33-Noah Heath Prescribes Art as an Antidote for Test Anxiety


How about demonstrating mastery like this? And then…writing about it!

Episode Template:

The Problem: Many students freeze when confronted with an essay assessment prompt.

I recently walked into Noah Heath’s room. Noah teaches Psychology.


@NoHeath66 Noah Heath and his lovely fiancee Kristen

I noticed some interesting art work on the wall. I asked about it. The next 10 minutes simply evaporated as Noah described his recent assessment experiment, “I have a lot of students who are uncomfortable with traditional tests. I wanted to give these kids an option. I let them opt to use art to demonstrate mastery of altered states of consciousness. They were to compare chemically altered consciousness (through drugs) and non-chemically altered consciousness (through hypnosis, meditation, and biofeedback). Traditionally, I give students an essay asking them to compare and contrast. Students who participated in my experiment still had to include a writing component, but it was to explain their artwork. Their creation did the job of comparing and contrasting!”

The Solution: Allow students to demonstrate learning through an art project.

What You Can Do Tomorrow?

  1. Create an art-worthy prompt.
  2. Expose students to a famous work of art and enlighten them about its deep meaning. An excellent example is Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. 
  3. Challenge students to brainstorm ways demonstrate learning other than essay writing.
  4. Call for student proposals. 

Many students suffer with traditional assessments. Experiment with allowing them to demonstrate deep understanding with art.

Listen to “33-Noah Heath Prescribes Art as an Antidote for Test Anxiety” on Spreaker.