Creativity in the subject Art and Crafts: the weak link between learning and assessment
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Original versionLutnæs, E. (2013). Creativity in the subject Art and Crafts: the weak link between learning and assessment. I: J.B. Reitan, P. Lloyd, E. Bohemia, L.M. Nielsen, I. Digranes & E. Lutnæs (Red.), Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers 14-17 May 2013, Oslo, Norway. Oslo: ABM-media
This paper explores the assessment of creativity in the Norwegian school subject Art and Crafts. Creativity, or its sibling, originality is frequently used as an assessment criterion in assignments given to pupils at the level of lower secondary education. Written assessment criteria contribute to the public face of the subject, revealing core values to pupils, parents, headmasters and politicians. I have studied the assessment repertoire of teachers when negotiating final grades and legitimising their assessment practice in interviews.The teachers struggle to find words to describe what makes pupils’ design creative or original. Creativity seems to be something that just happens or not. Some pupils come up with design solutions that fit the teachers’ specifications; others remain frustrated and have to ask for the teacher’s help, which they know from previous experience will lower their grade. The teachers find themselves caught in an educational trap: If they aid the pupils, they could end up assessing their own ideas. Without help, some of the pupils would not proceed from the drawing table to the making of objects. In this, I identify a paradox: one of the subject’s undisputed diamonds, creativity, has a weak link between learning and assessment