Daily Journal Article - Feb,2000

greenspun.com : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

The National Standards of Arts Education >> >> In 1994 our national government enacted the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. This Act outlined National Education Goals that challenged state governments and local school districts to develop and implement plans that would lead to improved education by the year 2000. One goal that was significant to art educators was "All children competent in core academic subjects, including art." This was the first time in education history that the arts became a nationally mandated part of the education process. A consortium of art educators, leaders and foundations were then assigned to develop criteria stating why the arts are beneficial to education. The four criteria the consortium developed were: 1. The arts engage students in learning in a variety of ways that enable them to develop many areas of intelligence and different "habits of the mind." 2. Research shows that the arts help children build both basic and advanced thinking skills, develop problem-posing and problem-solving skills, and instruct children in diverse modes of thinking and learning. 3. The arts reach students who are otherwise disempowered and disenfranchised by providing diverse routes to academic and personal achievement. They enhance self-discipline, perseverance, and hard work and provide gateways to other learning. 4. The arts help students build solid connections with other academic areas and to integrate their learning. The arts promote cross-cultural and interdisciplinary learning. They also offer students the opportunity to acquire skills not readily available via other disciplines. >> Next, the art disciplines needed to set expectation standards for arts education. The National Standards for Arts Education established these five criteria: 1. Students should be able to communicate at a basic level in the four arts disciplines: dance, music, theatre and visual and media arts. 2. Students should be able to communicate proficiently in at least one art form. 3. Students should be able to develop and present basic analyses of works of art. 4. Students should have an informed acquaintance with exemplary works of art from a variety of cultures and historical periods. 5. Students should be able to relate various types of arts knowledge and skills within and across the arts disciplines. >> Each art discipline formulated their criteria for learning, and the one that I will state is my area, music. The Music Educators National Conference created 9 standards benchmarking a student's musical competence for the National Standards for Arts Education: 1. Students sing a varied repertoire of music, alone and with others. 2. Students perform a varied repertoire of instrumental music, alone and with others. 3. Students improvise melodies, variations and accompaniments. 4. Students compose and arrange music. 5. Students read and notate music. 6. Students listen to analyze and describe music. 7. Students evaluate music, music use, and music performance. 8. Students understand relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts. 9. Students understand music in relation to history and culture. >> Now it is 2000, and all of us, parents, community members, students and educators, need to reflect on how we are doing with the original Goals 2000. Art/music is part of the curriculum in most schools and the majority of classroom teachers employ interdisciplinary and multiple intelligence learning. However, should arts education only take place in the school? No, and this is where parents and community have a role. Basic knowledge and exposure to the arts is taught in the school, but the arts must be reinforced outside of the classroom. To embellish a child's art education there needs to be a conscious effort by parents to supplement art learning through private/class instructors, attending concerts, theater productions, museums and art shows, encouraging art discovery and discussion, and spending time creating with the child. On the community's part, there needs to be encouragement, participation, instructor/director leadership and functional facilities for projects, programs, events and areas of study. Time and money is always limited, but children learn life-enhancing qualities from art education, and isn't that what we want? As Paul Harvey said in one of his radio broadcasts, "If the fine arts aren't elements in education, much of what we know as civilization has been a mistake!" >> (Sources: MENC, National PTA and National Standards for Arts Education) >> Donna Frederickson, choir director at Falls High School and Member of the University of Minnesota, Duluth Master's of Education Cohort in International Falls.

-- Anonymous, February 16, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