Exemplary Content, Curricula, and Criteria for Assessment in Art Education

Article excerpt

What is exemplary content in art education?

What counts as knowledge in the visual arts?

What do exemplary curricula in art education look like?

What are the essential qualities of an exemplary art curriculum?

What is or should be assessed in art education?

This issue of the journal is dedicated to exemplary content, curricula, and criteria for assessment in art education. In response to Objective 1 and Strategy 1.2 in the 2004-2007 NAEA Strategic Plan, we solicited manuscript submissions about a year ago that would address research on learning in the visual arts and highlight exemplary content, curricula, and criteria for assessment. By the submission deadline we received three times as many manuscripts as we had space to publish. I am deeply appreciative of all authors who submitted manuscripts. Unfortunately, we could not publish all of the outstanding submissions in this special issue, an unavoidable consequence of such a call for manuscripts. The upswing, in my opinion, is that many of these manuscripts could be published in future issues of this or other journals. I encourage readers to keep their eyes open in subsequent issues of Art Education for manuscripts dedicated to these ideas of exemplary practices in an education.

In the call for submissions for this special issue, we posed the following questions to help authors frame their manuscripts: What is exemplary content in art education? What counts as knowledge in the visual arts? What do exemplary curricula in art education look like? What are the essential qualities of an exemplary art curriculum? What is or should be assessed in art education? What qualifies as exemplary criteria for assessment in art education? How do we know? Who decides? What does research tell us about exemplary art education practice?

I do not suggest that the articles in this issue respond to each and every one of these questions. What is clear to me is that the articles in this issue put forward a collective definition of what is and can be called exemplary practice in the field of art education. I am confident that this collection will help many educators and students advance their sense of possibilities for art education and more clearly envision what is and can be called exemplary.

F. Robert Sabol shares results from a funded study of criteria used by art teachers, their students, and artists to evaluate studio products. Donna Kay Beattie introduces a "rich task" approach to assessment.Julia Marshall proposes a substantive art integration curriculum and a sample project that emphasizes broad and deep connections. Karen Popovich offers a visual arts curriculum based on 10 years of designing curriculum and assessment tools. James Haywood Rolling, Jr. encourages us to reconsider content, curriculum, and criteria for assessment as he recounts how 4th graders responded over time to a contemporary site-specific work of art. Sara Wilson McKay describes an innovative research project on student learning in the visual arts through the construction of interactive hypertextual exhibitions. In the Instructional Resources, Pat Villeneuve and Emily Stamey propose an interdisciplinary exploration of images in which students consider the concept of bounty. …