Study Guide

Field 002: Art 
Sample Constructed-Response Assignment

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Test Directions for the Constructed-Response Assignment

This section of the test consists of one constructed-response assignment. You are to prepare a written response of approximately 300–600 words on the assigned topic. You should use your time to plan, write, review, and edit your response to the assignment.

Read the assignment carefully before you begin to write. Think about how you will organize your response.

As a whole, your response must demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge and skills of the field. In your response to the assignment, you are expected to demonstrate the depth of your understanding of the content area through your ability to apply your knowledge and skills rather than merely to recite factual information.

Your response to the assignment will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

 start bold PURPOSE: end bold  the extent to which the response achieves the purpose of the assignment
 start bold SUBJECT MATTER KNOWLEDGE: end bold  accuracy and appropriateness in the application of subject matter knowledge
 start bold SUPPORT: end bold  quality and relevance of supporting details
 start bold RATIONALE: end bold  soundness of argument and degree of understanding of the subject matter

The constructed-response assignment is intended to assess subject matter knowledge and skills, not writing ability. However, your response must be communicated clearly enough to permit valid judgment of the scoring criteria. Your response should be written for an audience of educators in this field. The final version of your response should conform to the conventions of edited American English. Your written response must be your original work, written in your own words, and not copied or paraphrased from some other work.

Be sure to write about the assigned topic. You may not use any reference materials during the test. Remember to review what you have written and make any changes you think will improve your response.

Sample Constructed-Response Assignment

subarea roman numeral 5 
Pedagogical Content Knowledge

 start bold Use the data provided to complete the task that follows. end bold 

The following is an excerpt from Mr. Q's draft lesson plan.

Excerpt from the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Visual Arts:

 start bold Standard 1: end bold  
Language of Visual Art: "Presenting"
The student will identify and communicate using a variety of visual art terms.


 start bold Lesson Objective: end bold  
Students will be able to describe, analyze, interpret, and evaluate a work of art.


 start bold Essential Question: end bold  
How do we respond to works of art?


 start bold Vocabulary: end bold  
critical process, beauty, meaning, technical execution


 start bold Materials: end bold  
Art history text (a previously studied text), students' viewing response journals

there is a photograph portraying a sidewalk barbecue. to the left are the front right tire and shiny black fender of a car that faces primarily away from the viewer. beside it is a child's bicycle. to the right and slightly beyond the bicycle is a semihemispherical charcoal grill with a significant flaming fire in it and no rack. it stands on a rectangular pad of cracked concrete, and a concrete sidewalk passes from left to right beyond it. a person's right hand and long black sleeve are visible at the right edge of the image. the rounded contours of the car, the type of grill, the style of the bicycle suggest that the photo could be from an earlier decade.

Students were asked to incorporate description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation into a critical paper on the work of art. The following is one student's paper.

The photograph at first seems like a simple suburban picture – but on closer inspection there's a lot more going on in the photograph. For example, the grill is flaming. Usually a charcoal grill doesn't have such a large flame. And the bicycle is very close to the car; it's almost leaning up against it. There's more to this picture than a simple backyard barbecue. It will probably make people happy or sad, but either way it's an interesting picture that makes you feel something or think a certain way.


Mr. Q is a visual arts teacher at a middle school. He incorporates academic standard 1 into a lesson about aesthetics and art criticism.

Write an analysis of approximately 300–600 words in which you analyze the data provided. In your analysis:

Sample Strong Response to the Constructed-Response Assignment

 start bold Please note: The sample response provided below is for review purposes only and should not be used in a response on an operational exam. Use of the exact words and phrases presented in this sample response will result in a score of "U" (Unscorable) due to lack of original work. end bold 

The best way to address Standard 1 and Mr. Q's objectives would be to assess to make sure the students have a basic understanding of the key elements and principles of art and design. That would involve discussion, models and assessment of each element/principle. After that you could introduce pieces of art that contain line, value, emphasis, movement, balance, etc., and discuss why the artists made their particular art and design decisions. You could also introduce the concept of artistic purpose through discussions of form and contentóthe idea that the purpose of art work or the message is dependent on the structure of the painting or photograph, the latter being concerned with issues of line, color, balance, shape and texture etc. Students could create their own art works and display them in their own "art show" and talk about why they used the elements and principles they used. After they have made their presentations you can refine their understanding through further modeling. Then the students could be encouraged to analyze and critique their own work.

The student in the writing sample recognizes the suburban nature of the image. He also recognizes that there is "a lot more going on". He is right that "there's more to this picture than a simple backyard barbecue". However his discussion gets stuck in the obvious elements: the fire, the leaning bicycle, the automobile. The closest he gets to meaning is his feeling that art can make people happy or sad. He fails to recognize the artist's purpose in choosing these particular objects, and the possible artistic content of a seemingly random image that lacks the usual beauty, dramatic impact, strong visual imagery of more well-known pieces. He is not aware of the issues of suburban life, middle-class values or consumerism as possible themes for an artist to be concerned with.

This idea of the difference between the form and the content of a work may be difficult to teach, but by presenting key works by Warhol or others in the pop art movement where ordinary objects were simply reproduced, or even the work of photographers in the so-called school of "snapshot aesthetic" like Gary Winogrand, Robert Frank or Diane Arbus, the students would start to see new meaning in artists who seem to be simply preoccupied with mundane subject matter. Eventually through discussion, modeling and assessment they would see the commonality in these works and could be coaxed into "reading" the artistic language of meaning.

Rationale for the Sample Strong Response

Please note that the response is evaluated based upon the four performance characteristics of Purpose, Subject Matter Knowledge, Support, and Rationale. Please also note how the score point descriptions are based upon how the examinee attends to the performance characteristics. You should be very familiar with the CEOE performance characteristics and score scale and refer to them when reviewing this rationale.

This response reflects thorough knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. The purpose of the assignment has been fully achieved by addressing each element of the prompt. The response shows an accurate application of subject matter knowledge in the critique of the studentís writing sample and in the specifics that would be part of the lesson plan. The strength of the supporting evidence is seen in appropriate references to artists and movements in the art field. It is a well-reasoned response that shows a comprehensive understanding both of the underlying art issues and the approaches to appropriate art instruction.

Sample Weak Response to the Constructed-Response Assignment

I would address Standard 1 by teaching my students to understand what exactly are aesthetics and art criticism. I would give a lecture to the students showing them the importance of aesthetic value in understanding art works and I would also cover the principles of art criticism. After the presentation I would quiz the students and then do follow-up work as needed. I would use works of art or photography from our textbook and ask them to write a critique for practice. This way the students could learn to identify and communicate a variety of visual art terms. On a quiz, students would have to analyze, interpret and evaluate the works of art. To further strengthen their knowledge they could engage in group work to practice learning the terms where needed.

The student in the example wasn't satisfied that this was just a simple suburban picture and he went deeper and said what he thought the art work meant. He just needs a few good art vocabulary words to add to his observation. He was right that art can make people either happy or sad.

One strategy that could be used to clarify the student's understanding of aesthetics and art criticism is to have students choose a painting as an example of something they like and share it with the class.

Rationale for the Sample Weak Response

Please note that the response is evaluated based upon the four performance characteristics of Purpose, Subject Matter Knowledge, Support, and Rationale. Please also note how the score point descriptions are based upon how the examinee attends to the performance characteristics. You should be very familiar with the CEOE performance characteristics and score scale and refer to them when reviewing this rationale.

The response partially achieves the purpose of the response insofar as it addresses the bullets of the prompt; however, there is a limited application of subject matter knowledge. The supporting evidence is weak, and the response shows a shallow and poorly reasoned understanding of aesthetics and art criticism. Much of the response is merely a rewording of the prompt language with little evidence of real understanding. The response gives poorly supported strategies, shows limited understanding of the studentís critique of the art work, and shows little understanding of the task that Mr. Q has before him.

Performance Characteristics

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the constructed-response assignment.

Characteristics that guide the scoring of responses
Purpose The extent to which the response achieves the purpose of the assignment
Subject Matter Knowledge Accuracy and appropriateness in the application of subject matter knowledge
Support Quality and relevance of supporting details
Rationale Soundness of argument and degree of understanding of the subject matter

Scoring Scale

Scores will be assigned to each response to the constructed-response assignment according to the following scoring scale.

Score Scale with description for each score point.
Score Point Score Point Description
4  start bold The "4" response reflects a thorough knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is fully achieved.
  • There is a substantial, accurate, and appropriate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence is sound; there are high-quality, relevant examples.
  • The response reflects an ably reasoned, comprehensive understanding of the topic.
3  start bold The "3" response reflects a general knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is largely achieved.
  • There is a generally accurate and appropriate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence generally supports the discussion; there are some relevant examples.
  • The response reflects a general understanding of the topic.
2  start bold The "2" response reflects a partial knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is partially achieved.
  • There is a limited, possibly inaccurate or inappropriate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence is limited; there are few relevant examples.
  • The response reflects a limited, poorly reasoned understanding of the topic.
1  start bold The "1" response reflects little or no knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. end bold 
  • The purpose of the assignment is not achieved.
  • There is little or no appropriate or accurate application of subject matter knowledge.
  • The supporting evidence, if present, is weak; there are few or no relevant examples.
  • The response reflects little or no reasoning about or understanding of the topic.
U The response is unscorable because it is illegible, not written to the assigned topic, written in a language other than English, or lacking a sufficient amount of original work to score.
B There is no response to the assignment.

Acknowledgments

Eggleston, William (b. 1939)  copyright  Eggleston Artistic Trust. Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York. Memphis, c. 1972. Dye transfer print, printed July 13, 1981, 12  inches  nine sixteenths  by  19  inches  1 eighth (32  by  48.9  centimeters ). Purchased as the gift of the John E. Galvin Charitable Trust on behalf of the Crouse Family. (301.1987).