" (p.3:41). Eisner statesthat while teachers "grade differently", "someevaluation factors emerge as important criteria for allfaculty. Student effort, involvement, improvement,attendance, and craftsmanship, weigh heavily" (p.3:41).However, resistance to assessment is evident in thattwo of the teachers believed that criteria should focuson completion of work, effort and conduct, excludingthe quality of work done. Eisner quotes one teacher asstating: "'It's ridiculous to give a cup a B+'"(p.3:41). Teachers assess studio work in conferencewith students, although Eisner maintains thatdiscussions are "confined to technical and formalissues" (p.3:41).Similar difficulties with criterion referencingare evident in Day's (1985) paper on evaluating artlearning in DBAE programmes. He maintains thatlearning objectives need to be reflected in thecriteria for assessment, so, if the objective is thatstudents will make a coil pot, Day maintains that the80teacher should assess whether the student has made acoil pot which is structurally sound and which does notleak. But this criterion referenced method excludesand avoids the problem of assessing the aestheticquality of the coil pot.At the Ohio State University, Efland, Koroscik,and Parsons (1991) are in the process of developing andimplementing strategies to assess student learning inart history. Their project, the Ohio Partnership forthe Arts, has been sponsored by the Getty Center forEducation in the Arts.With the exception of Eisner's (1984) report onthe Palo Alto school district, the assessment practicesdiscussed thus far do not deal adequately with theassessment of studio work. I concur with Finlayson(1988) that studio work, as the current primary focusof most secondary art classrooms, deserves moreattention. There are, however, three importantassessment strategies currently in place in someschools in North America which focus on studio work:Advanced Placement, Arts PROPEL, and InternationalBaccalaureate.81Advanced Placement: assessment structureThe primary purpose of the Advanced Placement (AP)assessment is to afford senior secondary students theopportunity to receive credit in advance for first yearcollege and university courses, and, therefore, toenjoy expedited entry into tertiary level institutions(Advanced Placement, 1992; Carnes, 1992; Hurwitz,1978). However, the effects of the Advanced Placementprogramme go far beyond expedited college entrance interms of understanding and learning about art. Hurwitz(1987) points out that the Advanced Placement is "anunabashed advocate of excellence in art" (p.25). Hemaintains that this notion of excellence applies notjust to students, but to teachers who are involved inthis programme, and in the assessment strategy:Excellence is a quality of thinking; it can benoted in sharpness of perception and intensity offeeling. It is always difficult to describe, yetit is immediately apparent to an experienced eye.This is the reason readers spend the first day ofevery judging period in studying a wide range ofstudent work, in noting differences in levels ofquality and in verbalizing those specifics ofcriteria that can distinguish levels ofaccomplishment. (p.26)Walter Askin (1985), member of the DevelopmentCommittee in Art and Chief Reader in 1985, notes that82the Advanced Placement studio programme involvesstudents in making art, which calls for articulatingimportant "critical decisions involving both consciousand intuitive understandings" (p.6). He notes furtherthat this activity serves to validate studio art as an" essential ingredient in the education of a sensitive,intelligent, self-governing, and self-directed people"(p.6).The College Entrance Examination Board, based inPrinceton, New Jersey, voted in 1954 to accept theconcept of first year course credit through AdvancedPlacement Examinations (Carnes, 1992). The AdvancedPlacement examinations commenced in 1956. Carneswrites that the Advanced Placement Program began "outof a general concern within the academic community forthe educational progress of able students" (p.v).Advanced Placement is offered internationally, inboth studio art and history of art. With regard tostudio art, assessment is based on a portfoliosubmitted for examination in May of each year. Also inMay, history of art candidates are required to sit awritten examination composed of a multiple-choicesection, and an essay section. In July, final results83are forwarded to colleges selected by students, totheir secondary schools, and to the studentsthemselves.Internationally, candidates for Advanced Placementare growing steadily in number: In 1980, 912 candidatessubmitted portfolios for studio art, and by 1991 thisnumber had grown to 4,988. Similarly, in 1980, 1,697students sat the three hour History of Art examination;by 1991 this number had reached 8,804 candidates(Carnes, 1992).It is emphasised in all the Advanced Placementstudio art materials--teachers' guides, booklets on theassessment procedures, course outlines, and so on, thatwork for studio art assessment is not to be seen as astandardized course, but as a set of requirements forthe portfolio which teachers are to interpret in theirown ways. For example, in the Advanced PlacementCourse Description it is stated thatSince no standard, universally valid studio artcourse can or should exist, the DevelopmentCommittee in Advanced Placement Studio Art haschosen to suggest guidelines focused toward thesubmission of an Advanced Placement portfoliorather than to delineate a specific course. (AP,1992, p.1)84Hurwitz (1987) writes that although Advanced Placementis not a course, there are suggested lesson activitiesto guide teachers and prepare students for AdvancedPlacement. In the lesson topics outlined in Hurwitz'spaper the emphasis is on solving formal and mediaexploration problems (p.27). In Carnes' (1992) guidefor teachers, there is evidence of great individualityof interpretation of basically formalist problems bythe eight teachers invited to describe their AdvancedPlacement programmes. Thus, teachers are able tostructure studio activities freely, bearing in mindtheir individual teaching practices, school setting,and population (Askin, 1985; AP, 1992; Carnes, 1992;Hurwitz, 1987).In the Advanced Placement Course Description: Art; Studio Art; History of Art (1992), the authorswrite that studio art is composed of two portfolios:the general portfolio and the drawing portfolio. Onlyone portfolio may be submitted annually; students maysubmit a second portfolio in the following year.However, students may offer both a studio art portfolioand history of art in one year. In each portfolio,three sections are to be submitted. These are quality,concentration, and breadth. Portfolio assessors85literally look for these qualities in the discretesections of the portfolio.With regard to the quality component in bothportfolios, it is stated that traditionally, qualityhas been "avoided as a criterion for evaluation in arteducation, because it is difficult to identify and evenmore difficult to define" (AP, 1992, p.4). Askin(1985) notes that in spite of the problems associatedwith determining quality in art, the criterion in thissection of portfolio assessment is quality itself.Criteria associated with quality are: evidence ofimagination; freshness of conception andinterpretation; mastery of concepts; composition; useof materials and techniques; a sense of order and form;evidence of a range of experience; a sense of focus andpersonal direction; a sense of style, and awareness ofart historical sources including contemporary ideas.According to Askin, assessors look at both form andcontent in assessing the quality section of theportfolios.Askin (1985) maintains that the quality section ofthe portfolios is the most easily evaluated, althoughcopying is a somewhat knotty problem. He suggests that86the critical factor is the way in which source materialis used. When is it used in a hackneyed, derivativeand unimaginative way, freshness of conception andinterpretation is impeded (p.25).In the quality section of the portfolio, TheDevelopment Committee in Studio Art ask the student todefine his or her conception of quality by selectingexamples for this section, and in so doing, determining" ...what is good work. What succeeds in its own way"(AP, 1992, p.4). It is suggested that awareness ofquality is encouraged and developed through teachersestablishing a critical dialogue with students;students critiquing one another's work, andintroduction of "works of great artists, ancient andmodern" to be used as "departure points for thestudents' own conceptual and aesthetic inventions andcritical judgments rather than as objects for them toimitate" (AP, 1992, p.4). Original works are to besubmitted for the quality sections; four for thegeneral portfolio, and six for the drawing portfolio.Up to 20 slides are required in the concentrationsection for the general and drawing portfolios.Students are expected to show evidence of an intensive87exploration of a "personal, central interest" (AP,1992, p.5). Askin (1985) notes that the two majorfactors in this section are that the student has workedindependently on an in-depth project--the kind of workan artist working in a studio might undertake (p.26).For example, students may take colour, a visual symbol,a material or process, or a subject theme, andinvestigate it by experimenting in various ways. Usinga central visual idea, students are required to revealits evolution, and to focus on the "process ofinvestigation, discovery, and growth" (AP, 1992, p.5).Thus, one offs are discouraged. It is suggested thatstudents engage in a plan of action, and a particularline of investigation.Written commentary must accompany the work, and aform is provided for this purpose (AP, 1992, p.5). Inthis commentary the student is expected to define andoutline the area of concentration, demonstrating "thestudent's ability to describe and analyze the totalprocess involved" (Hurwitz, 1987, p. 25). Askin (1985)describes the nature of the written component:It is important for a student undertaking a self-determined area of inquiry to understand the workof other artists who have worked in the same areas88and to have mastered the language needed to talkabout work of a particular nature, and (althoughthe quality of the writing is not a factor ingrading) to be able to articulate relevant ideasabout the concentration, the sources of the ideasit represents, and the nature of any assistancereceived or resources used. (pp.26-27)In the breadth section, the important variable isevidence of varied exploration with regard to media,technique, style, and subject matter (AP, 1992, p.6).Thus, students submitting work for the drawingportfolio in this category are advised to submit worksin which various drawing styles are explored--gestural,perspective, cartoon, and so on. Students are requiredto submit a minimum of fourteen slides, up to a maximumof twenty slides, with six slides possibly to be usedfor details of some of the original fourteen works.For the general portfolio, twenty slides are to besubmitted, including eight drawings, four colourexercises, four design pieces, and four three-dimensional pieces. In the three-dimensional categorystudents may include furniture, jewelry, woven ormetallic forms, and sculpture. With regard to thedesign pieces, examiners want to see evidence that the"principles of visual organization are the majorconcepts" (AP, 1992, p.10). (See Appendix 2, Structure89and Criteria for Advanced Placement assessment.)The assessment procedure is based on theintersubjective judgements of a team of examiners orreaders. Persons applying to assess portfolios (knownas readers) must be teachers of current AdvancedPlacement studio art courses, or of first year collegestudio art courses. They are also expected to be"personally committed to their own artisticdevelopment" (Askin, 1985, p.7). There is a limitedterm of service for readers.In May of each year the original art works andslides are sent to be assessed at two colleges in NewJersey, where all the readers gather. The Chief Readerand table leaders arrive a day and a half in advance ofother readers. This is in order tosift through the portfolios and select samplesrepresenting a range of quality and types ofsubmissions for each of the three sections...ofeach of the two portfolios...These are used toestablish grading standards. When the readinggroup meets as a whole and before any gradingbegins, there is a standard-setting session usingthe samples selected earlier. The standards mustreflect the fact that Advanced Placement is anational program. (Askin, 1985, p.7)Readers do not assess work from their own schools.Art work is identified by number. Portfolios are90assessed section by section, with two readers workingon the concentration and breadth sections, and threeworking on the quality section. Askin notes that whereopinions diverge, other readers are brought in toarbitrate, in order that compatible agreements finallymay be reached. Finally, scores from all threesections are added together, and