Visual art teachers and performance assessment methods in Nigerian senior secondary schools.
This paper examines the competencies of visual arts teachers in using performance assessment methods, and to ascertain the extent to which the knowledge, skills and experiences of teachers affect their competence in using assessment strategies in their classroom. The study employs a qualitative research design; an aspect of descriptive survey research aiming at depicting the situation of visual art classroom assessment practices. The population of this paper is the entire visual arts teachers working in the secondary schools in Nigeria. The samples were derived from selected public secondary schools by using purposive sampling technique in order to obtain the targeted participants. Senior Secondary school visual art teachers constituted the sample of this study. The paper did not collect data on its own, rather it reviewed the findings of related empirical studies conducted within and outside Nigeria. To examine the position and problems related to performance assessment, the paper critically reviewed related Dissertations, Thesis and Journal papers conducted in Europe and Africa as well as in Nigeria. The paper found that the competence and use of assessment strategies is determined by the type of professional training attained by teachers. Some of the findings of the studies reviewed showed that most schools laid more emphasis on summative evaluation. Teachers also depended on Objective and Essay tests. They do not have adequate information on authentic or alternative assessment. The study conducted by West African Examination Council across Ghana and Nigeria revealed that most teachers in secondary schools lack the knowledge of using performance-based assessment strategies as their classroom assessment practices. The findings of the study of Amsami (2005) showed that visual art teachers with the knowledge of educational measurement are few across the country; for the fact that most of them were studio oriented teachers. Other studies reviewed indicated the need for training of teachers, generally on the new assessment strategies.
Key words: Process and Product portfolio, Performance assessment, Rubric, Visual Arts education, Evaluation methods.