Adapting the Viewing
Process For the Discussion of Student Work
In assessing student progress in the creative/productive component of the
curriculum, teachers should use a variety of assessment techniques. This is one
method of evaluating student work in a group reflection or self-evaluation
objectives of this process are as follows. Students will:
reflect on and
dis 131j923b cuss the intentions, development and interpretations of their own and
their peers’ art works
perceive, describe,
analyse and interpret art works and make
informed judgments about art works using increasingly appropriate
support opinions and
interpretations for particular types of art based on evidence found in the
who use this peer evaluation/self-evaluation method must be sensitive to their
students and must establish an open and non- threatening environment for
discussion. The discussion should be a learning and
growing experience and should not include any form of judgment.
following are examples of questions that could be asked in the group session:Can you describe what you find in the art work?
has the artist done to achieve certain effects? Can you think of other ideas,
materials, techniques, etc. that might work well?
was the student artist trying to communicate to the viewer through his or her
choice of materials, images, colour, etc.?
must remember that students are entitled to their own interpretations and
feelings. Students should not be evaluated upon their ability to conform to the
norm or to the opinions of the teacher. The teacher can evaluate the students
on their ability to express their ideas and feelings and their ability to
justify the reasons for their choices based on the evidence found in the art
following are some ideas for adapting “The Viewing Process” for the
discussion of student work.
Display student art
work in the classroom. Because many students will be more concerned with
experimentation and discovery some works may lack the finesse of a
beautiful product. Students should be consulted by the teacher before
their works are displayed.
Describe specific student works on display and begin to describe some of
the specific components in the works. Here students may want to compare
and contrast works which may have a similarity to or difference from the
first work chosen. Teachers should remind their students to stress the
positive in each work.
Examples of observations using this process could be:
“Sarah and John both used a large sheet of paper. Sarah chose to place her
paper vertically while John used a horizontal format. Sarah used pencil to draw
her friend while John chose ink to render the image of his dog. Both images
have large eyes and appear to be very happy. Sarah left a lot of space at one
end of her paper while John filled his space and had his image of his dog going
beyond the edges of the paper.”
Analysis: In this
stage, teachers and students should begin to analyse
what the student artist has done to achieve certain effects. This
discussion will centre around techniques, images,
the elements and principles of art, etc. In this way, teachers can
reinforce these concepts within meaningful contexts which the students can
easily understand. Many topics can be discussed in relation to the
information found in the works.
Some examples of questions that could be asked are:What elements and principles did they use in their work and how are they
used to express certain ideas or feelings?
How are variety, harmony and unity demonstrated
in the work?
What techniques has the student artist used to
express certain ideas?
Technical proficiency is often something that middle years students and many
adults appreciate. Students who have not yet developed their skills to draw
realistically can still be excellent artists because of their ideas and their
ability to express them. Teachers and students should always value works
which are about an idea or an expressive quality as much as they value
technical dexterity.