June 11 2015

BHS Art Students' Artwork Expressing Feelings on Standardized Testing Gets National Media Attention

By: Rich Hosford

A class of Burlington High School art students made drawings and paintings that reflect their thoughts and feelings on standardized testing and their works have garnered national media attention. 


Art teacher Christina Chang said she had students in her Drawing and Painting class, comprised of kids in grades 10-12, think about how they felt before, during and after standardized tests such as MCAS and to perform drawing and sketching exercises about those feelings. She then gave them drawing and painting materials and had them work out their thoughts and feelings in art pieces. The assignment was given a week after the 10th grade students has completed the MCAS exams. 


“The students sketched their ideas and then talked about them and critiqued each other,” Chang said. “The pieces are very authentic and true to how they are feeling.”


The students’ works show a high level of anxiety around standardized testing.


I thought they were very powerful and authentic,” Chang said. “It was great to see that the students could express themselves through the artwork.”


The works resonated with people on social media. Chang’s blog, where she uploaded photos of the work, garnered multiple comments. The art pieces were also picked up by The Huffington Post and The Washington Post. Chang said she was happy to see her students’ work recognized by big media outlets. 


“I was thrilled for the students, it’s great that so many people have the chance to see their work,” she said. “Part of what we try to teach them is that art is powerful and can send a message. Their voices and artwork is really validated [by the attention]. It’s wonderful for them.”


We have a selection of the pieces below. Visit Ms. Chang’s blog to see all of the artworks.  

 

Credit: Josephine Samarjian

 

 

Credit: Maddie Worob

 

 

Credit: Rachel Carlino and Emily Moreira

 

 

 
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