CCE staff and partner reflections on our collaborative work to create schools where learning is engaging and rewarding, and every student is set up for success.
Integrating the Arts and Quality Performance Assessment
Arts are for everyone. Quality Performance Assessment (QPA) is for everyone.
Increasingly, educators are emphasizing the value of the arts in education, as arts promote equity through providing an entry point into engaging a wide variety of students. Arts integrated tasks support meaningful interaction with academic standards. The creative process also helps students develop habits of learning such as collaboration, communication, creativity, and self-direction.
We believe that through emphasizing student-centered learning and rigorous application of learning, QPA tasks promote equity by taking real steps to create practices that can help close the achievement gap. QPA tasks allow for a diverse group of students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through their own unique work.
The goals of arts integrated tasks align strongly with QPA tasks, creating the potential for even higher quality tasks when the two are used together. When done well, arts integrated QPA tasks increase student engagement in their learning by connecting to relevant topics and expanding the ways students can represent their learning.
Combining QPA and arts integration illustrates how educators can weave ideas from different frameworks create powerful learning environments. The Quality Performance Assessments (QPA) model is designed to offer multiple entry points to educators and school systems to build on existing efforts. Rather than thinking of QPA work as “another new thing” we encourage our partners to use the QPA process to deepen or shift current practice to better align with our goals for student learning. Arts integration, by definition, parallels this process by offering ways to connect the arts with other disciplines instead of keeping it as a separate subject.
Starting to think about how arts can integrate into performance assessment tasks propels us forward in working to ensure that all students succeed. The more entry points we can offer students into rigorous and meaningful learning, the closer we get to a just and equitable world in which every student is college- and career-ready, and prepared to become a compassionate, thoughtful, and contributing global citizen. We hope this tool stretches your thinking about integrating arts into your QPA tasks to make them even stronger.