Shedding Light on Visual Literacy
Duluth Schools: Assessment Practices within the Visual Arts
-School board receives and embraces a multi-literacies approach that honors the arts.
-Initial training is done with K-12 arts teachers that communicates the district vision regarding MN ELA and Common Core Standards, that highlights the skills of close reading from the Common Core and the "closely reading" art images. Teachers then learned about how to utilize the critical response protocol and the visual thinking strategies to lead students through the process of "reading" works of art. We also included time to envision ways to assess this type of work and created a plan to address this at the next professional development time.
-Unpacking and mapping curriculum, with the focus on responding and connecting national standards processes was done a the recent May 6th professional development meeting. We started with the current identified curriculum that already exists in the Duluth Schools which they felt had potential to serve these two process areas. Later we will address future development of further curriculum and the arts areas of create and present. Draft rubrics were created for each respond and connect standard as guidance to the next level of work in June 2016.
-This summer, we will taking the unpacking and mapping information and the draft rubrics created by the elementary art team and using that information to construct final assessments for respond and connect arts processes. We will eventually circle back and do the same for create and present. This work will put into the place the common assessment practices that the entire elementary art team uses this coming fall on their standards-based report card. Additionally, there will recommendations made as to the next steps in development, most likely the creation of create and present rubrics and assessments as well as future curriculum development.
-In order to achieve this in depth work, the K-5 art team will need ongoing support for curriculum and assessment development that fosters their next generation of cutting edge curriculum and the associated tools to enact it. This will require an ongoing, multi-year process of support to fully develop the curriculum and assessment system that reaches across K-12.
STEP 1: District Arts Literacy Presentation to the Duluth Board of Education
STEP 2: February 29th, 2016 Arts Literacy: Close Reading Connections
Collaboratively, we addressed the following goals:
1) Develop an introductory understanding of core arts instruction strategies for unpacking artworks, facilitating art history and inquiry-based arts education processes.
-The main point here was to give focused attention to " close reading" works of art through the "close observation" via the Critical Response Protocol and Visual Thinking Strategies.
-We also sought to make it more evident that when we closely observe, we attune our ability to decode images. Decoding is fundamental to the reading process.
-We talked about how we could leverage these decoding experiences into how we then write/communicate/create works art. We made the connection that writing closes the literacy loop and also is how artists convey their own novel messages through the artwork they create. In this context, art is the text.
2) Develop fluency in using state and/or National Core Arts Standards for the purposes of utilizing them within creation of art curriculum and assessments.
3) Develop teacher efficacy around multi-literacies.
-One of the positive attributes of the Common Core State Standards is that they expand the definition of literacy to be more inclusive of the arts. The Common Core and inquiry-based processes used to read visual art works seek to support similar skill development in close observation, that once are keenly understood by students, can then be leveraged into how to more sophisticated create works of art that communicate novel ideas. This would be akin to writing an original work.
4) Develop teacher capacity around responding and connecting artistic processes.
5) Create a general plan that utilizes these key arts literacies within future curriculum and assessment work, PLCs, teacher development and evaluation processes, and other reporting practices.
You can see the entire first day process outlined in the link below.
STEP 3: Standards-based Report Card & Rubric Development Aligned to National Visual Arts Standards
Final Learning Inventory & Recommendations: Grade 2
Final Learning Inventory & Recommendations: Grade 3
Final Learning Inventory & Recommendations: Grade 4