June 30 public review new Core Arts Standards

To keep up with what is developing with the public review of the Arts Standards being written by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards visit them on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/NationalCoalitionForCoreArtsStandards?fref=ts

They are planning to release the standards for public review on June 30th.

“Good Teaching Artistry”

On Wednesday in my bi-weekly email newsletter to arts educators I included a link to a post by Eric Booth on the Teaching Artist Journal (TAJ) blog. Booth and Marit Ulvund of Norway’s SEANSE created the world’s first International Teaching Artist Conference in Oslo, Norway this last August.

Booth writes that the one key question drove him to create the conference: What are the core elements of teaching artistry as it appears in its various expressions and uses in cultures around the world?

That is as far as I read, thought it sounded like something worth passing along, included the link and moved on. Yesterday in a conversation with an arts specialist she mentioned she was really grateful for the article by Booth because in these challenging times it reaffirmed she knows what she is doing and it is a worthwhile endeavor. This prompted me to go back and read the whole post.

I seriously encourage you to also read the whole post but if you are pressed for time skip down to the “13 Core Elements of Teaching Artistry.”


Marina Weatherly with students dancing

Marina Weatherly with students

“Beyond Tokenism”

A few days ago I read Ariel Sack’s excellent article in Education Week Teacher, “Beyond Tokenism: Toward the Next Stage of Teacher Leadership.”

I think her insights are worthwhile to consider in our current environment where you are required to make the case for the arts as English-language arts and math take the lion’s share of time and funding …  and STEM is emphasized at every turn.

Teaching students is the single most important thing that happens in education everyday. That is where teachers make their biggest impact. So a leadership opportunity must provide a compelling reason to step away from the classroom—even for a day—or give up our valuable personal time. It must help teachers use their knowledge to empower their colleagues and school communities rather than present yet one more obstacle for effective teaching and learning.

Sadly, in part because of the top-down decision making structures that still pervade education, some of the teacher-leadership roles I’ve seen and participated in do not meet those criteria. Though well-intentioned, they end up misusing teachers’ time and abilities, rather than giving them meaningful ways to contribute their expertise. To help educators evaluate new opportunities and roles, I’ve compiled some of the lessons and requirements my experiences and observations have taught me.

To read the whole article: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2012/10/17/tl_sacks.html?intc=mvs

bus token

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards updates


National Core Arts Standards live update – Wednesday October 3rd – 3:00 PM

Livestream link will be active on October 3rd at the link above.

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Issues Media Arts Materials
The Media Arts Team has posted two documents on the site. One is “Media Arts Position Paper” and the other is “Media Arts Frequently Asked Questions.” http://nccas.wikispaces.com/NCCAS+and+Media+Arts

Lynn Tuttle, director of arts education for the Arizona Department of Education and the president of SEADAE – State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, gave an update on the National Core Arts Standards work at AEP’s (Arts Education Partnership http://www.aep-arts.org/) National Forum September 13-14 in Chattanooga, TN. She emphasized that the writing teams are trying to make the process transparent and drafts of the standards will be out in the spring. The standards will have embedded some curricular design and they are working with Jay McTighe and his wife Daisy who is a visual art teacher to embed some common core assessment examples. There will be a show case of student art available on the web for assessment.

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman also spoke at the Arts Education Partnership fall forum. http://www.arts.gov/index.html

In his opening address he said the following: “Arts must start behaving like other subjects. Before you break the rules you need to know what they are. There are knowledge and skills you need to know. Standards and assessment don’t stifle creativity if done correctly, they enhance it.”

He also said we set our expectations low and often fail, “We have a saying on Broadway – aim low and miss.”

