Arts Education is required for all students in New York State. A balanced art curriculum is not only about creating and performing but includes art history, critical analysis, and aesthetics and the ways these interact. Students of the Arts develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society.
There are many routes to competence in the arts disciplines. Students may work in different arts at different times. Their study may take a variety of approaches. Their abilities may develop at different rates. Competence means the ability to use an array of knowledge and skills; students may use other knowledge that goes cross curriculum and subjects to incorporate into there art. All students at all levels will be working on the following competence vocabulary and the understanding of it:
Competence means capabilities with these elements themselves and understanding of their interdependence; it also means the ability to combine content, perspectives, and techniques associated with the various elements to achieve specific artistic goals. Students in art will work toward comprehensive competence from the very beginning, preparing in the lower grades for deeper and more rigorous work each succeeding year. As a result, the joy of the experiencing the arts is enriched and matured by the discipline of learning and the pride of accomplishment. The NYS Standards ask that the students should know and be able to do the following by the time they reach the upper grades:
- Standard 1: Creating, Performing and Participating in the Arts
Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) and participate in various roles in the arts.
- Standard 2: Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources
Students will be knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles.
- Standard 3: Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art
Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to their works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought.
- Standard 4: Understanding the Cultural Dimensions and Contributions of the Arts
Students will develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society.
An arts education benefits the student because it cultivates the whole child, gradually building many kinds of literacy while developing intuition, reasoning, imagination, and dexterity into unique forms of expression and communication. The arts cultivate the direct experience of the senses. Their goal is to connect person and experience directly, to build the bridge between verbal and nonverbal, between the strictly logical and the emotional- the better to gain an understanding of the whole. These approaches are both powerful and necessary; to deny students either is to disable them.
This year, through out the grade levels, the focus of the art classroom will be on the Elements of Art (line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space), and also the Principles of Design (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, and unity). Communicating thoughts and feelings through the use of the elements and principles gives them a vastly more powerful repertoire or self-expression. This comprehensive, articulated arts education program engages students in a process that helps them develop the self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation necessary for success in life.