A student who can accurately and effectively self-assess and revise has achieved learner independence. New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA), a dual arts and academic curriculum, seeks to develop independent, self-sufficient, and lifelong learners.
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NMSA teaches structured critique in all of their art departments (dance, theater, music, and visual arts), helping students assess and revise their work in the arts, academics, and beyond.
Students learn to evaluate their work by doing the following:
Seeing mastery examples
acquiring craft-specific vocabulary
Practicing peer review
“My goal as a teacher in terms of self-assessment is to get students to a point by 11th grade where they can visualize what needs to be adjusted and be their editor,” says Karina Hean, chair of NMSA’s visual arts department. Until they can do that, they will always rely on outside voices, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but you often need to be your problem solver.”
If you want to improve your student’s ability to self-assess, you can implement NASA’s three-step process as well as their practices, which range from Post-it note critiques to Visual Thinking Strategies.
Show Your Students Mastery Examples
Students must first understand what constitutes great work to produce it. “The teacher then should speak to what makes that work great in a very specific way,” Cristina Gonzalez, former chair of NMSA’s visual arts department, says.
You can show students your work and work from outside experts, college students, upper-level students, their own classmates, or videos, images, and texts to demonstrate mastery. Mastery can be demonstrated in areas other than the arts, such as academics:
You can show your students an example of a good essay in English.
You can review the guidelines for a great discussion if you’re having a Socratic discussion.
School 21, a public school in London, performs live demonstrations and shows prerecorded videos of teachers having conversations to demonstrate exemplary discussion techniques.
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Give your students the vocabulary they need to analyze their work.
Whether discussing syntax, tone, grammar, or wiping, burrs, and mezzotinting, your students must be familiar with the terminology specific to their craft to evaluate their own and others’ work. “Giving feedback can’t just be how you feel about something,” says Cindy Montoya, principal of NMSA. “That feedback is based on technical knowledge of their particular art.”
Create a word board or wall: The NMSA dance department lists vocabulary (such as canon, plié, and tendu) on a board and tests students on it. The drama department posts phrases on the wall to guide peer critique. Pointing out “The angel didn’t fly” or “You broke the moment” to students indicates that a scene ended before the students effectively communicated what they had intended.
Ensure that teachers use a common vocabulary: Ensure that all teachers in a department, whether English, science, or drama, use common critique language. “We have a common language, and that’s on purpose,” says Joey Chavez, chair of NMSA’s theater department. We, the four instructors, want to provide feedback in the same language.” This allows your students to build on the same vocabulary as they progress through a department year after year.
Teach Your Students How to Provide Peer Feedback
Peer critique allows your students to use and share their voices and become more receptive to hearing and using feedback. “They are more likely to listen to the voices of their peers,” Hean says. “It’s also beneficial for them to verbalize and write out their ideas, to make them succinct, clear, and to recognize when they’re not clear.”
Create a verbal critique contract: Before you begin a critique, assist your students in developing a verbal agreement outlining what they hope to gain from the critique and the behaviors they will employ to achieve that goal. It is critical to encourage behaviors such as:
Respecting your colleagues
Balancing constructive and complimentary feedback
Providing concrete examples of what works well and what could be improved
It is important to remember that constructive feedback is not personal.
It’s critical to remind your students that the purpose of a critique is to help them learn and improve their work. When they agree that the purpose of a critique is to help them improve their work, they become more open to feedback because they know it will benefit them.
A verbal agreement will also help your students gain confidence in providing constructive criticism. “Compliments are nice, but they don’t motivate you,” Hean says. She explains that by requiring them to create a verbal contract, “you’re giving them a chance, from their own motivation, to ensure that they’ll respect that agreement and help each other.”
Avoid using ambiguous or hurtful language: When your students are critiquing, they may use words such as “boring” to describe a piece of work. Words like that are ambiguous and can be misconstrued. “If a student says, ‘Your print is really boring,’ or ‘Your drawing is really boring,’ that could mean a variety of things,” Hean explains. “What do they see? Assist your students in delving deeper into the design and moving beyond the surface terminology.”
Begin with a written criticism: “It’s very intimidating to criticize and speak out loud about your own or someone else’s work,” Hean adds. “And saying it in front of your peer group, who you see every day, is perhaps even more important because there is accountability there.”
To help your students feel more at ease and confident in sharing their opinions, have them write their critique first and then read it aloud. This practice can help students discover what draws them to a piece of work if they don’t yet know how they feel about it, and it can alleviate the discomfort of not knowing what to say.
“The key for each student is to recognize that they have a valid, strong opinion and that they can express that opinion to one another,” Hean says. “That’s part of the job: instilling confidence in others. You guide them sentence by sentence until they have faith in their own thoughts.”
Assist students in understanding why they like or dislike something: Most incoming ninth-grade students know they like or dislike something before arriving at NMSA, but they don’t always know why. “We try to help them figure out what that is — why something in a composition or design works and something else doesn’t,” Hean says.
You can help direct your students’ critique, develop their language, and deepen their understanding of why something works or doesn’t work by focusing on specific topics, such as technique, concept, or craftsmanship, and guiding them with specific questions.
Facilitate post-critique discussions: Lead a discussion centered on the feedback. “Let that feedback spark more questions and responses, and remind your students that this is a conversation, and that conversations evolve,” Hean advises. “They are neither correct nor incorrect. This allows your students to avoid taking any single response too seriously. When ideas are shared through conversation, there is much more absorption.”
Restate your students’ criticisms: Following a critique, summarize what your students said. Use different words when restating the critique so that the student receiving it can hear it differently, allowing him or her to absorb it more deeply.
VISUAL THINKING METHODS
Gonzalez describes Visual Thinking Strategies as “revolving around a simple question: What’s going on here?” You show your students a creative work and then have them discuss it in three steps, as Gonzalez explains:
Explain what they see.
Examine what they see.
Consider what they see.
“Students will begin by describing what is in the painting, such as, ‘There’s a man standing by a horse, and it appears that someone is falling on the ground.’ Then they’ll say things like, ‘It appears very dark to me, almost threatening.’ There is an interpretive component “Gonzalez explains. Once they begin to analyze what they see, they can determine whether certain elements add to or detract from the painting – or print, sculpture, or even essay.
CRITIQUE OF A POST-IT NOTE
Post-it note critiques allow your students to move around and provide brief feedback on multiple works without having to verbalize their opinion. Post-it note critiques can help timid students gain confidence in sharing their thoughts.
These critiques also assist students in honing their interpretation and analysis abilities. “On each print, each person gets to respond with a word or phrase concisely on how imagery, value, mark, and composition communicate concepts and ideas,” Hean explains. “It encourages them to go deeper.”
Here are the five steps to implementing the Post-it note critique in your classroom:
1. Arrange your students’ work around the room so that each student can walk around and critique each piece individually.
2. A lot of Post-it notes will be required. Each student will need a stack of Post-it notes equal to the number of peer works they will be critiquing.
3. Limit your critiques to one to three words.
4. Communicate a clear critique goal to your students. “I tend to use Post-it note critiques when I have a specific interpretation or question about technique to ask so they get to answer quickly and don’t beat around the bush,” Hean says.
5. Have each student collect their Post-it notes and review them so they can apply the feedback to their work. “Students receive brief, concise, and direct communication. It has not been tainted by a student delivering it in a less clear manner “Hean says.
DISCUSSIONS IN THE FISHBOWL
The fishbowl is a type of Socratic discussion in which your students can reflect on, critique, and then build on the discussion of their peers. Before you begin a fishbowl discussion, explain its purpose to your students and share the protocols and guidelines. Some of these guidelines include not interrupting, respecting your peers (even if you disagree), and “knowing that the goal is to ask questions, not to develop answers,” according to Geron Spray, an English and world history teacher.
Reflect on topics they have covered over the last 15 weeks
Discuss the application of Middle Range Theories and Nursing Practice.
Discuss the impact of mentors during the course
Student Learning Outcomes (Outcome 1-3, &, 4)
After completing this course, the learner should be able to:
Critically analyze the philosophical underpinnings of nursing theories.
Critique nursing’s conceptual models, grand theories, and mid-range theories.
Examine the influence that nursing models and theories have upon research and practice.
Apply nursing theory or theories to nursing research.
Please use APA 7th Edition. 400 words. Attached Word document with course topic. Scholarly references (Within 5 years) if applicable.