Through the arts, students will become more conscious and careful observers of their world and participants within it. State and national standards for the arts clearly drive classroom lessons so that students are able to understand arts principles and processes, participate in arts discussions and create using artistic processes.
Students are actively engaged in the practices of creating, performing and responding to the arts to develop understanding of arts concepts, vocabulary and skills. Students utilize active listening and observation skills to evaluate their work and the work of others according to established criteria. Over time, discussion moves from teacher-led to student-led as students develop the observation skills and questioning strategies necessary.
Curriculum & Pedagogy
Multiple representations of arts concepts – visual, auditory, physical, verbal – support students’ engagement and concept development. Creating, performing and response tasks empower students to develop conceptual understanding and apply content and practice standards. As such, students are not simply replicating the artwork as instructed, but are provided with the tools to make their own artistic decisions. Artworks and music presented and performed are of high quality and represent multiple cultures. Students engage in tasks which allow them to explore the historical, cultural and aesthetic aspects of the arts in society through research, accountable talk, presentation and performance.
In line with the learning target(s) and success criteria, evidence of learning is elicited from all students through whole group and individual performance, verbal and written response and appropriate gestures. Teachers watch and listen to students, noting/charting patterns of responses to highlight or probe. Evidence of student progress is also used to respond to observed student needs through review or targeted instruction. Performance-based summative assessments are used in addition to daily formative assessments measuring fluency with terminology and theory, proficiency with equipment, and understanding of artistic processes. Formative assessments are used to assess students’ prior knowledge, intellectual needs, and cultural experience so instruction can be refined accordingly.
Classroom Environment & Culture
Equity in student engagement with the arts is ensured through the classroom structures, culture, and instructional strategies. The physical environment and cultural norms in the classroom are critical to facilitating collaborative discourse and creativity. Student work is balanced appropriately between independent work and small and large group discussion or rehearsal. Students direct routines as appropriate during classes and participate fully in discussions. Students and teachers share an understanding that the artistic process is of equal value to its outcomes.