Typhani Harris | July 2014

The New Arts Standards*

* For the purpose of this article, I will just be examining the secondary dance standards.

The New Arts Standards, Education Closet


Some have commented that the new arts standards are too simplistic, but is that really the case? Artists have negated to utilize the arbitrary nuance-embedded language of traditional new arts standards, and have opted to just give us the down and dirty, and for that we should be thankful.  But that does not mean they are less rigorous, just less wordy and much less capricious!

The new national standards for 9-12 dance are separated into a total of 11 actual standards, and within each one are three separate levels: proficient, accomplished, and advanced. So, let’s take a look at the anchor new arts standards:

Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work.
Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
Standard 5: Develop and refine artistic technique and work for presentation.
Standard 6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work
Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.
Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work
Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Standard 10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.

What I really like about the new arts standards is that there is a focus on exploration, creation, intent, and evaluation of movement, which is the main difference between dance as a performing art and dance as physical education. The creation process is really the determining factor between art and exercise.

When you take a look at each standard individually, NCCAS (National Coalition for Core Arts Standards) has provided the artistic process, process component, enduring understanding, essential question, and outcomes in proficient, accomplished, and advanced levels.

Here is a sample of the Anchor Standards layout:
The New Arts Standards, Education ClosetAlthough the actual anchor standard may seem simplistic in nature, when we look at the outcomes and process we see the in depth application and expectations of the new arts standards. Additionally, due to the way in which they were composed, teachers are still free to teach what they want, how they want, the standards just give focused outcomes for what we teach. So, the creativity is still present!

Also, the composition of the new arts standards allow for the STEAM process to happen easier. Since the “intimidating” language has been removed and the standards can be easily understood by all, our core teachers may feel more comfortable providing STEAM lessons with arts integration!

 Click here for the New Arts Standards!! 

Remember to take time to unpack the new standards.  Also, cornerstone assessments have been created for the evaluation of the standards in practice.  Look for my future articles on utilizing the cornerstone assessments next year!

Next Week: Strategies

Core New Arts Standards Lessons

So now that we have seen the new core arts standards, how do they translate into workable lessons for the studio?  Here are a few lesson seeds for implementing the new standards!