SCREENING AND IDENTIFYING GIFTED/TALENTED
STUDENTS IN THE VISUAL ARTS WITH
CLARK'S DRAWING ABILITIES TEST
One of the newer demands on people running gifted or talented education programs in schools is to identify and provide programs for several categories of high abilities of students that differ significantly from more traditional categories of intellectually or academically superior students. These categories include leadership, creative or productive thinking, and the visual and performing arts. A conundrum presented by this new demand is that none of these categories is exclusive; there are many students who can and do operate well in several or all of them. This, of course, raises many questions about methods of identification and about designing appropriate programs in an effective education program for high ability students.
In this paper, I will discuss, briefly, a number of problems based upon identification procedures generally used in arts programs for identifying talented students and specific problems in the visual arts. Some of these problems are procedural and others are attitudinal. I also will outline several years of research conducted at Indiana University designed to alleviate or circumvent these problems. The major thrust of this research has been design and testing of a new achievement-type test in the visual arts, Clark's Drawing Abilities Test, that has led to development of the new instrument and a standardized scoring criteria scale. Clark's Drawing Abilities Test has been used in a very large number of classrooms across the U.S. and in many other countries and specifically as a diagnostic test for students entering the Indiana University Summer Arts Institute.