View Full Version : Should Art in schools/univ be based on Grades? I don't think so...
February 18th, 2005, 04:49 AM
I'll try to be more specific here. I am talking about painting, drawing and sculpture. I feel that art in schools/universities should both be extracurricular and a practice and should not be judged by a grading system. We all know that master/professional artists take apprentices/students under their wing but do they grade their students with A's, B's, F's etc? no they do not. Art is a practice, it is a lifetime journey for all of us who are passionate about it. I am not saying this because I suck at it or because I'm looking for an easy way out. There are students studying Art in universities but each one of them has their own style/technique and there are those who judge them by their style/tech and give them low grades increasing their chances of failing. This is absurd and unfair.
Now let me go to the younger generation, our siblings. They are young discovering what art is. It is fun for them and its up to them whether they want to pursue this later in life when they grow much older. Now is it going to be fun anymore knowing this kind of system exists?
Art is there to stimulate our minds, open up our creativity and imagination. It should be practiced for those who are serious about it and it should be an experience for those who are less associated with it.
Let me know your thoughts.
February 18th, 2005, 05:16 AM
Well, you could take it one step further and say that art in high schools and in universities in general is absurd anyways. I hate the brand of art they take in these schools, it's centered around a failed method of teaching, in my opinion, and I believe if you want an apprentice like system to learn in if you like the way the apprentice system works, grading or otherwise, then find a master artist that will take you to work under or go to an atelier and discover what a real grounding in art is.
I guess it's up to personal options and styles, but I tried the state university route, hated it, crap for art education, went to a technical school, same, going to an atelier now, the best education I've recieved in art period.
February 18th, 2005, 05:32 AM
well, really the entire education system is messed up...it's totally forgotten it's initial objective....to help people learn to learn.
As it is, marks are only a reflection of mistakes, not a reflection of what a student knows.
Take math class for example...I could accidentally make a dumb adding mistake since I'm only half paying attention to what I'm doing since math(at least the math that we're doing at the time) doesn't interest me.
I may know full well how to solve the problems, but I still end up with a strike against me....a strike that doesn't reflect my grasp of the material in the slightest.
With art, I think the letter grading system isn't quite as bad as it is in the math department as it requires that the teacher examine the approach of his student....to see whether he can actually pull off the technique being taught.
With art, grading is much more capable of being reflective of one's successes rather than his failures.
That said, even if we can't get rid of the grading system altogether, it's our own responsibility to not put so much weight in it.
I know when I was goin to Ai, I got some bad marks on various assignments....but with all the mistakes I made in the process of turning in my crappy assignment, I learned enough that I could do the assignment again, in a fraction of the time, a hundred times better that I did the first time around.
My mark wasn't reflective of my knowledge, so I personally didn't invest much in my grades.
Fortunately for teachers and students, they exist separately from the system that they operate within. We do have a mutual responsability and ability to foster creativity and imagination in eachother...and if we so desire to do that, no system can stop us from it.
I suppose grades are bad in the sense that you can be held back if they aren't good enough....but really, if there's an instructor that would try to hold you back like that, it's probably not an instructor worth having anyways.
Many an artist has been successfully self taught....that's the beauty of real passion....it can't be stopped.
February 18th, 2005, 03:46 PM
The only class I've ever failed in my educational history was ninth grade art. As long as you handed in your quota of 5 pieces you automatically passed. Anyone who didn't automatically failed. I didn't.
Well, I did receive a failing grade in my Game Production Workshop class at AI, but that was only because my teacher was an incompetent jackass and thought I was on the other team of students. I asked him twice to change it and both times he apologised and said he'd fix it. He never did.
February 18th, 2005, 07:42 PM
That in itself is an issue.
Sometimes artistic expression in the artworks cannot fully demonstrate the capabilities of the artist.
If its abstract/modern art, I'd look at the following. A gruelling critique session at the end of the project, a research paper (10,000 words) and the visual impact of the actual artwork itself.
As it is, many modern art pieces, when presented to the public, comes across as children's paintings. I've gotten into some arguments with proponents of modern art as well, and although I understand the process work behind it, judging the artwork on a superficial level is pure nonsense. Basically I feel an artist shouldn't be allowed to "go wild" until they have a good grasp of the basic skills.....ie, there should be modern art appreciation classes in high school, but no classes for making them until they move into college or universities.
February 18th, 2005, 09:01 PM
A grading system needs A: a basis on which to grade and B: a person to administer such grades.
First lets talk about the former. A value system is probably one of the most difficult things to come up with to accomodate the many different ways in which we live today. This then filters into the many different ways of making art and defining art. The best solution to the definition of art as a basis of grading today is probably to do away with the definition altogether, and look at the progress which a student has made as well as the quality of work which is being produced relative to the assignment.
I dont need to explain why there needs to be an emphasis on the learning capability of the student, thats already done above. however what does need to be explained is why grades should be based on the quality of work being put out. modern art schools today are torn between the more fine art orientation of art and the commercial value of art. as such a school is a combination (most often) of a trade school or for lack of a better word a bahaus type education. A trade schools, for which many students go to school for, places emphasis on the level of a students capability to quickly learn skills and the level of work which they can put out. The two attributes are tied to quick assignments and hard grading system
it is this aspect of the school which is more inclined towards the grading system. it is must easier to judge and demands less of the teacher. meanwhile the more fine art orientation is much more difficult. is a teacher meant to assign a homework twice, and grade between how much progress is being made? sounds like a large waste of time, which is precious in view of the students money. However that does not mean there is no value in the system. in fact i whole heartedly agree with you all that the grading system has more than a few faults in it. The grading system is neccessary to the bureaucratically organized lifestyle we all live in. however there are other aspects of the current education system which are, while tied to grades, are not inherit in the system itself.
firstly the lack of a clear organized cirriculum, explained fully to the student so as the student can know what he/she is getting into. and b: an improved quality of teachers. numerous complaints about the system have been more oriented towards the victimization of the student by the teacher, who holds power over grades. Poor teachers though too emerge out of the failure of a school to be centrally organized with clear standards of expectation. i would go further, but i must be going. lets all continue the dialogue, as I feel that many students (myself included) are dissatisfied with the education we are getting, that is including not only art schools as well. acedemic schools seem to the running into the same problem. btw sidenote, my friend goes to a college which has no grading system. i am not possitive whether it is really instilling the student with creative freedom or not putting the fire to their asses. I have to look into it more, ill ask him.
February 18th, 2005, 09:04 PM
the whole grading system does nothing but depress me, i see no motivation from it. :nohope:
February 18th, 2005, 09:19 PM
You know what!?
I've never taken an official art class, a few animation schools on the side but that's it and yet I can still rock most of the kids my grade and above. :confident
Though I might possibly take grade nine art next year for the free credit and no art isn't a job for me just a hobby that I enjoy.
February 19th, 2005, 12:26 AM
I don't think it's right to judge anyone.
I don't believe in the grade system.
I do believe in asking people if they wish they could do more than they have already.
I believe in asking people if they like art.
I do believe in brainwashing those who are too ignorant at their age to know what they want. (however bad and beneficial it may be)
However, a grade system is not good. I was always getting As in art. Most of my stuff went to the Burpee Museum to be displayed. But those days are gone.
I believe people should be graded on effort. Understanding the concept of what they are doing.
If they can't shade a circle... then they don't diserve the A.
If you choose to draw a line by freehand than by using a ruler, you don't diserve the A.
Following instructions and putting effort into it diserves an A.
However, no one should be judged upon.