then converted to afive point scale, which runs through 5 (extremely wellqualified), to 3 (qualified), to 0 (no recommendation)(Askin, 1985, p. 3).Askin (1985) and Hurwitz (1978) find thisassessment strategy reliable and consistent. Hurwitzholds that this is because the judging committee goesthrough the training period just described, in whichthey spend considerable time in exercises which involvethe articulation of criteria in order to arrive atmutually understood standards for scoring (p.25). Thissuggests that although teachers have the latitude todevise programmes in keeping with their own teachingphilosophies and the circumstances of geography andpopulation, nevertheless they hold certain values incommon. These values refer both to the purposes ofteaching studio art, and its assessment.91Arts PROPEL: assessment structureProject Zero Arts PROPEL is directed by HowardGardner (1989, 1991a, 1991b) of the Harvard GraduateSchool of Education. This programme is being conductedin association with the Educational Testing Service,and the Pittsburgh Public Schools. The purpose of theproject is to gain data for Gardner and his colleagues'academic research on the nature of art learning,cognitive development, and assessment. Thus, the ArtsPROPEL project is not geared to certification or aschool leaving qualification. Rather, it is an ongoingproject whose administrators' aim to examine the natureof artistic understanding and learning, and to enhanceartistic understanding through assessment.Consonant with Gardner's (1989) theory of multipleintelligences (seven in all), including interpersonalintelligence, linguistic intelligence, and mathematicalintelligence, Arts PROPEL aims at capitalizing on theunderstanding which the arts offer. However, unlikemusical intelligence, Gardner does not see artisticintelligence as a discrete area, but as one informed bytwo or more areas of intelligence.Arts PROPEL is an acronym which stands for the92curricular basis of this project: It is composed ofstudio-based activities involving art production,perception, and reflection. The studio-basedactivities centre around two sets of organizedendeavours. These are domain projects (concept-specific studies) and long term portfolio projects,undertaken in an atelier type environment (Gardner,1991b, p.33).In Arts PROPEL assessment, teachers aim ataccessing the student's degree of realization withregard to production, reflection, and perception.Gardner (1991a) describes assessment as occurringinternally--controlled by the classroom teacher,although external assessment has been done by artseducators, through the Educational Testing Service(p.31).Although curricular structure is described asexploring a map rather than as a linear format (Gitomeret al. 1992), students learn specific formal conceptsin the short term domain projects (Gardner, 1991a,p.29). Gardner holds that students are required toexplore formal concepts visually, and to reflect uponthem verbally through self assessment (p.30): "The93student's drafts and final product, along with herreflections, are then assessed along a variety ofqualitative dimensions such as engagement, technicalskills, imaginativeness, and critical evaluativeskills" (p.31). Gitomer et al. maintain that studentsare assessed on the basis of the objectives of domainprojects. These objectives are shared between studentsand teacher, and emerge as qualitative criteria forassessment (p.9).Processfolios are ongoing as opposed to short termprojects. Again, the emphasis is on self assessment,studio production, reflection, and perception, based onfindings in production activities (Gardner, 1991a,p.32):In her portfolio a student records progress on aproject: an initial idea, early sketches, falsestarts, pivotal pieces (where an idea gels),journal entries (in whatever medium seemsappropriate), interim critiques and self-critiques, the final product, critiques of thatproduct, and plans for further revisions of theproject or for new projects which in some waybuild upon the works in the process folio. (p.32).Criteria for assessment of the portfolios includecompleteness and regularity of journal entries; qualityof art products "on technical and imaginative grounds"94(p.34), and the students' own ability to be selfcritical, to look objectively and fairly at their ownwork. In this regard, being able to find and solveproblems, and being flexible within the learningexperience, are highly regarded. (See Appendix 3,Structure and Criteria for Arts PROPEL assessment.)Assessment occurs in a variety of ways: Throughformal interviews between student and teacher, ininformal discussion, through students' writtenreflective journal entries, and studio critiques andportfolio reviews of studio work where teachers attemptto "assess the level of understanding students haveabout the public criteria relevant to the project underdiscussion" (Gitomer et al., 1992, p.11).A primary challenge for Arts PROPEL teachers isthe reflection component. This is because reflectionis described by Gitomer et al. (1992) as "a private andcovert activity" (p.9). This hurdle is overcomeprimarily through questioning, and the evidence in thejournals and sketchbooks. Questioning is cited byGitomer et al. as an effective technique because it"permits a detailed examination of an individual'sunderstanding" (p.9). For example, Gitomer et al.95delineate a mid year final arts and crafts assessment,in which the teacher interviews individual students.The questioning strategy is structured as follows: Thestudent is asked to identify his or her unique style;to identify the best piece of work, and to rationalisewhy it is the best; to do the same with an unsuccessfulpiece of work; to describe what was learnt from theless successful piece; to articulate how changes mightbe made in re-doing a selected piece, and to explainhow the student has grown artistically (p.15). Gitomeret al. maintain that evidence of this kind, whichreveals the complexity of performance in terms ofprocess and multiple criteria, unfortunately is lostwhen results are compacted into a single letter grade(p.15).In setting out a table delineating the Arts PROPELassessment system, Gardner affirms that evidence forassessing work in activities related to production,reflection, and perception, lies in the work itself.Although studio work can be assessed by an experiencedoutsider, in the case of documents pertinent toreflection and perception (journals and so on),assessing should be done by the classroom teacher, who96knows the student. In this regard, Gitomer et al.(1992) state that one needs knowledgeable, "flexible,insightful, and resourceful" art teachers in order tomake judgements and engage in critical dialogue withstudents (p.9). They maintain that the portfoliosystem cannot operate "in the absence of knowledgeableart educators" (p.9). Although the student is involvedintimately in self assessment, and the ability toreflect critically is an important criterion inassessing students, the teacher as a knowledgeableprofessional--a connoisseur--is a pivotal concept inthe Arts PROPEL assessment model.International Baccalaureate: assessment structureInternational Baccalaureate (IB) originated inGeneva, to serve the ex-patriate children of theinternational diplomatic corps. The IB is a seniorsecondary school leaving certificate. Roughly, it isthe equivalent of grade twelve in North America.School leavers who have achieved high enough grades inthe IB examinations may apply for entry into tertiarylevel institutions, in about 60 countries (Chalmers,1990, p.3). Chalmers writes that the IB operates97internationally in close to five hundred schools (p.3).Graeme Chalmers (1990), Chief Examiner for the IBassessment in art and design, writes that input for theIB curriculum model and assessment strategy in art anddesign came from its international developmentcommittee, who were influenced in their approach bymethods in Britain and Australia (p.2). In particular,they were influenced by the British approach tocriterion referencing in senior secondary art anddesign in the National Curriculum (p.2). Anotherstrong consideration was multiculturalism, determinedboth by the multicultural nature of art, and theinternational population served by the IB (pp.3-4).Chalmers (1992) notes that criterion referencingmeans students are assessed for positive achievements,rather than deficiencies (p.4). Each criterion isassessed by reference to detailed descriptors,describing five levels of achievement, from lowest tohighest. Chalmers (1992) suggests that examiners startat level one, at which the lowest level of achievementis described, and move through to find the level whichmost aptly corresponds to the work under consideration.The student may choose to be assessed in art and98design at two levels: higher level (h1), and subsidiarylevel (s1). The criteria for assessment are differentfor these two levels. The student who opts to take artand design at the higher level is required to producetwo bodies of work over a two year period (theequivalent of grades eleven and twelve in NorthAmerica). These are a portfolio of studio work, whichcounts for 70% of the final mark, and a researchworkbook, which counts for 30% of the final mark. Inthe research workbook, studies of a historical,critical, and cultural nature are undertaken, so thatthe research workbook is a mostly written document,which may also include visual material. The studentwho opts to take art at the subsidiary level may submiteither a research workbook, or a portfolio forassessment, again at the end of a two year period.With regard to both the portfolio and the researchworkbook, the student is expected to undertakeindividual, sustained, and concentrated study of apersonally selected topic of interest.Chalmers (1990, 1992) delineates criteria forassessment of research workbooks as follows,abbreviating higher level to (hl), and subsidiary level99to (sl):1. Independent research 35% (Ill) 40% (sl).2. Critical appraisal of formal, technical, andaesthetic qualities studied 25% (h1) 30% (sl).3. Awareness of the cultural, historical, socialcontext 25% (h1) 30% (sl).4. Experimental studio research 15% (hl). (1992,pp.4-11)Chalmers notes that criteria for the portfolios are thesame for higher and subsidiary levels, and these aredescribed as follows (1990):1. Imaginative and creative thinking andexpression 35%2. Persistence in research 20%3. Technical skill 15%4. Understanding the functions and characteristicsof media 10%5. Understanding the fundamentals of design 10%6. Ability to evaluate one's own growth anddevelopment 10%^(p.11)Chalmers (1992) urges teachers to encouragestudents to apply the criteria and descriptors outlinedin his paper to assess and reflect on their ownprogress (p.4). In addition, Chalmers notes theimportance of having higher level candidatesdemonstrate thematic links between their own studiowork, and the subject of study in the researchworkbook. In his May 1991 report to IB art and designteachers and examiners, Chalmers (1992) reiterates that100the research workbooks are meant to reveal the processand strategies employed by the student. Chalmers notesthat many students submit finished products, which isnot in keeping with the conception of the researchworkbook. Further, Chalmers notes the importance ofstudents making clear connections between their ownwork in the portfolios and/or workbooks, and the realart and design world beyond the school. This could becarried out in anecdotal notes in the workbooks, or insketchbooks accompanying the portfolios. (See Appendix4, Structure and Criteria for InternationalBaccalaureate assessment.)IB art and design assessment is carried outregionally. Local art educators may apply to IBheadquarters to serve as examiners (although they maynot be examiners in their own schools). Teachers andexaminers are required to become familiar with the IBcurriculum model and assessment system in art anddesign.Assessment in art and design takes place at theend of the grade twelve school year (or equivalent)when the examiner visits the school. Students arerequired to set up an exhibition of their studio101pieces, accompanied by a portfolio of other works,working drawings, sketchbooks and ideas. In addition,or alternatively, research workbooks are presented forthe examiner to assess. Students are required to bepresent with the examiner for a personal interview, atwhich time the examiner seeks to gather moreinformation about students and their approaches to thework presented. The teacher may be present, if thestudent desires this. The information gathered by theexaminer in the interview, as well as the workingsketches and rough notes, help to determine approachesto work, working habits on the part of each student,and self assessment. In addition to the assessment offinished and unfinished products, the interview helpsto facilitate assessment of products and processes.Once the assessment is over, the examiner gatherstogether examples of work:A booklet is provided in which examiners paste 12photographs for each of three students. The threestudents are selected as representing the highest,average, and lowest marks of the schools examined.All examiners also select three research workbook(the best, the weakest, and an average example)from the range of work seen at schools examined.This enables the Chief and Deputy Chief Examinerto check examiners' standards and to makeadjustments if necessary. Examiners receivefeedback.