International Journal of Art & Design Education

Approaches to Secondary Studio Art Assessment in North America: 1970-1993

Volume 13.3   1994



The paper analyses the visible approaches to secondary studio art assessment in North America. First, standardised testing is discussed, in particular the National Assessment of Educational Progress in the United States. In spite of opposition there is continued support for this strategy, evident in several state-wide initiatives. As well, qualitative assessment of secondary studio art is being undertaken in individual schools throughout North America. Visible models of this approach are the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Arts PROPEL. The findings are that qualitative assessment is based on written and visual materials presented in portfolios; norm and criterion referencing are combined; criteria are derived from course content, and with the exception of Arts PROPEL, final judgements are made intersubjectively. These models offer alternatives to the standardised testing model, and attest to the cross-germination of ideas on qualitative studio assessment internationally.