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  1. I have been working on applying phenomenological research methodologies to “informal assessment”.
    I believe that the reality is that in the Drama classroom, the cognitive process of the Drama teacher working in the space with students often informs assessment in an ongoing process loop.
    Indeed “performance” taking in a broader context of the word includes playmaking techniques (including rehearsal) and can be seen as performative processes that occur during the whole time a student participates in class.

    Phenomenological assessment is actually more rigorous than rubrics, written exams, performances and various other things that pass for assessment, which are often far more subjective than most educators and academics would like to admit. The greater number of subjective assessors actually increases subjectivity not reduces it. Subjectivity piled upon subjectivity does not make something objective.

    Practical phenomenological processes such as bracketing allow the teacher to enter a state of objective observation without the codification and expectation of the student’s work.

    This formalises the so-called “informal assessment” in a classroom environment. The phenomenological descriptive responses of the teacher can then lead to qualitative and then to quantitative assessments.

    What makes art “art” is often not criteria, but the individuality of the art. In other words, how the art transcends or “breaks” the rubric.

    1. Interesting comments Matthew.

      Objectivity in drama assessment (or any art form for that matter) is, I believe a big problem. After investing so much teaching time into a student over many weeks, months or years, then trying to be completely objective when assessing his/her drama performance is a difficult task. The teacher has to ignore a myriad of subjective factors (personal advice about the art being created, student effort, creative decisions, imaginative choices, etc) that can stain the pure, objective assessment that needs to take place.

      I, for one, detest rubrics in drama education. They do my head in. I find myself dissatisfied time and time again in using them as an assessment tool.

      I agree with you that the drama teacher working with students informs assessment in an ongoing process loop. Excellent way of describing our reality in the drama classroom!

      Thanks for your comments Matthew.

      – Justin

  2. Sometimes discussion and reflection is like getting blood from a stone.
    But every so often someone will revel something to show they have been doing ‘secret reading’ away from the perscribed work.
    I was told the other day by a student that we should go on a trip to the US to undertake some ‘second city’ workshops!
    My my, off we hop then. Maybe we could do the double and hit the ‘upright citizans brigade’ as well???

  3. Cash!
    It’s so great that whenever I check your blog I always find a post so relevant to my uni work! Doing subject on literacy across the curriculum at the moment and a lot on authentic assessment- this post is a great help 🙂

    Hope all is well