^(Chalmers, 1990, p.22)102The final grade is determined at IB headquarters,taking account of the application of criteria anddescriptors by the examiner.Chalmers (1990) notes that examiners fill in areport on the quality of work at each school (p.20).In effect, the latter activity results in an externalprogramme evaluation. Examiners also fill in a formevaluating the assessment process at each school. Oneof these questions is: "Were you and the teacher ingeneral agreement about the rank order of thecandidates?" (p.42). This question suggests twothings: First, criterion referencing is the main modelof assessment. Second, the teacher is consulted--although perhaps in a minor way, in the assessmentprocess.Chalmers (1992) writes that in 1990, a total of820 IB candidates were assessed in art and design. Ofthese, 425 offered art and design at the higher level;336 offered art and design at the subsidiary level,opting for portfolio assessment, and the remaining 59opted for assessment of their research workbooks at thesubsidiary level. The number of candidates for IB artand design appears to be rising consistently.103Multiculturalism and assessment in North AmericaChalmers (1991) and Zimmerman (1991) hold that inline with the multicultural nature of North Americansociety, curricula must be multicultural in nature, andassessment must attempt to be responsive to thecontextual understanding of individual students.MacGregor (1990) reports that in his experience ofclassroom life, "multiculturalism is a local affair, tobe handled by the teacher out of whatever situationexists in a specific classroom" (p.319). It is througha fluid interplay between the students' culturalbackgrounds, and the historical and cultural studies towhich they are exposed at school, that a sense ofpersonal valuing and identity arises (p.319).Qualitative assessment derived from art studies ofmulticulturalism is as yet relatively undeveloped,though the International Baccalaureate programmeserving an international clientele is activelyconfronting the complications posed by issues ofinternationalism and ethnicity.ConclusionAssessment does not occur on a national basis in104Canada or the United States. Rather, approaches toassessment are both various and opposed with regard tothe values they embody. Qualitative approaches toassessing studio art are provided by AdvancedPlacement, International Baccalaureate, and ArtsPROPEL. Significantly, several variables are common tothese models: First, in all cases, assessment is basedon evidence--written, verbal, or artistic, produced bythe student. Second, these models combine aspects ofnorm referencing and criterion referencing. Third,they rely on the qualitative judgements ofprofessionals in the field--art teachers. Fourth,judgements are often made on an intersubjective basis.Fifth, assessment is based on materials which reflectcurriculum content. And finally, the questions askedand studio problems posed are essentially open-endedand qualitative, rather than being closed anddeterminate with regard to meaning and possibilities.105CHAPTER FIVE:Values inherent in assessment in North AmericaIntroductionIn this chapter, I seek to reveal values inherentin assessment of studio art at the senior secondarylevel in North America, by examining objectives andcriteria for assessment. These criteria are outlinedin the curriculum materials produced for and byteachers of Advanced Placement (AP), Arts PROPEL, andInternational Baccalaureate (IB) studio art programmes.As I did in the chapter on values in British assessmentof senior secondary level studio art, I shall examinevalues by employing themes which reflect values, andwhich have arisen as inclusive and representative ofcriteria for assessment.Conceptual understanding of form in art and designIn assessment practices in senior secondarystudio art in North America, the understanding of formis central.106Advanced Placement The understanding of form isassessed both directly and indirectly in all sectionsof the AP portfolio review: Quality, breadth, andconcentration.In the quality section of AP assessment severalcriteria specifically refer to the understanding anduse of form. These criteria are "mastery of concepts";"composition"; "a sense of focus, style, and personaldirection", and "a distinct sense of order and form"(Askin, 1985, p.25).In analysing examples of students' work in a guideto AP assessment for teachers, Askin notes negative andpositive formal features, illustrating the vital rolewhich formal qualities play in assessing the qualitysection. For example, Askin states: "In figure 9...Thespace of the steps in the doorway is an interestingsolution to the problem of an overly expansive space"(p.26). Askin describes the hackneyed theme of shoesand boots which seems to emerge regularly in the imagesof candidates, although some images are surprisinglysuccessful due to the formal treatment of the subject:Most of these works have little sense ofrelish...figure 20 is a boot drawing, but noticewhat has happened. The boots are fully realized;they don't just float in the middle of the page,107but rather, are composed in such a way that theymove off the page, creating a dynamiccomposition...There is contrast between thedarkness of the boots and the lightness of thebackground.^(p.26)In the breadth section of AP portfolio assessmentthere is further evidence of the requirement thatstudents should have developed an ability to discernformal qualities. The student is required to producestudio work in four discrete areas: drawing, two-dimensional design, colour, and three-dimensional work.Each of these areas requires attention to distinctiveformal problems pertinent to the media, techniques, andapproaches applicable in each case. Askin (1985) makesclear the need for a broad understanding of therelationship between media exploration and the uniqueformal problems which each area presents, when hestates that students are required toshow what they can do in the principal areas ofmost art curricula...Therefore, it is importantfor students to work with a variety of techniques,media, visual modes, compositional form, styles,and directions. (p.28)Thus, in the breadth component, as in the qualitycomponent, readers look for evidence that studentsunderstand the elements and principles of design108through the use and application of design principles invaried contexts in the images and artifacts which theyproduce.In the concentration section of AP assessment, thereaders look for evidence of a defined area ofinvestigation in studio work. This means that thereneeds to be confirmation of attention to stylisticdevelopment with regard to both form and content.Askin (1985) writes that one student focuses onabstraction of the human figure (p.26). Consequently,the focus of content is the human figure, while thefocus of formal concentration is abstraction. Askincites the student's notes in determining influences onthis work, which "'is influenced both by the definedabstraction of cubism and related styles and by thework of such artists as Lichtenstein'" (p.26). What issignificant is that the student has to understand theformal stylistic configurations of cubism conceptually,in order to make this observation, and further, thereneeds to be evidence of this focus in the formal visualcharacteristics of the student's work.It should also be noted that in a set of suggestedlesson activities for teachers, Hurwitz (1978)109delineates projects which focus mainly on themanipulation of form, as well as the development ofthemes, and media exploration projects. Lessons rangefrom exercises in figure-ground relationships, tospatial illusion, colour, and pattern (pp.26-28).Arts PROPEL The role of understanding form is centralto the Arts PROPEL approach. Studio activities revolvearound addressing formal design problems. Students arerequired to apply and experiment with formal designproblems, taking them through to realization. As inthe AP concentration component, the Arts PROPEL studentis required to reflect and make anecdotal writtencomments on the evolution of formal qualities in imagesand artifacts through the reflective component of theArts PROPEL approach. (Gitomer, Grosh, & Price, 1992;Magee, Agar, Price, & Brown, 1992).An example of the emphasis on form in studioactivities is as follows: Gitomer, et al., (1992)report that a domain project, titled "'ExploringComposition Through Crafts and Design'" was designedfor110a heterogeneous group of high school entry levelcrafts students. The final product, The AfricanKuba Cloth Design, is the culmination of studentactivities that focus on repetition of shapes,color, value, line, and texture in both two-andthree-dimensional representation with intenseexposure to the grid system, geometric design, andAfrican art. Students understand that the goal ofthe final project is to assimilate what they havelearned about the interrelationship andorganization of the elements and principles ofdesign as they affect the composition of theirwork and the works of others. (p.14)Apart from the cloth design project, other worksincluded in half year portfolio assessment are cutpaper designs, a three-dimensional cube,...value scale, perspective sketches, drawing ofcube, and ceramic box; line chart, gesture sketch,contour drawing, yarn drawing, pen and inkdrawing, and scrimshaw piece or sculpture...Goethecolor triangles, and the mask painting. (p.14)The foci of the exercises listed above are specificallyformalist in nature. The formal problems examined aredefined: The value scale, perspective sketches, cubedrawing, line chart, and colour triangles confirm thismost positively. Where a formal problem is not statedexplicitly, it is implicit in the nature of the formaldemands of the media exploration project.Part of the assessment strategy in the portfolioreview is that students are asked to reflect on theirstudio work in light of general questions. Examples of111some of these questions follow (Gitomer, et al., 1992).While question number one focuses on formal qualities,the other questions are open ended. However, theanswers selected by the authors as representative ofstudent responses to these questions are, for the mostpart, related to formal issues:1. Which characteristic or style can you identifyas uniquely your own? (color choices, use of line,brush control, construction skills, etc.)Explain.I would say color choice. The colors I chose aremy own. I can change colors by mixing to createnew ones. If I'm warm inside my pictures I usegreen...colors can reflect our feeling...2. Which piece of work is your favorite? Explainwhy.I think my line print is my favorite. I worked onthis for a long time--doing it over and over untilI was satisfied with my final outcome. I was ableto experiment with different ways of using theink--positive and negative space. I was alsomaking it for someone else, which makes me feelgood...3a. Select a piece that you are displeased with.Why are you displeased with the piece?I'm most unhappy with my pen and ink drawing. Ididn't feel I was patient enough...The lines onthe lips bother me and it reminds me of an oldbest friend...3b. What did you learn from this piece of artwork?... I did learn about the values lines create. Idid like my use of line in the hat and hair. Ihadn't realized how much difference it can makewith different textured lines and the distance inbetween...4. Select a piece of art work. How would youalter or change this piece if you were to do itagain? Explain...My pen and ink drawing. I would change this piece112by realigning the wings of the dragon and thelady...5. What growth do you recognize in your artisticskills since beginning this semester?My personal style. I tend to lean towardtriangles, squares and rectangles. I don't reallylike drawing circles or curves. Ex. My folderdesign has circles in the pattern, nothing elsedoes. (pp. 14-15)In Gardner's descriptions of the Arts PROPELprogramme, the importance of understanding form isevident (1989, 1991a, 1991b). For example, in a domainproject focusing on an exercise in composition (1989,1991a, 1991b), students work with ten "oddly shapedblack cutouts" (1991b, p. 101), which are randomlythrown on white paper, and then glued down. Then,students themselves have to arrange a new set of blackshapes. Gardner specifies the kind of formalunderstandings that emerge from this exercise (1991a):In the "Composition" domain project, studentsdevelop an awareness of the basic principles ofdesign...Students are then introduced to certainof the major principles of composition (e.g.harmony through repetition, surprise throughcontrast), and they discuss these principles asthey have been exemplified in paintings byesteemed artists. (p.29)Gardner (1991b) maintains that in comparing the effectsof the two compositions, students engage in perception,113and through "articulating the reasons for the differingimpact of the two compositions" (p.101), they engage inreflection. In both cases, the perception andreflection activities focus on formal qualities.International Baccalaureate In IB assessment of studioperformance, six criteria are delineated. One focusesexplicitly on formal concerns, while the considerationof form is implicit in the other criteria. Criterionnumber five is that students should understand the"fundamentals of design" (Chalmers, 1990, p. 11). Inorder to have a full understanding of design, one wouldneed to understand the formal qualities of images andartifacts. Chalmers states:In view of the persistently shifting definitionsof the term "design" in art educationinternationally, I.B. proposes that, for thepurposes of assessment an understanding of thefundamentals of design is the ability (intuitiveor learned) to recognize the significance ofelements such as color, line, tone, form, and toarrange or relate these elements so as to achieveharmony, pattern, contrast, rhythm, appropriate tothe artist's/designer's intention and to thefunction of the product. The fundamentalprinciples of design may be applied in differentways, according to various cultural traditions.