Arts PROPEL is a project which approaches arts-based learning from three perspectives: 1) Production: students are inspired to learn the basic skills and principles of the art form by putting their ideas into music, words, or visual form, 2) Perception: students study works of art to understand the kinds of choices artists make and to see connections between their own and others' work, 3) Reflection: students assess their work according to personal goals and standards of excellence in the field. Programs combining instruction and assessment were developed for middle and high school students in three art forms: music, visual arts, and imaginative writing. Arts PROPEL researchers also developed two major tools that use an ongoing process of assessment to reinforce instruction: 1) The domain project encourages students to tackle open-ended problems. Students write poems, compose their own songs, paint portraits, and tackle other "real-life" projects as the starting point for exploring the works of practicing artists. 2) The portfolio (or processfolio) traces the development of examples of student work through each stage of the creative process.