Process or Product
June 3, 2009
This is what everything we do in arts education comes down to. Process or product? Are they exclusive? Can you have one without the other? Let’s examine what each represents.
Process is the ongoing task of learning. For the arts it means taking classes or lessons on a regular basis, reviewing past skills, building on those skills and expanding those skills. For math it means pretty much the same thing (I think it does, I am not a math teacher). At the end of a section of math, typically there is a test on what students should have learned.
In the arts, the test is the performance or the product. The test should reflect all aspects of skills learned. Think about the last performance you or your child participated in. Were you able to note the expansion or improvement of basic skills? Hopefully you did. I think the big difference is that after you finish a math test, you don’t clap and get cookies and punch. At a recital you get lots of affirmation via clapping, maybe flowers and pretty tasty punch and cookies. Ooh, I think it’s much more fun to be tested in the arts than music!