Responding to a comment!

I  received a comment from a DP visual arts teacher (thanks Selwyn!) in response to an earlier blog posted about the ‘new look’ virtual gallery.

The writer expressed concern at some aspects of the new Gallery, so I thought I would go slightly more ‘public’ and take this opportunity to respond to some of his concerns in the form of another blog, (rather than just tagging my reply onto his comment).

So – why is the quality of work represented in the gallery so ‘variable’, shall we say?”

There are two virtual galleries  – both accessible through the OCC. The old one has more artworks and some of these – certainly in the ‘computer‘ section – are clearly outdated. The selections are made by various examiners from the Candidate Record Booklets during the Grade Award meetings.  The work in the old gallery is indeed varied, and having been assembled by many different examiners over many years, the quality is also likely to be varied. The new gallery obviously has very little in it yet.

“At least the old gallery had links to workbook pages too, and an indication of grades given”.

You are getting the ‘old gallery’ confused with something else. The old gallery is still there – but it does not have any links to workbook pages (and it never did have), and it does not give any indications of grades (and it never did that either).

I suspect that you are thinking of the Visual Arts Training Module: this contained examples of student work together with examiner comments and grades, but it related to the old course assessments and grade boundaries, so  it was likely to confuse rather than help.

(As a matter of fact its still out there in Cyberspace but to be honest I think that it’s more use as a reminder of the old days than a training module).

“What is the intent of this new gallery?”

The intent of the new gallery is to reflect the fact that we now have work generated by students in response to the new course.

“Are these the very best works available from each session, or do they represent a sample across the grade levels? Who chooses them and using what criteria? Where is the new media work? etc. etc.”

To date we have only had one grade award meeting so it only contains samples of work from one examination session. Examiners choose the work and I think the criteria are fairly loose and fluid (it may be something that an examiner simply likes). (If I can find out more about the selection process I will let you know!)

As soon as we start seeing new media work at grade award we will of course start considering it for selection.

” A number of us have very real concerns that this gallery may reflect a new direction in IB Visual Arts thinking that appears to be a step back into more conservative, technique-based work (although some examples here don’t particularly reflect technical strength)and away from more conceptual art forms. If this is the case, how does this fit the IB Learner Profile?”

Its true that the review committee met a few weeks ago to start thinking about the 2014 DP visual arts course, and some possible ‘new directions’  were discussed, in depth and detail: ideas about the future course were very much to the forefront of the discussions that occurred among teachers, examiners, and Diploma Programme visual arts Subject Area managers for curriculum and assessment .

But I’m afraid we all signed a confidentiality agreement and I can’t reveal anything of what we talked about.

However,  whatever directions the DP visual arts course is going in, this is not reflected in anything on either of the virtual galleries.  (For one thing, nobody in that meeting chose any of the works displayed in the new gallery).

“this gallery raises some very real concerns that many teachers have, related to the state of IB Visual Arts, and in particular the way it is being/will be assessed. Some reassurances and answers would be much appreciated”.

I’m sorry that the new gallery raises concerns among so many teachers  relating to the state of the course and assessment. But  I can reassure you that the gallery is not any kind of indicator of which way the visual arts course is going – its nothing to do with that (feel free to ‘interpret’ it, but it honestly has nothing to do with the new course!)

The new course is barely an embryo at the moment, but its an exciting little thing with a lot of energy and equally lots of potential!

Stay tuned!

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *