We need data in art education. Yes, what matters can’t always be measured. We know in our hearts all of unmeasurable things are happening in our art room. Instilling a love and appreciation of art, creative processes, divergent thinking, excitement, are the reasons I became an art teacher. But.. what is often not talked about is why having data showing student growth in art is important.
Data in Art Education is Important Because:
1. Program Evaluation: You have concrete numbers to see as a whole if your students are learning what you intended them to learn, and if your curriculum is any good. Does it spiral and build from year to year?
2. Program Saving: Lets face it, the arts are the first to be cut. Don’t you want data to fight back and show WHY you should be saved? I guarantee saying” But, I am doing great things” won’t cut it. Like it or not, People what numbers to back these claims.
3. Accountability: It makes you become more explicit about your teaching, making sure you are hitting the things that matter most. It holds you accountable for your teaching.
4. Intimidating: Yes, you really put yourself out there when numbers are attached to YOUR teaching and YOUR students learning, and it can be intimidating, but without risk there is no reward.
5. Risks: Obtaining data lets you take risks with your teaching, try new methods to ensure learning and in the end gets you to do things you never would have done, thus helping you as a teacher grow.
Read the next 5 from the Art of Education Blog.