Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor,

I read with great interest the article "Authentic Rubrics" by Ellen Huffman (January 1998). I, too, use a rubric to assess my students on a daily basis; many of her categories are, to my surprise, the same as what I use. However, I feel that the artmaking process, as a process, needs more attention. Although some categories in the "Production Rubric" touch on some process categories such as "Preparation, Research, and Critique," and the "Conduct Rubric" assesses "Work on Assignment," process is still of high importance and should be as clear and specific as "Craftsmanship, Aesthetics, Assignment Goals, and Originality."

What are the working habits of artists? What are good working habits for students? What is it about the artistic process that is important for students to learn? If we were to set learning goals strictly for the process of art, what would those goals be? I don't claim to be an expert on this subject, but I have found it important to assess students on: a) how much conscientious effort is put into artwork, b) how much on-task focus there is, c) level of challenge or level of difficulty he or she is involved in each day, d) whether he or she evaluates work on a daily basis, and e) the level of problemsolving skills.

Admittedly, in the interest of feasibility, one can't have an exhaustive assessment list, but categories specific to the artistic and learning process help students pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, teach students about the important process artists go through, and encourage a thoughtful working ethic in art as well as in other subjects. Once designed, these rubrics are easy and fast to use, efficient for a large number of students, and helpful in identifying specific areas for students to improve.

Sincerely,

Jim Benz

Greens Farms Academy

Westport, CT

Dear Editor,

In Mika Cho's (January 1998) delightful article "Mask-making and the Art in Multicultural Art Education," she wrote that: "Their [masks'] effectiveness for multicultural art education is still largely unexplored, although one teacher reports using masks in connection with culture. …

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