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Arts Curriculum Framework:
The Practice Of Creating

Arts Content

Core Concept

Experience in the creative process is essential for all learners. In the arts, this process involves solving problems with skill and imagination, discovering new questions, and producing new ideas, objects, or interpretations of existing works. Learning in, about, and through the arts develops each learner's capacity to make meaning from experience, respond to creativity, and contribute to society.

Skillful teachers of the arts are conscious of how they build arts curriculum, instruction, and assessments to reflect the Core Concept by combining the framework's three Strands into all classroom work. In this framework, Arts Content is represented by Strands and Learning Standards.

Arts Content

Strands and Learning Standards

Creating and Performing

  • Students will use the arts to express ideas, emotions, and beliefs.
  • Students will acquire and apply essential skills and literacy unique to each art form.

Thinking and Responding

  • Students will use imaginative and reflective thinking during all phases of creating and performing.
  • Students will use analytical and critical thinking to respond to works of art.

Connecting and Contributing

  • Students will investigate the cultural and historical contexts of the arts.
  • Students will integrate the arts and make connections among the arts and other disciplines.
  • Students will use technology in order to create, perform, and conduct research in the arts.
  • Students will participate in the community'scultural and artistic life.

Learning Standards define what each and every student should know and be able to do in each content area. The Massachusetts Learning Standards have been designed with three purposes in mind:

  • to acknowledge the importance of both the content and the skills students learn in each disciple;
  • to help teachers create classroom assessments;
  • to be used as the basis for a statewide assessment of student learning at grades four, eight, and ten.

Students may require support or adaptations to achieve these standards, and teachers and families are urged to consult and apply the "Strategies for Including All Learners" listed in Chapter Two, "Lifelong Learning, Teaching, and Assessment."

The Learning Standards are also applicable to the thousands of adult learners enrolled in adult basic education centers throughout Massachusetts. Adult educators are strongly encouraged to implement then and adapt them according to the literacy and experiential levels of their students.

In the Arts Framework, Essential Questions are included to suggest the dimensions of lifelong inquiry and learning in the arts. How It Looks in the Classroom represents a sampling of extended projects and units in which students address essential questions in each Learning Standard.

Last Updated: January 1, 1996

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