(p.15)114Other criteria imply the need to understand form:The student would necessarily have to understand andemploy formal qualities in order to exhibit"Imaginative and creative thinking and expression";technical skill, understanding of the chosen media, and"ability to evaluate own growth and development"(Chalmers, 1990, p.11).The four criteria implemented in the assessment ofthe research workbook also reveal the need for thestudent to understand formal qualities. For example,the student is assessed according to her or his"Critical appreciation of the formal, technical andaesthetic qualities of the art form/s studied"(Chalmers, 1990, p.12). Chalmers describes the bestachievement possible at the highest descriptor level ofthis criterion:A critical vocabulary has been developed andeffectively employed. An understanding of form,technique and aesthetic qualities enables thestudent to organize and analyze the materialstudied in written and graphic terms and to arriveat some personal and original conclusions. (p.18)The understanding of formal qualities is implicitas well in assessing the students' "Awareness ofcultural/historical/social context" (Chalmers, 1990, p.12). An awareness of historical developments in art115and design necessitates an understanding of stylisticchange, and style is determined to a great extent byformal qualities. In addition, Chalmers states: "Thefundamental principles of design may be applied indifferent ways, according to various culturaltraditions" (p.18). One has to understand thevocabulary and function of principles of design inorder to understand how they are being applied invarious cultural contexts, even though principles ofdesign are employed as means to different ends, inaccordance with social and cultural factors.Understanding processAdvanced Placement The understanding of process doesnot emerge as a prominent aspect of AP assessment.Students are not required to submit sketchbooks orworking drawings illustrating the process of planningand working towards final pieces.The focus on product is evident in Brown's (1992)summary of the way in which studio work should bepresented for assessment. He urges that the manner ofpresentation should reflect "respect for the workitself", and that work should be neat and matted (p.1).116Illustrations in Askin's (1985) guide are all finished,best pieces of work. There is no evidence of roughsketches or notes required to accompany finished works.It is explicitly stated that best quality works are tobe selected for the quality section of the portfolio(Askin, 1985). It would seem that this applies in theother areas of the portfolio as well. Best pieces ofwork suggest those which have been fully realized,rather than unfinished pieces and rough sketches.Along with the concentration component of theportfolio, students are required to submit a shortwritten commentary:This rather short form is VITAL, not justsupportive. It should provide explanations of:(a) concept, (b) thought processes, (c) research,and (d) assistance or advice. This information ismeant to assist judges in decisions concerningprojects that are incomplete or unsuccessful, butworthy of examination. (Brown, 1992, p.2)However, this "short form" does not represent asignificant amount of evidence regarding the process ofworking, such that would constitute a comprehensiveunderstanding of the way in which a student has arrivedat a solution to a design problem, or found itdifficult to do so.Although understanding of process is not assessed117directly in AP assessment, the importance of processseems to be present in AP classrooms where students arepreparing portfolios for assessment. For example,Steve Cabot Willis at Atlantic Community High School,Delray Beach, Florida writes that he wants his studentsto solve a problem their own way, to make informeddecisions, to have a discerning eye, to havehistorical and contemporary perspectives, toargue, to change their minds, to allow a conceptto grow and change in process... (Carnes, 1992,p.25)In AP assessment classroom teachers never assesstheir own students. This is in order to renderjudgements less subjective and biased (Askin, 1985).However, the teacher's knowledge of the student's workhabits is important and usually substantial; excludingthe teacher means that an important component in theassessment of process is missing. The teacher'sassessment of the student if critical whereconsideration of process is required.Arts PROPEL The process of learning is assesseddirectly in Arts PROPEL assessment. It is an essentialcomponent of production, perception and reflectionactivities in the Arts PROPEL classroom. It is118considered important to gain access to the way in whicha student thinks about and approaches studio problems.Students are required to keep records of processes indomain projects, and in developing portfolios.Teachers want to see evidence of sketches, notes, andideas, in written and visual form, and inconversational interviews with individual students. Animportant aspect of this is reflection and selfassessment. For example, recording processes andreflecting on them is evident in the question, "Whatgrowth do you recognize in your artistic skills sincebeginning this semester?" (Gitomer et al., 1992, p.15).Gardner (1991a) describes the way in which processis part of a typical domain project, wherein anartist's biography is linked with students' workingprocedures:In the "Biography of Work" students first observea large set of sketches prepared by Andrew Wyeth,prior to his completion of "Brown Swiss"; theythen survey a companion set of sketches and draftsof Picasso's "Guernica". Following theseperceptual explorations, they embark on their ownpaintings or drawings, and monitor their own"developing" processes. Students, for example,might be asked to make a picture of their room athome, bringing out aspects of their ownpersonality in the way that they portray thatroom. This domain project features constantdialectic between sketches and final products, and119between the preparatory works of major artists andone's own "rehearsals".^(p.30)Gardner describes the portfolio as a "processfolio":...our processfolio is oriented to furthering ofthe student's own learning. In her portfolio astudent records progress on a project: an initialidea, early sketches, false starts, pivotal pieces(where an idea gels), journal entries (in whatevermedium seems appropriate), interim critiques andself-critiques, the final product, critiques ofthat product, and plans for further revisions ofthe project or for new projects which in some waybuild upon the works in the processfolio. (p.32)Gardner holds that the teacher's role is one of a"skilled colleague--a coach or a mentor" (p.33).Therefore the teacher's role as an artist is central,because the teacher "serves as an exemplar ofproductive artistry" (p.33). Role modelling theartist, says Gardner, is important: It aids inrendering visible to students the development of visualideas and decision making in art.Students are assessed in four areas: production,reflection, perception, and approach to work (Gardner,1991a, pp. i-iii). Gardner describes the evidencelooked at in all these areas. In assessing studioproduction, he states that the evidence "lies in thework itself" (p.i). In assessing reflection, the120evidencecomes from the student's journals and sketchbooks,and from observations of the kinds of commentsthat the student makes in class. Thus, thesedimensions need to be scored by a classroomteacher, who knows the student. (p.ii)In assessing perception, and approach to work, evidencecomes from journal entries, and from observing thecomments made by a student in group critiques. Gardnerasserts that only classroom teachers can assess astudent's performance in these areas.International Baccalaureate Process is assesseddirectly in IB assessment. Students are required toreveal their approaches to work both through theresearch workbook, and the studio portfolio. In bothcases, working sketches or notes and rough ideas are tobe presented for assessment, as well as finishedpieces. In fact, the research workbook is just that--aworkbook which is meant to be an ongoing document ofstudy and reflection on a subject of the student'schoosing (Chalmers, 1992). Chalmers states explicitlythat the workbook is not to be seen as a finishedproduct, but as a document in which the nature of121inquiry, as well as the content of it, are revealed.In studio assessment, the criterion "persistencein research" refers at the highest descriptor level toA considerable body of work (which) reflects...independent and original pursuit of a wide varietyof ideas in different media. The research ispersonal and adventurous and projects are seenright through to a successful conclusion.(Chalmers, 1992, p.13)Students are expected to present sketchbooks andworking drawings showing how they worked through andapproached a studio problem.The criterion which is most pertinent to processin the research workbook is "independent research"(p.12). The student is encouraged to engage inindependent study, and to present a combination ofrough and finished written and graphic material in theworkbook.Form and function; contextual understandingAdvanced Placement In AP assessment there is noevidence of direct assessment of students'understanding of the relationship between form andfunction although the topic may be raised by theteacher in the classroom. There is indirect assessment122of students' contextual understandings.In the concentration area, it is possible thatstudents might explore form and function independently,although on a one page form there would be littleopportunity for students to exhibit evidence of pithyinquiry. Further, the description of the writtencommentary assignment does not refer to relating formto function in one's own work, or the work of otherartists and designers. However, in the writtencommentary students are expected to establish linksbetween their own art and art and design in the realworld:It is important for a student undertaking a self-determined area of inquiry to understand the workof other artists who have worked in the same areasand to have mastered the language needed to talkabout work of a particular nature, beable to articulate relevant ideas about theconcentration, the sources of the ideas itrepresents (Askin, 1985, p.26)On the basis of what is assessed directly one is leftto conclude that contextual understanding is a somewhatimportant aspect of AP assessment, while understandingform and function is not.Arts PROPEL In Arts PROPEL there is no evidence ofdirect assessment of students' understandings of the123relationship between form and function, although thereis evidence of assessment of contextual understanding.The assessment of form dominates, so that studentslook at art and design in terms of formalist linksbetween their own art and the art of others. In thisregard, contextual understanding focuses on the makingof formalist connections. For example, Gitomer et al.,(1992) report on a domain project titled "ExploringComposition Through Crafts and Design"(p.14). Here theimportance of form rather than function is central, inthat artifacts are studied primarily in order toexamine composition. In this project students studyAfrican cloth designs. The report on the structure ofthe project reveals a formalist emphasis. There is nomention of the use of the cloth design in the Africansociety from which it originates--no mention of thecontext in which it is produced and consumed, or of thedesign content, although exposure to African art ismentioned. However, it seems that it is just that:Visual exposure to the form of the cloth