Philip Poburka on sun 1 sep 02
Interesting things...or to me they are...in general and specific...
'Tests' are a sort of 'quirey'...whether demonstrative or textual...as such,
the 'Test' may be found to express or reveal things about whomever composed
the Test, and in various ways...and the 'test' is allways, inexorably
"about" the Clearity, assumptions, presumptions, faiths, complaiscency,
liabilities to ambiguity, encouragements, inpertenainces, sabotauge,
oversight, insight, affection, or otherwise 'understandings' or other
matters as are 'of' whomever composed the 'test'.
It is allways..'about' that, first and foremost.
The 'test' is about eliciting ennunbciations as are in concordance,
sympathy, empathy or attunement 'with'...that.
The 'test'...is allways 'about' an ennunciation of composer's relationship
to or with either the austensible 'subject', the 'covert' subject, or
moreso, as well, 'about' their imaginings as envision the ways in which a
prospective 'test' taker may relate to or with their imaginings as adrdress
a 'subject'...and the composers intentions as regard or embue that
The 'answers' or the response to a 'test' may be found to ennunciate or
reveal such 'results' as are, or should be, liable not only to some
interpretation, but to such interpretation as takes into consideration
various probable mitigateing or ancillary factors.
A 'Test' does not 'measure' anything...other than it may be taken as being
figuratively the 'measure' OF...(an expression of) it's author...
The 'answers' of or to a 'test' are an ennunciation of response 'to' the
'test'...and never, or not quite necessarily at all, 'to' the subject AS the
The 'subject' in this context IS the 'test'...and all as go with that, as
The directness, centrality, freedom from ambiguity, clearity, or other
qualities as express the position of whomever compose a 'test'...are the
first-half of any prospective evaluation of someones 'answers' to it.
Something I do not recall to have felt was ever assayed in my time in
'school', nor since...in occasions of my having the pleasure of 'taking' a
But...or...in other words...I would take nothing for granted in any general
way 'about' so called 'tests', other than it is allways...'about' the
'Test', as a mediating device, and only in some ways is it ever 'about' the
austensible 'subject' to which the 'test' as quirey, seeks response as
----- Original Message -----
From: "vince pitelka"
Sent: Sunday, September 01, 2002 8:58 AM
Subject: Re: testing, community, and schools
> > The idea that testing can standardize education assumes that tests can
> measure anything useful... the jury's still out on that one.
> Kelly -
> Thanks for this post. I have been thinking a lot about the idea of using
> testing in studio art classes, and the more I think of it the less I like
> the idea. In my advanced studio classes we do have units on ceramic
> history, kilns and firing theory, and clay/glaze chemistry, and the
> to get tested on those subjects. But those things are only of accessory
> importance to the primary work they do -the development of their artwork.
> That is what this is all about, and testing does nothing to gauge that.
> the studio arts we are fortunate in that the portfolio review process is
> effective as an educational assessment processes. Rafael says that it is
> subjective, and of course it is, because art is subjective. It is
> impossible to quantify the value or effectiveness of art. Testing does
> nothing at all to determine whether someone has become a good artist. The
> ONLY thing that can determine this is the portfolio - the work that
> exists or the documentary evidence of work that has been done. It is the
> only really tangible proof.
> The portfolio is being adapted to many other disciplines in the
> because they have realized that it is a much more effective means of
> assessment than test scores. For example, in a K-12 education program, a
> student would retain a series of "artifacts" of the educational process,
> adding them to their portfolio. These might be research papers,
> photographs, examples of primary sources, journal entries, plus a
> that explains the students experience and development in their own words
> they progress through the program. The portfolio is normally reviewed at
> midsemester and finals, and in the latter the faculty or adviser is often
> present with the student for formal portfolio review.
> I think the primary point here is to focus on learning, and to make sure
> that the means of assessment does not actually interfere with the primary
> goals. In the case of K-12 standardized testing, the currently mandated
> testing processes are very much interfering with the magic of learning,
> produce very little useful information. I am afraid that the same would
> true of testing used in any studio class, other than to document the
> learning of essential factual information, such as glaze chemistry,
> history, etc.
> If you suck the magic out of learning with broad standardization and
> obsessive structure, then students learn begrudgingly and resentfully,
> because they feel it is being forced upon them. Once out of school they
> often retain that attitude for the rest of their lives.
> Best wishes -
> - Vince
> Vince Pitelka
> Appalachian Center for Crafts
> Tennessee Technological University
> 1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
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