|Portfolio Assessment in Music at The American School of the Hague
|Deciding how to grade students in music performance classes can be a difficult thing to do. Grading systems that work well for Math or Science classes often fall short when reflecting students progress in ensemble classes, because the kind of work that takes place with music can be qualitatively different. Finding an assessment system that works well for performance classes has the potential to not only report on students progress more accurately, but also to more explicitly convey the conceptual and curricular goals of the class.
One assessment system that has been found to be successful in a variety of forms is the portfolio. A portfolio is simply a collection of student work and a record of individual students progress. Within a few set parameters, portfolio assessment can be flexibly applied to a variety of music programs and ensemble situations, and can be adapted to meet the various needs of music teachers. While a portfolio is many things, the most important may be that at its core it is student initiated. It is a structured way for a student to say: This is what Ive done, and the progress Ive made. Arts education research group Arts Propel clearly defines the goal of a portfolio
A portfolio says:
Giving students this voice in examining and evaluating their work allows them to critically interpret how their musical efforts are being fulfilled, and how to more clearly direct their future efforts. Involving students in their own assessment can build the self-discipline skills that will enable them to be lifelong learners and lovers of music, in and out of the classroom.
Band Room Wall
Structure of the Portfolio
(Click photo for full size view)