designs, withsignificantly less attention paid to content orfunction. Further, in the criteria for assessment124listed in this extract, no mention is made of function:The African Kuba Cloth Design, is the culminationof student activities that focus on repetition ofshapes, color, value, line, and texture in bothtwo-and three-dimensional representation withintense exposure to the grid system, geometricdesign, and African art. Students understand thatthe goal of the final project is to assimilatewhat they have learned about the interrelationshipand organization of the elements and principles ofdesign as they affect the composition of theirwork and the works of others. In order to assesstheir work, the students are asked to indicatetheir perceived level of attainment of thefollowing criteria: meeting the objective,technical skill, originality, degree ofinvolvement, and problem-solving ability. (p.14)Although form and function might well be addressedin the classroom by individual Arts PROPEL teachers,the literature suggests that understanding the functionof art and design is not assessed directly in ArtsPROPEL (Gardner, 1989, 1991a, 1991b), or in specificprojects described (Gitomer et al., 1992). Artists anddesigners are introduced in Arts PROPEL classroomsprimarily for students to understand better the formalrelationships in their own art and design (Gitomer, etal., 1992).International Baccalaureate Form and function andcontextual understanding are assessed directly in IB125assessment. In discussing the fundamentals of design,Chalmers (1990) states that this is in order toachieve harmony, pattern, contrast, rhythm,appropriate to the artist's/designer's intentionand to the function of the product. Thefundamental principles of design may be applied indifferent ways, according to various culturaltraditions. (p.15)In addition, contextual understanding is addressedspecifically in the research workbook, which statesthat students should exhibit "Awareness ofcultural/historical/social context" (Chalmers, 1990,p.12). Chalmers describes the highest level descriptorof achievement with regard to this criterion: "Thematerial shows a consistent awareness of therelationship of the art/design studies to variouscultural/historical/social contexts" (p.19).Higher level students who must present both theresearch workbook and studio work for assessment areurged to show thematic links between their own studiowork, and art and design examined conceptually in theworkbook (Chalmers 1992, p.9). In particular, they areencouraged to examine a selected theme in art anddesign with regard to historical, cultural or socialcontexts, showing the relationship between the work and126the outside world by highlighting one or more of thecontexts delineated.Subsidiary level students are required to selecteither the research workbook, or a studio portfolio topresent for assessment. Because contextualunderstanding is not assessed directly in studio work,a student choosing the latter option would notnecessarily be involved in studies of art and design ofa contextual nature, unless the student's teachercovered aspects of this material in class.Historical understandingAdvanced Placement Historical understanding is notedas an assessment criterion in the examination of thequality component of the AP portfolio. It is describedas "awareness of art-historical sources" (Askin, 1985,p.25). It is difficult to gauge how readers willassess this awareness on the basis of visual works ofart, although it is suggested that historicalunderstanding is implicit in a student's stylisticdevelopment. For example, Askin notes that in onestudent's work, there is "an appreciation of the127concerns of Johns and Arakawa" (p.25). This kind ofobservation must necessarily be deduced from thestudent's artwork, making some interpretationsdifficult and possibly artificial.Students may make connections between their ownart work and that of others in the written commentaryin the concentration section of the portfolio, althoughthe amount of historical knowledge and understanding astudent can reveal on one page is very limited. In theconcentration section of the drawing portfolio, forexample, Askin (1985) cites a student's interest inHonore Daumier's satiric commentaries on French society(p. 28).AP students may immerse themselves thoroughly inart history if they opt to take this subject as adiscrete entity for AP.Arts PROPEL In Arts PROPEL historical understanding isnot assessed directly. Artists and designers areintroduced where appropriate, to illustrate andexemplify formal approaches. For example, Gardner(1991a) states that in the reflection component, thestudent should learn from other works of art by using128the ideas of other artists for inspiration (p.ii).This is illustrated in the domain project oncomposition described by Gardner (1991a), in which theworks of Warhol, Wyeth, and Picasso are looked at interms of compositional structure (p.30). This focusfacilitates a formalist understanding of composition,and in this regard, the images are not looked at inorder to understand them in an historical context.Thus, in Arts PROPEL, art history is not studiedformally, and is not assessed formally (Magee et al.,1992).International Baccalaureate IB students presentingresearch workbooks are assessed in art history based onthe criterion "Awareness of cultural/historical/socialcontext" (Chalmers, 1990, p.12). This would apply tohigher level students who are required to produceresearch workbooks and studio portfolios, andsubsidiary level students who choose to present theworkbook rather than a portfolio. Chalmers (1992)urges teachers of IB art and design at the higher levelto encourage students to show links between their ownstudio work and their art historical interests.129Personal critical opinionThe student's personal critical opinion isassessed directly in Arts PROPEL. The personalcritical opinion is exercised in Arts PROPEL primarilythrough self-assessment:Students are asked to evaluate what they havelearned from experiments which may, in someinstances, appear unsuccessful. Schools aren'toften places where you can get the "wrong" answerand still learn something. Students are asked tobecome participants in a complex conversation thatis not only based on the language and concepts ofart, but is most meaningful because students areapplying these concepts in the context of theirown work. Students are thinking about theirwork...students (are) judging their own work(Gitomer et al., 1992, p.14)The three part structure of Arts PROPEL--production,perception, and reflection, ensures that along withactivities in studio work, students reflect on what,how, and why they have engaged in particular aspects ofstudio inquiry (Gardner, 1989, 1991a, 1991b).The student's personal critical opinion is alsoassessed directly in IB assessment. First, in theresearch workbook the student is required to showcritical appreciation for the formal, technical andaesthetic qualities studied (Chalmers, 1992, p.4).Second, in studio work, the student is assessed on the130ability to evaluate his or her own growth anddevelopment (Chalmers, 1992, p.4).In AP there is no direct assessment of thestudents' personal critical opinion. However, studentsare encouraged to become critical, and to take part ingroup critiques in the art classroom. This is evidentin the guide for teachers compiled by Carnes (1992) inwhich various AP teachers share their experiences. Forexample, the group critique is very important in JerryStefl's classroom (p.54), in Jack Walther's classroom,(p.61), and probably numerous others that have not beenreported in the literature. Another example is SteveCabot Willis's programme, in which students engagetheir personal critical opinions in a very practicalway: They operate a large sized art gallery at theschool, which involves them in curating 12 to 20 showsof student art annually (Carnes, 1992, p. 24).ConclusionIn conclusion, the understanding of form isassessed directly in AP, Arts PROPEL, and IBassessment. It emerges as the one value held in common131in all these assessment strategies, and as such, themost important value inherent in assessment practice inthe models studied.Understanding of process is not assessed directlyin AP assessment, although it is a significant aspectof IB and Arts PROPEL assessments. The relationshipbetween form and function is not assessed directly inAP, Arts PROPEL, or IB.The contextual nature of art and design emerges asan important aspect of IB assessment. It is alsoimportant in AP assessment, although the amount ofinformation possible on the written commentary form islimited. Contextual understanding is assessed viaformalist connections in Arts PROPEL assessment. Assuch, it is utilized to enhance the student's formalunderstanding of his or her own work.Historical understanding is assessed directly viathe research workbook in IB assessment, and the writtencommentary in AP assessment. However, the nature ofthe AP commentary form is such that not muchinformation can be included. Historical understandingis not assessed directly in Arts PROPEL assessment.It is significant that in AP assessment, direct132assessment of process and the students' personalcritical opinions emerge as less important than theyare in other programmes. Related to this is theteacher's lack of direct involvement in finalassessment. The teacher's absence reduces thepossibility of assessment of process, which is mosteffectively observed by classroom teachers. Thestudent's work is assessed by a moderating panel ofexternal readers, in order to avoid the possibility ofpersonal bias.In contrast to AP, in Arts PROPEL process andpersonal critical opinion emerge as important values inassessment. Again, in contrast to AP, Arts PROPEL isnot a certificate granting programme, so the need forinter-subjective reliability of independent opinions isnot a priority. In keeping with the reflectivecomponent and the emphasis on process in Arts PROPEL,the teacher's role is central. At the same time, theteacher plays the role of facilitator to self-assessment by the student. As Gardner (1991a)maintains, the pivotal role of the teacher inassessment is due to important understanding andempirical knowledge the teacher has of the students'133work, and work habits.In contrast to AP and Arts PROPEL, in IBassessment personal critical opinion and process emergeas important values, although like AP, IB is acertificate granting operation. Assessment isundertaken entirely by the examiner. Like Arts PROPEL,evidence of processes engaged in, and personal criticalopinion are sought out in materials presented forassessment. As well, the student has some input; sheor he is called in to an interview with the examiner inwhich a conversation takes place about the work, itsevolution, quality, problems experienced with it, andso on. Ultimately, as in AP, IB assessment is in thehands of an external examiner. This does not inhibitassessment of process and personal critical opinion,although the student's teacher might well play animportant role in assisting assessment in these areas.In both AP and IB, it seems that the external opinion,and the moderation of grades assigned, serve tovalidate AP and IB as certificate grantingorganizations.Other variables held in common are that AP, ArtsPROPEL and IB delineate criteria for assessment;134assessment is based on the evidence of the student'swork, and assessment is undertaken by persons held tobe competent professionals. Teachers themselves arerequired to be dedicated competent educators, in orderto prepare students for assessment, and to modelreflective practice for their students. All studentsare required to engage in a research-based approach tostudio inquiry. Generally, students are required tounderstand their own art in terms of the real world.However, understanding the social or functionalcontexts of art emerges as less important in assessmentpractice. The most significant value which emerges isa formal understanding of the elements and principlesof design, and the development of a discerning eye inthis regard.135CHAPTER SIXComparative analysis of strategies and values inherentin senior secondary assessment of studio artin Britain and North AmericaAssessment structureSimilarities rather than differences characterizeassessment structures in Britain and North America.All the models examined in this study are qualitativein nature. Further, the strategies adopted by arteducators in implementing the models examined are verysimilar.First, in all assessment approaches--AdvancedPlacement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), andArts PROPEL in North America, and the GeneralCertificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) as conductedby the London East Anglian Group (LEAG) in Britain, acurriculum model is outlined, and assessmentrequirements are generated, as well as criteria forassessment in line with the curricular approach (seeAppendices 1 to 4).Second, the activity of moderation is pivotal. InBritish GCSE LEAG assessment, the external