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View Diary: Music Teacher Fired Because Of ELA/Math Test Scores (132 comments)

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  •  My dad was an art teacher off and on (5+ / 0-)

    for 15 years until he could make it with his artwork.

    He didn't especially enjoy teaching, and I'm sure he'd loathe the educational system as it's being structured these days. (Of course that assumes that there still are art teachers...the arts seem to be first on the chopping block.)

    I mean, how can you gauge if an art teacher is effective? What would be the criteria? Who would be the judge?

    •  You consider: (16+ / 0-)

      - Are the students engaged with the teacher and the assignments?
      - Do they show growth in their technique?
      - Are the assignments designed to develop particular skills?

      In California, there are in fact state standards for art and it is possible to see whether or not they are applied.

      Usually the principal or a committee of master teachers would be the judge.

      (Our school is lucky to have a dynamite art teacher. This month, some of her high school students have their work in a juried show at an art gallery.)

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:28:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The idea that you cannot evaluate art (10+ / 0-)

      according to some sort of standard is not accurate or helpful. It puts the arts into a zone without value if people feel it is all just "subjective" without skills.

      It is incredibly valuable to be able to visualize information. It is incredibly valuable to be able to read and analyze images. It is valuable to learn to draw. If people "drew" their experience, they would understand it a lot better. If you draw math, you can understand it in a different way. Ditto science.

      Art is like anything else. If you know the rules of the game, you can understand anything from Greek vases to Kandinsky to Warhol. That doesn't mean it is all "equal" or that you need to "like" it, but art does not happen in a vacuum.

      In an art class, there would be objectives associated with any assignment that was being given. They would be age and experience appropriate. Obviously you can't assess them by filling in bubbles. ;-)

    •  Ah, good old human evaluation (5+ / 0-)

      Where has it gone these days.

      If there are any academically oriented standards for art -- for instance maybe 7th graders need to know something about art history -- then those can be tested on and administrators judge the effectiveness of and results of the tests and instruction the same way they would evaluate tests and instruction for any other class back in the old days.

      As far as the creative aspect goes, the teacher's ability to engage students, all that good stuff -- good old fashioned observation.

      This isn't meant as an insult, but sometimes I wonder how people think teachers were evaluated back in the "good old days" of the 50s and 60s when our education system was the pride of the nation (well, the white portion anyway) and computerized testing wasn't even a gleam in a bureaucrat's eye.

      It's not exactly impossible.  It just takes time and effort, and hypothetically some steps to avoid rampant favoritism.  (And the money for such efforts goes to real people and not CEOs pockets, which is of course not a plus, these days.)

      •  There ARE standards for art history, and style (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        reenactor, quill, ER Doc, sethtriggs

        and things like that.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Tue May 06, 2014 at 10:07:46 AM PDT

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        •  Our art, music and p.e. teachers have specific (6+ / 0-)

          standards.

          First graders were learning to mix secondary colors.  They were also learning about different kinds of lines.  Other students were working on perspective and proportion.   The list goes on and on.  They do a lot of analyzing of different kinds of art.  Music students also learn specific skills.  This quarter, my first graders have to demonstrate the ability to read music containing certain elements of notation and to create simple compositions.  Other grades are learning to play different instruments with proper playing technique.  Fifth graders are creating variations on a simple song.  There are so many standards, it's impossible to get to them all.  Some are performance based (third graders being able to sing in a round, for example) and some can be done with pencil and paper.  Most, though, are performance based which makes standardized testing a little difficult.  Some also involve very focused listening and identification of different musical elements.

          “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

          by musiclady on Tue May 06, 2014 at 10:56:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And you don't have to incorporate EXTRA (0+ / 0-)

            writing and math to get those things.

            Writing music is WRITING.

            Writing counting and performing music is MATH.

            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Tue May 06, 2014 at 01:24:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are correct. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zenbassoon, Catte Nappe, NancyK

              Though there are some administrators who do dumb things like requiring music classes to write in journals.  Sadly, that takes away from the curriculum content that we are required to teach in our subjects.  

              One of the National standards in music is for students to see connections between music and other content area so I try to make those connections obvious when they naturally occur.  

              “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

              by musiclady on Tue May 06, 2014 at 05:14:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  THAT'S what the CC$$ is trying to do: (0+ / 0-)
                Though there are some administrators who do dumb things like requiring music classes to write in journals.  Sadly, that takes away from the curriculum content that we are required to teach in our subjects.  
                They are like those dumb administrators.

                "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                by zenbassoon on Tue May 06, 2014 at 05:27:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think it's Common Core that is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NancyK

                  doing that to the arts.  My district is creating their own curriculum which uses the common core.  It is considered to be an interrelated curriculum however it is through the teaching of critical and creative thinking skills that it is interrelated.  All content areas focus on certain thinking skills within the framework of their subject.  As a general music teacher, I'm not teaching math and reading.  

                  “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

                  by musiclady on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:53:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But--they want you to have the kiddos (0+ / 0-)

                    write to prepare for the test, right?

                    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                    by zenbassoon on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:59:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nope. Not the music, art and p.e. classes! (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      NancyK

                      I am only grading the music skills dictated by my content area curriculum.  We are expected to use the same vocabulary for general thinking skills but we are responsible for our own content area.

                      “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

                      by musiclady on Tue May 06, 2014 at 07:34:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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