Study Guide

Field 178: Dance 
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 4 
Pedagogical Content Knowledge

 start bold Use the information in the exhibits to complete the assignment that follows. Your response should be approximately 300–600 words. end bold 

Using your knowledge of dance and research- and evidence-based practices, and citing evidence from the exhibits provided, write a response in which you:

Context

For a twelfth-grade dance class, a dance teacher has planned a unit in which students will choreograph a dance inspired by a painting to contribute to students' development of the use of creative, critical, and reflective thinking skills in dance composition. See Exhibits 1 and 2 to view an excerpt from the unit and the "Indicators of Student Learning" table.

Unit

Exhibit 1 Unit Chart
Unit Title  start italics Dancing Art (ten one-hour lessons) end italics 
Unit Description

Working in small groups, students will develop movement phrases to reflect the qualities they perceive in a section of an abstract painting. They will engage their knowledge of choreographic and aesthetic principles and use creative- and critical-thinking skills to develop and refine movement ideas and phrases. After each group develops its movement phrase, the groups will work together to combine their movement phrases into a dance that reflects the entirety of the painting in a performance for which the painting projected as a backdrop provides the stage set. Students will maintain daily dance journals recording their activities and thoughts as they create and refine their dance phrases, the group dance, and their performances.

Essential Questions

What can we learn about creative processes by developing and refining dance movement?

How are dances structured and designed?

What qualities contribute clarity and coherence in a dance work?

What are the benefits of evaluating and refining movement ideas and technique in dance creation and performance?

National Core Arts Standards1

 start bold Anchor Standard 1: end bold  Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

 start bold Anchor Standard 2: end bold  Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

 start bold Anchor Standard 3: end bold  Refine and complete artistic work.

 start bold Anchor Standard 9: end bold  Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

 start bold Anchor Standard 10: end bold  Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Indicators of Student Learning

Exhibit 2 Indicators Chart
Indicators of Student Learning

 start bold Content Students Will Understand end bold 

  • Basic compositional elements of choreography and principles of artistic design
  • Choreographic forms and structures
  • Strategies for generating movement ideas and solving movement problems
  • Development and exploration of movement inspires originality in composition
  • Thematic expression through choreographic choices
  • There are often multiple solutions to a problem

 start bold Key Skills Students Will Demonstrate end bold 

  • Communication of meaning and intent through movement
  • Exploration and improvisation of movement in creating and refining movement ideas
  • Critical thinking and decision making in selecting and organizing movement ideas and patterns using choreographic and aesthetic criteria
  • Work collaboratively to organize movement into dances with form and structure
  • Evaluate, reflect on, and refine original dance ideas to improve clarity and aesthetic quality

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 

For this introductory lesson the students are to view a painting and use their creative, critical, and reflective thinking skills to choreograph a dance. As students take on the role of choreographer, they may ask, “What mood and associations does this picture create? What kinds of movement are inherent in these shapes, and what are the connections? What components of the painting inspire the viewer?” This lesson will allow the students to understand the basic compositional elements of choreography and principles of artistic design. This lesson will also allow the students to understand how the development and exploration of movement inspires originality in compositions.

In viewing the painting, the students will begin the creative process by collecting and developing their choreographic ideas. The elements of space, time, energy, and efforts (i.e., the Laban effort actions) will be selected to be included in the dance. This will allow the students to explore if their dancer(s) will float across the entire stage in unison or will the choreography entail the dancers to move in various directions. The students will place these ideas in their daily journals. Studying colors, shapes, and objects in the painting, students will be able to imitate or symbolize symmetrical relationships among the dancers.

In creating the movement phrases, it allows the students to explore new ways to move mentally and physically. The dance will entail body mapping through levels and dynamic schema. This is the creative process when all the steps have been selected and designed to interpret what the painting has taught them about how they are moved, and how they will move. Once they have organized and developed their artistic work, the groups will refine the ideas and technique. The movement phrases choreography will entail Relationships, Actions, and Dynamics and use of Space (i.e., RADS).

The activity to address the learning needs of a diverse population of students would be to create a movement sequence in which all students will agree to select the same object in the painting. Each student will have the opportunity to select a locomotor movement that represents the selected object in the painting to them. The students will then have the opportunity to repeat the sequence once at slow speed, then at a faster speed. Changing the speed will change the energy and qualities of movement. This will allow each student to demonstrate his/her interpretation of the object, and place his/her own locomotor movement into the choreography. This allows each dancer to contribute to the dance no matter his/her experience, education, or background. These skills demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively to organize movement into dances with form and structure.

In this lesson, each group of choreographers will have created their artistic ideas about the painting and express them through their interpretive dance. Improvisation allows the student to use their dance movements based on touch, auditory (if music is used complimentarily), or visual sources from this painting. While the students keep daily journal entries, more creative ideas may arise.

As an instructor, I will provide valuable feedback or suggestions to their movement phrases. One strategy for assessing student learning related to this lesson is in their final dance composition. I will allow students to create their own movement sequence: beginning, middle, and end. This is the choreographic process. The students are able to review and evaluate their dance creation as it is composed. Expressive techniques are used by both choreographers and painters—variety, sequence, contrast, and climax. Their personal experiences make art. When it is complete, it becomes their dance composition and will be ready to be performed.

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.

The response largely achieves the purpose of the assignment (please refer to the instructions for the constructed response assignment). The candidate fully achieves the first bullet of the prompt by engaging their knowledge of choreographic and aesthetic principles. Furthermore, the student adequately explains the basic compositional elements of choreography and the principles of artistic design (i.e., elements, design, devices, and relationships). The candidate is also able to communicate meaning through movement. There is substantial, accurate, and appropriate application of subject matter knowledge in the response to the first bullet. For example, the writer quotes the Laban effort actions and RADS (i.e., Rhythm, Actions, and Dynamics of Space). The candidate supports the discussion by providing examples of locomotor movements by speed, energy, and quality of movement. While the first bullet is fully achieved by the candidate; the third bullet would benefit from additional support and explanation. For instance, the answer to the third bullet describes assessing the student’s final dance composition; however, the response only provides a general discussion of the assessment. A more detailed explanation describing how the teacher will assess the final dance composition would strengthen this response. For example, a more detailed response would describe exactly how the teacher would assess the final dance composition. Would the teacher use a rubric to assess the final dance composition or would the teacher use a different method for assessment? If the teacher uses a rubric, what elements would the rubric measure? Overall, the candidate has generally achieved the purpose of this constructed response assignment.

Sample Weak Response to the Constructed-Response Assignment

Before asking students to develop movements for their sections of the painting, I would conduct a lesson asking students to consider the elements and structure of the painting and then begin to change those elements into movement. This lesson would involve a review of the painting and begin the process of students' changing their understanding of the painting into a dance. The activities of the lesson would include noting elements of the painting that suggest dance and design and changing those into choreographic ideas.

The opportunities to record what they observe, discuss it, and present it will provide students with ways to express their thoughts.

The lesson would begin with a discussion that would draw on students' knowledge of how the elements of dance and principles of design or art are used to make movement. Then, a discussion would encourage students' to apply some of these concepts to a description of what they see. Group members will discuss their ideas and work to decide what qualities they will focus their group on.

Students will work in their groups to select movement ideas. The teacher might help with some suggestions and could ask a question or two to help students. Students will record in their journals before moving on.

This initial lesson will develop students' understanding of exploration and teach them how to think critically. The journal entries provide opportunity for reflection on their ideas. In the journals the teacher could include an assessment rubric that the students could use to assess each other’s contribution and how effective their group was in creating movement that met the criteria of the lesson.

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 fulfills the purpose of the assignment (please refer to the instructions for the constructed response assignment). The response attempts to respond to all bullets of the constructed response assignment; however, the response fails to adequately address all portions of the prompt. While the first and third bullets reflect a partial response, the second bullet is not achieved as the candidate does not directly address the second bullet in his/her response. Moreover, the third bullet asks the candidate to “describe one strategy for assessing student learning related to the lesson you created.” In this response, the candidate attempts to address this bullet in the last sentence of the response. The response states that an “assessment rubric” would be provided by the teacher; however, there is no description of what this rubric would measure. The candidate has correctly identified one strategy for assessing student learning; however, the candidate did not describe the strategy, as required by the prompt. The response is limited in its use of support and rationale. The response provides limited supporting evidence with few, if any, relevant examples. Overall, this response provides a partial response to the constructed response assignment.

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

1National Core Arts Standards © 2015 National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. Rights administered by State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE). All rights reserved. www.nationalartsstandards.org