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THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS INVOLVED IN PLANNING AND ASSESSING DRAMA AT KEY STAGE 3 How and by what means do we assess drama Any assessment should provide a fair reliable and objective means of placing a students progress in drama Neelands J 2000 Beginning Drama 11-14 David Fulton Publishers With no set National Curriculum for drama with individual schools practitioners and educators differing beliefs on assessing it and its requirements where do we start However no matter the criteria one thing is clear and that is that planning and assessment go hand in hand Whether it is to plan for a group or individual students aims through differentiation constant assessment and reassessment of students goals and own teaching is paramount if there is to be any progress or improvement in our practice Neelands talks of the pragmatic and philosophical issues that arise within drama The pragmatic comes from having no set National Curriculum not that this is necessarily a bad thing but it does create local problems within schools Drama may have a more limited timetable its assessment might be through English and the need for some teachers to provide meaningful experiences of drama in very short periods of time may also be reluctant to spend precious time on the detailed individual assessment of pupils Then philosophically how do we assess creativity If we focus on differentiating between students on the basis of their individual abilities as performers and respondents in drama there is a danger of alienating and disempowering students who have neither the restricted skills nor the inclination to develop them but who nonetheless derive enormous social and aesthetic benefits from participating in drama However if we are then preparing students to further their academic progress in drama beyond Key Stage 3 surely we should provide a structure that works towards those levels and that will therefore require a structured assessment criteria to bridge the gap from Key Stage 3
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