examiner136visits the school to observe and scrutinize the studiowork displayed, and to discuss with the teacher themarks assigned. Marks are moderated by the externalexaminer, who ensures that they do not reflect ageneral trend which is above or below average, and thatthe teacher's apportionment of rank order is agreedupon by the examiner.In Advanced Placement, based in North America, atleast two readers scrutinize each body of work in thebreadth and concentration components, while threereaders scrutinize the Quality section. InInternational Baccalaureate, the external examinervisiting the school confers with the teacher on thestudents' work. The IB external examiner's mark isassigned, rather than having an internal mark assignedby the teacher and moderated by the examiner, as inGCSE. Final IB grades are sent to IB headquarterswhere the Chief Examiner and Deputy Chief Examinerconfer on representative examples of high, middle, andlow quality work, ensuring that they concur that theexamples submitted are typical representatives of workat each level. In Arts PROPEL assessment, moderationdoes not appear to occur officially, although teachers137possibly do confer with one another.The third factor facilitating assessment is thatall the systems are criterion referenced (seeAppendices 1 to 4). In LEAG assessment, criterionreferencing occurs through attention to the criteriafor assessment, followed by determining to what degreestudents have accomplished success with regard to eachcriterion. Similarly, IB assessment is explicitlycriterion referenced (Chalmers, 1990). The samedescriptors are being applied to all students, so thesame standards in terms of quality of work apply. Inaddition, the examiner fills in a questionnaire at eachschool, and is asked whether she or he and the teacherwere "in general agreement about the rank order of thecandidates" (Chalmers, 1992, p.42).Criterion referencing in AP assessment is apparentin Askin's (1985) assertion that "Each grade is aprofessional evaluation of the student's preparationaccording to the course description and, hence, of hisor her readiness for more advanced work in studio art"(p.30). Bell curve norm referencing is practised in APassessment:138Computer printouts with complete distributions ofscores for each of the three categories ofmaterials are provided along with totals for eachcategory and the composite score total. Withthese figures and special statistical tablespresenting score distributions from previousyears, the Chief Reader can calibrate theevaluation against the results of other years andappraise the section-by-section performance withinthe current evaluation. Finally, computer rosterscontaining the breakdown of scores by sections forhundreds of candidates enable the Chief Reader toanalyze patterns of performance. On the basis ofprofessional judgment regarding the quality ofperformance represented by the achieved scores,the Chief Reader determines the AP grades for thecandidates.^(Askin, 1985, p.30)Criteria for assessment in Arts PROPEL are basedon the student's ability to be self critical, and, inthis regard, the completeness and regularity of journalentries comes under close scrutiny. In addition,assessment is based on the quality of art products,considering "technical and imaginative grounds"(Gardner, 1991a, p.34).A fourth factor held in common in all the modelsexamined is that assessment is based on the evidence ofthe work itself. This occurs in LEAG, IB, and ArtsPROPEL assessment, through presentation of final piecesof work, as well as rough sketches, ideas, notes, andworking drawings, indicates the importance of evidenceof process as well as product. However, in AP139assessment, only final best pieces of work aresubmitted (Brown, 1992), so that the emphasis in APassessment is most definitely on the evidence of finalproducts.Fifth, criteria for assessment, the structure ofassessment, and the requirements of the assessmentsystem are in all cases made explicit to the student.In LEAG, IB, and Arts PROPEL systems, students areencouraged to reflect upon and assess their own workwith regard to delineated criteria. In AP, studentsappear to engage in this activity as part of studio artclasses (Carnes, 1992), although effectiveness of selfassessment is not a significant aspect of AP assessmentstrategy.Finally, the teachers' and examiners' (orreaders') critical opinions are central in assessment.In British LEAG assessment, the teacher's personalcritical opinion is pivotal. Here, in contrast with IBand AP, but like Arts PROPEL, final assessment iscarried out by the classroom teacher. However, unlikeArts PROPEL, an external examiner visits to calibratethe final grades. Interestingly, in AP and IB, finalassessment is not controlled by the teacher, but by140outside professionals. This strategy effectivelyremoves an important locus of control from theclassroom, and from the classroom teacher.Values inherent in assessment practicesWhile the qualitative studio art assessmentstrategies explored here are similar, values inherentin assessment practices are not: The understanding ofform is integral in all assessment practices, but thisis where similarities diverge. Other themes examinedwhich reflect values are the interrelatedness of artand design, emphasis on process; form and function andcontextual understanding; art historical understanding,and personal critical opinion.Conceptual understanding of form in art and designThe understanding of form emerges as the mostcommon, pivotal, and fundamental value inherent inassessment practices. In all the models examined,assessors want to see evidence of attention to andunderstanding of formal qualities, which are exhibitedin the images and artifacts students produce, as wellas in the reflections and comments made by them.141In British LEAG assessment, formal qualities arevisible in the art work itself--in the Productioncomponent of the syllabus. In addition, the BasicElements component refers to the elements andprinciples of design--the understanding of which iswitnessed in written statements and in studio work.In AP assessment, the formal quality of images andartifacts is assessed directly in all studio work. Inthe quality component of the portfolio criteria are"mastery of concepts"; "composition"; "a sense offocus, style, and personal direction", and "a distinctsense of order and form" (Askin, 1985, p.25). In thebreadth component of AP, diverse formal problems are tobe overcome in producing two dimensional designs,pieces focusing on colour, three dimensional pieces,and drawings. In the concentration component, thecriterion is evidence of focus and attention to apersonalised area of study, which would necessarilyinvolve stylistic development, and attendant solutionsto formal problems.In Arts PROPEL, the understanding of formalqualities is witnessed in production, perception, andreflection activities. Studio work is central in Arts142PROPEL (Gitomer et al., 1992), and revolves aroundsolving formal design problems, such as a focus oncomposition in a domain project delineated by Gardner(1991a, p.29). In addition, in the reflectioncomponent, students are required to consider theirachievements with regard to the studio problems theyhave been assigned. As the focus of these studioproblems is form, the focus of reflection is on thedynamics of formal qualities.In IB assessment, form is assessed directly throughthe "fundamentals of design" criterion (Chalmers, 1990,p.11), which Chalmers describes as the "ability...torecognize the significance of elements such as color,line, tone, form, and to relate these elements so as toachieve harmony, pattern, and contrast, rhythm..."(Chalmers, 1990, p.15).Understanding processThe process theme is concerned with the student'sway of working and learning, and with direct assessmentof the evidence relating to development of ideas,approaches, and work habits. Implicit in process isthe role of self reflection and self assessment.143Attending to process emerges as an important valueinherent in assessment in the LEAG, IB and Arts PROPELsystems. In LEAG assessment, process is inherent inthe criterion "processes and procedures" in the 1992Art and Design syllabus. Teachers and examiners wantto see evidence of a consistent, full record kept ofthe development and realization of ideas via notes andsketches.Similarly, in IB assessment, the research workbookand studio exhibition include working sketches andevidence of the development of ideas (Chalmers 1990,1992), reflecting the importance of process. Processis implicit in Arts PROPEL assessment, in the termprocessfolio (Gardner, 1991a, 1991b), and in the ideaof reflection, and anecdotal notes maintained to recordthe process of idea development (Gitomer et al., 1992).Process does not emerge as significant in APassessment--there are no criteria for assessment whichaddress this variable.It should be noted that the emphasis on processreflects Dewey's (1934) concern with the experience ofart making and responding, and with learning throughdoing, exalting experience over outcome. This theory144has now been incorporated in assessment practice,although I noted earlier that initially it had anongoing negative impact on assessment, starting withthe Progressive era of education.Art and design as interrelatedThe understanding of art and design asinterrelated is important, particularly in British LEAGassessment, and IB assessment. In Britain, there is ahistory of visibility of design in art education.Herbert Read writes in Education through Art that anaesthetically healthy society is one which is consciousof design. The work in design education at the Bauhaus(Itten, 1961, 1963) also had an impact on British arteducation, influencing foundational studies in visualarts programmes at the secondary and tertiary levels,and design-based projects focusing on elements andprinciples of design, and media exploration. Further,the term Art and Design in the title of LEAG and IBexaminations indicates the centrality of attention todesign in these assessments.Design does not emerge as a discrete entity inArts PROPEL assessment, although, for example, the Kuba145African cloth project (Gitomer et al., 1992) focuses onformal design principles which are evident in theartifacts. In AP assessment, the breadth componentcalls for two and three dimensional design pieces. Thevariety required in the breadth component is gearedspecifically to the broad based nature of first yearfoundation studies in art. Hence, the inclusion ofdesign pieces in the breadth component of the APportfolio.Form and function; contextual understandingForm and function refer to the relationshipbetween the formal qualities of an artifact or image,and its everyday use. Form and function are related tocontextual understanding, which encompasses therelationship between an individual or group's art ordesign work, and the genre within which work isproduced. The writing of Wolff (1981), Lippard (1984),and Parker and Pollock (1987) emphasises the importanceof understanding art and design in terms of its socialand political functions and contexts.Understanding the contextual nature of art anddesign production emerges as an important value146inherent in IB and LEAG assessments. Contextualunderstanding is assessed directly in IB assessment:Chalmers (1990) states that an understanding of thefundamentals of design is important in orderto achieve harmony, pattern, contrast, rhythm,appropriate to the artist's/designer's intentionand to the function of the product. Thefundamental principles of design may be applied indifferent ways, according to various culturaltraditions. (p.15).Similarly, in Britain, Steers (1990) delineates thethree foundational areas of curriculum which determinethe National Criteria. These are the conceptual,productive, and critical/contextual domains, "whichenable candidates to express ideas and insights whichreflect a developing awareness of their own work andthat of others" (LEAG Art and Design, p.11). The ethosof critical studies in Britain is art education whichis productive, critical, and contextual in nature.Understanding the relationship between form,function, and context does not emerge as a significantaspect of Arts PROPEL. Although artists are introducedto Arts PROPEL students, the purpose is primarily toilluminate and to understand better the formalrelationships in students' own work (Magee et al.,1471992). In short, contextual understanding is notcentral in Arts PROPEL. In AP, contextualunderstanding may be an important aspect of classroomart, but it is not a pivotal aspect of assessment: Theone page form on which students write anecdotalcomments to accompany the concentration section of theportfolio does not allow for much exploration, orevidence of abundant understanding in this area of arteducation.Historical understandingRelated to contextual understanding is arthistorical understanding, which is assessed directly inLEAG assessment. In the LEAG Art and Design (1992)syllabus, the emphasis on art history is notdeterminate in nature, but refers to an