In a recent article in Education Week I was reminded of a way the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts affect the arts. This is a link to the article, “Common Core Reaches Into Science Classes, Survey Finds”

You can find the section of the common-core on Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects at the link below, by scrolling down to page 59. It includes standards for both reading and writing. http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf

As I mentioned in an earlier post the arts are specifically mentioned as a “technical subject.”
Technical subjects – A course devoted to a practical study, such as engineering, technology, design, business, or other workforce-related subject; a technical aspect of a wider field of study, such as art or music  (p. 43 of Appendix A of Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects) http://www.corestandards.org/

Other good resources:
Americans for the Arts’ Artsblog has a good post from Lynn Tuttle, “Common Core is Here—Don’t Panic!” http://blog.artsusa.org/2012/09/10/common-core-is-here-dont-panic/<

In the Teaching Theatre Journal Jim Palmarini interviews Jay McTighe regarding Cornerstone Tasks, Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions.

ArtsEdSearch Launched!
AEP launched its new research and policy clearinghouse on April 12, 2012. ArtsEdSearch provides user-friendly summaries and overviews of arts education research focused entirely on student and teacher outcomes of arts learning in and out of school. http://www.aep-arts.org/research-policy/artsedsearch/

SEADAE Releases Report on Roles of Arts Educators

Roles of Certified Arts Educators, Certified Non-Arts Educators, & Providers of Supplemental Arts Instruction (by Lauren Kapalka Richerme, Scott C. Shuler, and Marcia McCaffrey, with Debora Hansen and Lynn Tuttle) is a new resource for policymakers and everyone involved in arts education, recently released by the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE). As its title suggests, this publication outlines the training, experience, and skills that each of these three key partners contributes to ensuring a high-quality, sequential, standards-based arts education for all of America’s children. Roles concludes by offering recommendations to the field for more effective educational collaborations and advocacy. http://seadae.org/Corporatesite/files/cf/cf3afbde-6d40-4ad3-b1a8-9fb5753a1c72.pdf

If you are involved in arts education you should at least scan this document. It has already created discussions across the field which will no doubt continue. One item many arts education managers at state arts agencies find problematic are the broad over generalizations about the quality of the work done by teaching artists and their capacity. Sometimes the tone seems negative toward “providers of supplemental arts instruction” which is how teaching artists are identified in the paper. One of the most positive aspects is the Venn diagram on page 13 that shows how certified arts educators, certified non-arts educators and providers of supplemental arts instruction work together.

New National Endowment for the Arts Research Report Shows Potential Benefits of Arts Education for At-Risk Youth

Youth Have Better Academic Outcomes, Higher Career Goals, and Are More Civically Engaged

March 30, 2012

Washington, DC — At-risk students who have access to the arts in or out of school also tend to have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement, according to a new NEA report, The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies. The study reports these and other positive outcomes associated with high levels of arts exposure for youth of low socioeconomic status.

To read more and download the report:  http://www.arts.gov/news/news12/Arts-At-Risk-Youth.html

“Child Development and Arts Education: A review of Current Research and Best Practices”

The College Board has done research on several topics for the group that is revising the National Standards for Arts Education, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. The one I have looked at is “Child Development and Arts Education: A review of Current Research and Best Practices.” The charts that start on page 9, “Overview of recommended pedagogical approaches,” struck me as a very useful resource. Dance, music, theatre and visual arts are covered for early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school, and college.

From the webpage Introduction:

Although the body of research is growing that links arts participation to ever-widening developmental gains, there appear to be fewer resources available that explain the ways in which the latest research in cognitive, social, and emotional development in children and young adults may inform the instructional practices of arts educators. The following series of literature reviews aims to address the need for this particular type of information: linking current developmental research with recommended best practices for educators of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts students from grades PreK-14.

http://nccas.wikispaces.com/Child+Development+Research (There is a link to download the PDF file)

In addition are the following research papers and there are also online webinars on the research. (Look under College Board Research in the navigation box on the left of the screen.)
College Standards PDF
International Standards PDF
State Arts Standards PDF
21st Century Gap Analysis PDF

Other topics are planned for the future so check back for them and on the progress of the writing teams.

photo of young girl working on a watercolor of a flower