The Leaving Certificate Art specification is differentiated in three ways:
- through the learning outcomes of the specification
- in the process of teaching and learning
- through assessment.
Differentiation through the learning outcomes in the specification
Learning outcomes should be achievable to each learner’s ability level. They promote teaching and learning processes that develop learners’ knowledge and understanding incrementally, enabling them to respond, analyse, evaluate and apply knowledge to different situations as they progress. For example, although learners at Ordinary level and Higher level can both ‘critically analyse’, the context, information and results are examined at different levels.
Differentiation in teaching and learning
Learners vary in the amount and type of support they need to be successful. Levels of demand in the different types of learning activities will differ as learners bring different ideas and levels of knowledge, skill and understanding to them. Learners will be enabled to interact at their own level through the use of strategies for differentiated learning such as adjusting the level of skills required, varying the amount and the nature of teacher intervention as well as the pace and sequence of learning.
Teachers can meet the needs and interests of all learners through the many possibilities available to them in Art. Teachers, in planning for differentiation within their classroom, can use inquiry methods to focus on practical knowledge and skills development or to build the learner’s knowledge and understanding of examples of Visual Studies. By combining both, teachers will give learners the opportunity to think critically and creatively about the work and processes they are involved in and see the relevance of examples of similar work and processes through experiences of Visual Studies. Teachers can adjust for learning based on the work and processes being undertaken in the classroom so that it complements the needs of their learners. For example, the teacher may begin by focusing the learning on using topics of local interest before broadening this out to encompass examples of wider Irish or world culture.
Differentiation in assessment
Assessment of Leaving Certificate Art will be based on the learning outcomes in the specification. Learners will be assessed at two levels, Higher and Ordinary. All learning outcomes may be assessed at both Higher and Ordinary level. At Higher level, the learning outcomes will be assessed at the highest skill level as demonstrated in the action verb of the learning outcome. At Ordinary level, the learning outcomes will be assessed at a moderate skill level, focusing on the demonstration of a basic understanding of knowledge, skills and values and their application.
In the practical assessment components – practical coursework and an invigilated examination – the stimulus will be the same for both components at both Higher and Ordinary levels. Differentiation will apply in how learners have researched and processed their ideas and information, applied knowledge and skills as they evaluate their own ideas, and worked to create two realised pieces. Differentiation can also be applied in assessing their responses to their work and research and in the production of their realised and original work.
The written examination in Leaving Certificate Art will be assessed at two levels, Higher and Ordinary. Examination questions will require learners to demonstrate knowledge, understanding, application, analysis and evaluation appropriate to each level. Differentiation at the point of assessment will also be achieved through the stimulus material used in the examination, and the tasks set out for learners at the two levels.