interpretiveunderstanding. Like LEAG assessment, art history isassessed in IB via evidence in the research workbook.In this regard, IB is very similar to LEAG: Studentshave to establish links between their own research andpractices in studio work, and contemporary orhistorical studies in art and design. In both IB andLEAG assessment, the contextual nature of art148historical studies is emphasised. The contextual focusin art history is testimony of a trend towardsunderstanding socio-political determinants, asadvocated by Hadjinicolaou (1978), Hauser (1962), andWolff (1981).In Arts PROPEL and AP, art historicalunderstanding is not assessed directly.The personal critical opinionRelated to process is the theme of the personalcritical opinion. Students' personal critical opinionsare assessed directly in LEAG, IB, and Arts PROPELassessments, but not in AP assessment. The personalcritical opinion is accessed in these models throughevidence of the process of working--through notes andsketches illustrating and examining the development andrealization of ideas.The personal critical opinion is an inherentaspect of Arts PROPEL assessment via the perception andreflection components of the curriculum model. It isinherent in IB through the process-based approach tothe research workbook, and rough and finished studiowork with anecdotal comments. Finally, it is integral149in LEAG assessment through the critical reflectioncomponent of critical studies, as it is required ofstudents that they include their written and visualpersonal critical opinions consistently as they worktowards the final assessment (Read, 1989). Personalcritical opinion can be assessed in only a very limitedway in AP assessment, via the one page form includedwith the concentration component. With the exceptionof IB, it is noteworthy that in those assessmentstrategies where the teacher controls assessment,process and personal critical opinion emerge asimportant factors, because assessment is undertaken onan empirical basis.ConclusionIn conclusion, all the assessment strategiesexamined in this study are qualitative. Professionaljudgements by teachers, examiners, or readers,determine the final grade. These judgements focus onthe evidence of the studio portfolios, qualitativedifferences established within each portfolio throughreference to criteria delineated, and the degree ofsuccess achieved in terms of each criterion. In this150regard, norm referencing through rank ordering ofstudents is considered also.It is significant that all of the assessmentbodies which function as senior secondary certifyingagencies--LEAG, IB, and AP, rely on the intersubjectivejudgements of more than one art educator. Arts PROPELis not a certifying agency, and final assessment iscontrolled internally.Like Arts PROPEL, in LEAG assessment the grade isdetermined internally. However, in LEAG the teacher'sassessment is moderated by an external examiner. Theoutcome of this is that the LEAG teacher is more incontrol of assessment strategy itself than in the caseof IB and AP assessments, where the teacher is removedfrom final assessment in order to render thatconclusive judgement less subjective. In fact, it isstated explicitly in AP literature that no classroomart teacher is allowed to assess his or her ownstudents' work:Before the reading starts, the three sections ofeach portfolio are separated; the envelopescontaining the submissions for each section arethen scrambled, so that they are in random orderwhen they are presented to the readers.Information that could identify particular schoolsor students is eliminated, so that the portfolios151are presented anonymously. Readers from highschools are not permitted to evaluate their ownstudents' work. (Askin, 1985, p.7)In all the assessment strategies which function ascertifying agencies, the activity of moderation iscentral. Moderation serves to enhance the validity andreliability of final judgements.LEAG and IB assessment share a common ethos: Theimportance of a contextual understanding of both artand design. Further, LEAG, IB, and Arts PROPELassessments focus on evidence of process as well asproduct. In this regard, LEAG, IB and Arts PROPELassessments rely on written as well as visual evidence,indicating the path of process, and the evidence ofcontextual understandings, and links between thestudents' own work and the outside world, andreflective personal critical opinions exercised alongthe way. AP portfolio assessment focuses on finishedfinal products, and there is less scope for students toexercise contextual understandings, or their personalcritical opinions.152CHAPTER SEVENConclusionsAssessment is a topical issue: An American Councilfor the Arts National Symposium is being held inSeptember 1992 in Atlanta, Georgia, titled Arts Education Assessment Action Agenda: Student Performance and Learning Outcomes. In December 19SO, tho OottyTrust funded a conference on assessment and evaluationin the Netherlands. Since then, papers have beenwritten in association with the Getty Center relatingDBAE to both assessment and multiculturalism (Chalmers,1991; Stankiewicz, 1991; Zimmerman, 1991).In spite of international initiatives, artassessment is still a contentious issue. In relationto this I introduced this study by highlighting threeproblems. First, while assessment is integral in thefields of art and education, art teachers have found itdifficult to assess studio art. Second, problems havebeen associated with methods adopted for assessing art--such as standardized testing, which many art educatorshave found antithetical to the way art is perceivedcritically. Finally, problems have been associated153with determining the purposes of art education, andestablishing boundaries, since the field ischaracterized by a plurality of values. This hasimpacted upon assessment: If teaching objectives cannotbe agreed upon, then neither can assessment, norassessment strategies. In order to address theproblems identified, I delineated research questions:1. What are the structures of, and strategies employedin senior secondary assessment in Britain and NorthAmerica?2a. What criteria emerge as significant in assessmentstrategies?2b. What values do these criteria support?In relation to the first problem, the findings ofthis study indicate that there is still resistance toassessment, and difficulties associated with it. InNorth America, reactions to assessment are broadranging, from historical opposition due to thesubjective nature of assessment--coupled with thecharge that no aesthetic criteria can be applied(Burkhart, 1965), to the adoption of state controlledstandardized tests (Finlayson, 1988), and variousqualitative measures. Accordingly, art assessment154carried out in North America is idiosyncratic,determined by school affiliation to one of the modelsexamined, or by state-wide standardized art tests, orthrough local or individual initiatives.However, while art teachers in North America mayresist assessment, those who have become involved areeager converts. For example, at an Arts PROPELpresentation at the National Art Education AssociationConference in Phoenix (Magee et al. 1992), secondaryart teachers Norman Brown and Karen Price were mostenthusiastic and positive about Arts PROPEL and itsassessment strategy. Similarly, in Carnes' (1992)compilation of writings on experiences of teaching APart, teachers express great enthusiasm and support forAP assessment in art, although some indicate thatinitially they resisted the strategy, feeling dauntedby it. What emerges from Carnes' (1992) book is asense of enthusiasm for the role of AP in enhancing theenjoyment of art education for teachers and seniorsecondary students, through motivating and stimulatingthem to achieve. An added bonus is that art educationattains visibility and a greater sense of status, inthat it is assessed on its own terms, alongside155traditionally core subjects like mathematics.The second problem, which focuses on assessmentmethods adopted, arises from the assumption thatstandardized drawing tests are neither visible nor aviable model for studio art assessment at the seniorsecondary level. It has been argued that standardizeddrawing tests are not as effective as qualitativeassessment strategies, because of their limited rangeof acceptable response. For example, Wilson (1971)delineates a drawing test based on shape as acriterion, while degree of realism and accuracy arecriteria in an NAEP (1978) test where students drawfour people seated at a table. These standardizeddrawing tests, and those currently implemented instate-wide standardized tests--some of which arederived directly from NAEP assessment (Finlayson,1988), focus on quantifying formal problems. In thisregard, Kakas (1989) cites Zernich, who maintains thatalthough standardized art tests are "direct measures ofwhat a student can demonstrate, they are not directmeasures of what a student knows" (p.3).Basing one's judgement of the quality of astudent's art work on descriptors which focus on156quantifying the number and size of shapes in an image,or the number of people present, or the degree ofrealism of a table, is clearly an attempt tostandardize form and content in images in aquantifiable way. However, the exclusion of a numberof varied shapes, or the lack of perspective in atable, does not make an image "bad". Mark Rothko's andPaul Cezanne's paintings are cases in point. Making anartistic judgement based on quantifying is contrary tothe characteristic nature of making an artisticjudgement. Judgements are based on the quality of theimage or artifact with regard to form and content. Ifit were the case that images were considered goodbecause of the number of people in them, or the numberof colours, or accuracy of interpretation, then manyimages would be deemed unsuccessful for quite quirkyand arbitrary reasons.It is significant that qualitative assessmentstrategies emerge as the favoured approach to studioassessment at the senior secondary level. Strategiesadopted are consistent in the models examined in thisstudy: The qualitative approach involves thedelineation of criteria for assessment, which is based157on the examination of studio portfolios; aestheticjudgements by students, teachers and/or examiners arecentral; moderation by art professionals is undertaken,and criterion and norm referenced assessment occur,based on reference to criteria and rank ordering ofstudents. These strategies most effectivelyaccommodate the qualitative nature of art itself, andresponding to and making art.The third problem addressed in this study is thatthe field of art education is represented by aplurality of values and value systems. This isparticularly the case in North America, where thisproblem is reflected in various approaches toassessment as outlined, and in disparate valuesinherent in the models examined in this study. Forexample, a studio-centred approach is accommodated inall the assessment strategies analysed. The DBAE modelof art education, composed of art criticism, arthistory, aesthetics, as well as production, isrepresented perhaps most effectively in the CriticalStudies influence on LEAG, although these componentsare evident in IB assessment. While art criticism andaesthetics are evident through reflective activities in158Arts PROPEL assessment, and to a lesser extent in APassessment, art history does not emerge as asignificant aspect of AP and Arts PROPEL assessment.However, art history is offered as a subject of studyfor AP assessment.Images and artifacts made and research undertakenby students for LEAG, AP, and IB assessments are allessentially self directed, and are therefore personallyrelevant. The Arts PROPEL domain projects areprescriptive, in that they focus on specific formalproblems.The most significant schism between concerns inthe literature and assessment practices seems to lie inthe area of contextual understanding of art and design.While socio-political, multicultural, andanthropological understandings of art are highlyvisible in the literature (Blandy & Congdon, 1987,Chalmers, 1981, Wolff, 1981), these concerns are notrepresented in AP or Arts PROPEL assessment. However,contextual understanding of art and design is animportant aspect and criterion of IB and LEAGassessment. For those art educators concerned withcontextual understandings, the IB and LEAG models are159worthy of emulation.ImplicationsWhen I began' this study, I intended to explorelinks between what was being written with regard tostudio practice and its critical premises, andapproaches to the assessment of studio practice. Isoon found that these connections were few andfugitive. Assessment models, once established, take ontheir own momentum. The values brought to the planningsessions by the committee responsible for putting themodel together become institutionalized in a frameworkthat thereafter may be modified slightly to fit changesin the school climate, but is unlikely to undergoradical change. Moreover, the fact that the creationof an assessment strategy is often a cooperative,consensual undertaking almost guarantees an eclecticadoption of a range of value positions, rather than achoice of one. The result is inevitably less thantotal cohesiveness, and a certain flatness, or samenessof content, among various models.There is then, something of a contrast between theheated debates that accompany attempts to implement160assessment, and the general agreement that results fromdiscussion of the content of a chosen assessment model.The call for adoption of assessment in NorthAmerica has historically arisen from a general desireto get tough, to demand accountability, to maketeachers toe some arbitrary line, or meet specificstandards. In North America, art teachers havetraditionally been free of these obligations: It isusually the existence in schools of the subject itselfthat is called into question in times of crisis. Artteachers have therefore developed a self image ofrugged individualism, of being free spirits in whatthey do. The reality is that they are more similar, inaims and methods, than they are different, a point madeby Abrahams (1988), and evident in art surveysconducted at various levels, such as the PROACTA study(Gray & MacGregor, 1987).The problems identified in Chapter One: that thesubjectivity of art makes it difficult to assess; thatmethods for assessment at times are inappropriate, andthat the purposes of art education are unclear, mayexist more in the prejudices of individuals than theydo in fact. The material presented in this study is161ample evidence that subjectivity may be constructivelyaccommodated in an assessment model. Methods forassessment patently work in the four models describedhere. The purposes of art, once stated, have beenarticulated in each of the four models, and while theremay be differences in emphasis and in methods ofassessment, no one group is so different from theothers as to create the impression of dealing with adifferent realm of inquiry.For qualitative assessment to be successful, theart teacher has to be central in modelling criticalreflection, and in practising it. In this regard, theteacher's art critical abilities are crucial: Dewey(1934) maintains that "criticism is judgment" (p.309),and that "natural and artistic criticism is alwaysdetermined by the quality of first-hand perception"(p.29). Dewey's comments attest to the need forastute, aesthetically perceptive individuals to teachart and practice assessment, as witnessed in thestrategies examined here (Askin, 1985; Carnes, 1992;Clement, 1990/1986; Chalmers, 1992; Gitomer, et al.,1992; LEAG Art and Design, 1992). The personal powerof the teacher and student is enhanced through the162recurring exercise of personal choice, and throughcritical reflection on achievements. In this regard,Freire's (1985) ideas are apposite, in that heencourages educators to make critical reflection andaction fundamental in their work (p.xi). In a similarvein, Barrow (1984) calls for teachers to becomeempowered through teacher ownership, which results inenhanced practice, and renewed professionalism.In this study, LEAG emerges as the most coherentmodel of art assessment. This is attributable in partto support amongst teachers, discernible on a nationalbasis, which results in an emphasis on teacherownership. With regard to values, LEAG emergespositively in accommodating concerns beyond formalistones--through the strong link between art and design,form, function and contextual understanding, and onprocess revealed in products.However, the British system is not trouble free:Davies (1992), for example, holds that creativity ishampered by orthodoxy in style and approach.Similarly, Swift (1991) criticizes Taylor and Taylor(1990) in their guide for students, for promoting aschool art style (Efland, 1976) based on pastiche and163conservative figurative imagery, and on form ratherthan content and context. London (1992) however, likeFuller (1983), makes a convincing argument for theimportant role of form as related to content, andtherefore as central, and transformative. I wouldargue further that form is implicitly contextual. Theuse of colour, shape, and other design elements isdetermined by cultural and social conditions,preferences, and common experiences. Form is thereforea fundamental consideration in programme development.LEAG and IB models reflect concern withunderstanding art and design as related to function andcontext, and thus they highlight the multiculturalnature of art and design. However, the area ofmulticulturalism in art is difficult, becausemultifarious concerns are embraced under one term,simplistically reducing this complex issue to one whichappears benevolent and facile. Webb (1991) forexample, points out that multicultural art educationfeasibly can serve distinctly different purposes:First, as a vehicle for fighting racism via the antimelting-pot debate; second, as guided exposure topopular art as witnessed in the media, and reflected in164the anti art masterpiece movement (Blandy & Congdon,1987) in which so called popular and elitist art arepitted against one another in a much polarised debate.Here, according to Webb, art is related to "TheCultural", and as such is odious. Third, Webbcharacterises some multicultural art educators astravel agents, presenting art and artifacts fromdifferent cultures like souvenirs without regard formeaning or context, but simply in order to acknowledgesurface appearance and formal qualities. This concernis reflected in London's (1992) paper, in which he istroubled that a lesson plan in Art Education whichfocuses on masks through the examination of formdissociates the mask from its more importantsociological, mythical, and transformative functions.Injected into the knotty debate of how best topresent a contextual and multicultural understanding ofart is Dyson's (1991) concern that culturalunderstanding becomes the exclusive domain of a culturethrough its ontological connection with it, thusinhibiting or preventing outsiders from access. Dysonargues that this exclusionary trend is incipient inpluralism, which, taken to extremes evokes separatism165and intolerance, and, as such, is counter-productive.Access to cultural and related artistic concerns mustnot be determined by cultural affiliation andmembership. This suggests that for an inclusiveapproach to understanding art and design as many kindsof cultural production, both contextualist anduniversalist understandings of art and design (ascultural--and as such, as ontological) should befundamental in art education generally, and in theassessment of art practices, in particular.RecommendationsI recommend that attention be directed to thepossibility of qualitative national assessment ofstudio art at the senior secondary level in the USA andCanada, using similar strategies to the ones examinedin this study. These strategies are suitable foradoption for regional or national assessment becausethey offer adaptable assessment frameworks through thedelineation of criteria applicable and transferable tovaried art teaching styles, concerns, andcircumstances.At the 1992 National Art Education Association166Conference, Eisner (1992) presented a case againstnational assessment of art in the USA, and in so doing,raised problems traditionally associated withassessment addressed in this study. However, at thesame conference, Askin (1992) suggested that nationalassessment, based on the AP model, is a viablepossibility in the USA. Like IB, AP is an effectiveinstrument internationally, while LEAG functions wellat a national level in Britain.In spite of the fact that strategically,qualitative senior secondary art assessment on anational basis is possible in the USA and Canada, thisdoes not seem a likely prospect in the near future,because assessment is often misunderstood, and lackssufficient support. However, local and regionalassessment initiatives are common. In a series ofworkshops in a local school district involvingsecondary teachers, MacGregor (1991b) reports thatteachers negotiated to arrive at a model for assessmentbased on their provincial curriculum guide, the B.C. Secondary Art Guide 8-12: Curriculum Guide and Content Resources. Initially, the teachers defined criteriafor assessment based on the content components of the167curriculum guide to be covered in all mediaexploration: imagery, design, developments, criticism,applications, and vocabulary. Then, the teachersdeveloped descriptors of levels of performance, rangingfrom high, to medium, to low, in order to determineachievement in these categories.This assessment strategy, devised as a result ofcollaboration, includes important conditions held incommon in the qualitative assessment approachesexamined here. 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Unpublished manuscript, IndianaUniversity.181APPENDIX 1London East Anglian Group (LEAG):Structure and Criteria for GCSE AssessmentStudio components submitted for assessment 1.^Coursework2a. Preparatory studies for test(over 10 to 20 weeks)2b. Controlled test^(over a non-continuous 10 hourperiod)Specific criteria Production (studio practice)- student-teacher negotiated theme-based studio production activities- student's interests define researchagenda and criteria for assessmentwith regard to student's intentions- emphasis on revealing processBasic elements (concepts, theories)- elements and principles of design- critical studies in art and design(art historical, art critical,contextual and culturalunderstandings)Processes and procedures (critical studies researchbased approach towards specific agenda)- independent research approachlinking studio practice withconcepts, theories- through research investigate linksbetween own art and designinterests, and art and design beyondschool setting- evidence of investigation,experimentation, documentation ofideas- emphasis on revealing processNote: From GCSE Art and Design, by LEAG Author, 1992.London, England: Author.182APPENDIX 2Advanced PlacementStructure and Criteria for AssessmentStudio components submitted for assessment 1. Drawing portfolio} See specific requirements below2. General portfolio} See specific requirements belowPortfolio sections A. Quality-six drawings-four general worksSpecific criteria-imagination-freshness of conception and interpretation-mastery of concepts-composition-materials-techniques-a sense of order and form-evidence of a range of experience-a sense of focus-a sense of personal style and direction-awareness of art historical sources, includingcontemporary developmentsB. Concentration (Intensive exploration of a personalinterest)-twenty slides (six may be details)Specific criteria-evidence of independent enterprise-evidence of sustained, directed in depth studyand interest183C. Breadth-drawing (eight slides)-colour (four slides)-two dimensional design (four slides)-three dimensional work (four slides)Specific criteria-Evidence of a broad spectrum of abilitiesrepresentative of the foundation year in an artcollege. In drawing, for example, evidence ofability to solve varied selected drawingproblems--contour, descriptive, perspective,cartooning, fantasy.Note: From Advanced Placement Course Description Art:Studio Art, History of Art. by Author, 1992.Princeton, New Jersey: Author, and The College Board.184APPENDIX 3Arts PROPELStructure and Criteria for AssessmentStudio components submitted for assessment 1. Domain projects2. Portfolio (processfolio)1. Domain projectSpecific criteria-Specific focus on a formal aspect of image-making(elements and principles of design).-meeting the objective-technical skills-originality (unique quality)-degree of involvement-problem solving ability2. PortfolioSpecific criteria- Focus on recording process- Evidence of initial sketches or drafts- Reflective self criticism- Successive attempts, and reflections- Examples of works by others which are relevantto the endeavourNote. From "Zero-Based Arts Education: An Introductionto Arts PROPEL" by H. Gardner, 1989. Studies in Art Education, 30, (2), 71-83.185APPENDIX 4International BaccalaureateStructure and Criteria for AssessmentStudio components submitted for assessment 1. Research workbook (30% of final grade at higherlevel)2. Exhibition of studio work (70% of final grade athigher level)Specific criteria1. Research workbook1. Independent research. 35%2. Critical appreciation of the formal, technicaland aesthetic qualities of the art form/s studied.25%3. Awareness of cultural/historical/socialcontext. 25%4. Experimental studio research. 15% (p.12)2. Studio work1. Imaginative and creative thinking andexpression. 35%2. Persistence in research. 20%3. Technical skill. 15%4. Understanding the characteristics and functionof the chosen media. 10%5. Understanding the fundamentals of design. 10%6. Ability to evaluate own growth and development.10%^(p.11)In terms of each criterion, there are five detailedlevels of achievement from high to low.Note: From "Evaluating learning in the visual arts: TheInternational Baccalaureate experience" by G.Chalmers, 1990, Unpublished manuscript: The Universityof British Columbia.186


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