“The IB do not value or even recognize effort!” Commitment, effort, motivation, passion – what’s the point?

Last month I wrote about some teacher reactions to the grades their students achieved. (At the end of every examination session, some teachers express concern about the results). One complaint that I hear from teachers who are disappointed in the mark relates to how committed the student was, how hard he/she worked and how much time he/she put in. “My student was thoroughly engaged but the IB do not value or even recognize their effort! There is no correlation between the work they ...

Virtual Assessment, Contemporary Art – and Predicted Grades

It’s August, which means that most final year visual arts students – and their teachers – now know how they did in terms of DP grades. I hope all went well. All the following relates to the current/-‘old’ course (Final exams 2015). With our subject in particular I think it’s important to acknowledge that it may be impossible to avoid all discrepancies in assessments – e.g. variations between what you think the correct mark is and what the examiner thinks. There a ...

REFLECTION TIME FOR SOME, THE END FOR OTHERS

Hi students! FINAL YEAR? If you are in the 2nd year of your IBDP visual arts course, and in a school in the northern hemisphere, for you it’s just about over. The deadline for the final digital upload is April 10th (October 10th for southern hemisphere schools) so by now your teacher should have digital files of all your selected studio work and workbook pages saved somewhere safe – possible already uploaded to IBIS. Maybe you have already had your exhibition – if ...

Visual Arts and the M Word (“MEANING!”)

Recently I’ve been in correspondence with a friend and colleague, discussing the way that some students incorporate meaning into their art. My friend refers to this as the M word. His concern relates to the way that some students place too much value and importance on the meaning that they place on their art. Of course, art has meaning. Artworks can contain and communicate a huge variety of meanings, some intentional and some unintentional (and at this point this could stray into a ...

Up Close and Personal

ASSESSMENT MYTHS NUMBER 2: “My work is personal: I thought that would get me a high mark?” No, I’m afraid not. “Personal work” will not necessarily get you any marks at all. This is often misunderstood both by students and teachers, and I suspect that part of the cause of the misunderstanding is the 2nd bullet point in the Studio markband descriptors – the one that states that the work “demonstrates the production of personally relevant artworks that show exploration of ideas ...

The Afghan girl – the new Barbie?

BIgx-nkFL6c When you (a student) are dealing with iconic images (such as Steve McCurry’s ‘Afghan Girl’ photograph) and want to integrate the icon somehow into your own art, be careful: think through your reasons, the outcome, and what the audience (or examiner) response might be to the outcome. 6XAXLCtlpiU As an examiner I frequently encounter iconic images that have been used (re-used?) in a piece of student art, and the Afghan girl is a good example. cK6EnFu3NHc Her face often becomes part of a visual ...