I like to survey my students at the beginning of the semester. I want to know their previous experience with the subject matter, what they want to learn in the class, and whether they are interested in a career that involves the subject matter.
At the end of the year I’d like to follow up. I’ll ask the students to review what they said they had wanted to learn and whether they felt they learned it. I may even ask them if their careers plans have changed.
At the beginning of the year IÂ reviewed the survey responses to get an idea of the overall class makeup. I really should have reviewed these again a few weeks later when I’d gotten to know the students a little. I just pulled them out (five months later) and took another look.
Here are the three questions I asked my art students. For each, I’ve included some of my favorite reponses.
Have you had an art class before? If so, describe your experience briefly.
- “Last year we had an art class. It was a class with a bunch of pictures.” (8th grade boy)
- “Yes it was fun doing projects but also I will like to do a clay car.” (8th grade boy)
- “I sort of had an art class. But my uncle was my teacher and I was 5.” (6th grade girl)
- “Yes I have had an art class before. It was different and hard because I have no art skills but apparently I do because last year my drawing went to an art show in Davis.” (10th grade boy in Art II)
What do you want to learn or accomplish in this class?
- “I want to draw well enough to beat my sister.” (6th grade boy)
Are you interested in a career that involves art? If so, tell me a little about it.
- “I want to be a celebrity. An actress and if not an actress, a jean fashion designer.” (8th grade girl)
- “Yes, but many adults believe it will be throwing my life away. I want to be a professional cyber and video game designer.” (8th grade boy)
- “No. When I was little I wanted to be an artist, but now I want to be something that brings in the cash.” (8th grade girl)
- “Yes I want to be an artist so every one would see.” (7th grade boy)
- “Being a vet that offers to paint a picture of the animal.” (6th grade girl)
- “No I am not. I plan on being a lawyer like my grandma.” (7th grade girl)
- “A billboard painting.” (11th grade boy)
- “Actually I’m not sure yet because I still don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life.” (10th grade girl)
- “I may be a tattoo artist.” (11th grade boy)
- “I’d like to draw more than stick figures. And I’m not really good at drawing stick figures either.” (10th grade boy)