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Thoughtful Arts Integration
January 17, 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 8
Table of Contents
Common Core Quick-Start
How the Arts Intersect with the Common Core State Standards
When you watch a child engaging in the arts—whether it's dance, music, theater, visual arts, or even media arts—you are witnessing the development of the whole child. The intersection of the full-scale implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the impending release of the Next Generation Arts Standards, due out this spring, provides the perfect opportunity to consider how to integrate the arts into other academic subject areas.
Though the arts are among the first programs on the chopping block when school budgets are tight, they are not fluff: Research suggests that the arts foster critical thinking skills and processes that prepare students for college and the workplace. According to the 2012 report (PDF) by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, "the arts promote work habits that cultivate curiosity, imagination, creativity, and evaluation skills," and are "a basis for success in the 21st century" (2010, p. 2).
To date, the focus on Common Core integration across subjects has leaned heavily toward science and social studies, but there are several direct parallels between the arts and the Common Core standards (Riley, 2012):
The opportunity to make connections across content areas becomes even more pronounced when we consider the trend toward including media arts as a separate arts discipline. The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, developer of the Next Generation Arts Standards, notes that (PDF) media arts—such as interactive design and multimedia—promote academic achievement, artistic expression, arts and content integration, the convergence of different media, creativity and imagination, pedagogical integrity, and more. Though the Common Core standards do not explicitly include standards for media arts, the English/language arts College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards do emphasize the use of technology and multimedia, and for today's generation of digital natives, using technology and media arts (for example, to produce a presentation or perhaps even throwing a visual arts or music element into the mix) within the content areas is a natural first step.
And the benefits? Drawing on the natural intersections between Common Core standards and the arts means children who are actively engaged in learning, enhanced opportunities for teacher collaboration, and a whole lot of fun for you and your students.
Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010). English language arts standards: anchor standards: college and career readiness anchor standards for reading. Washington, DC: CCSSO & National Governors Association. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/CCRA/R
Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2010). Standards for mathematical practice. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Practice
Common Core State Standards Initiative. (n.d.). Mission statement. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/
Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2010). 21st Century Skills Map: The Arts. Retrieved from http://www.arteducators.org/research/21st_Century_Skills_Arts_Map.pdf
National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. (2012). The Inclusion of Media Arts in Next Generation Arts Standards. Retrieved from http://nccas.wikispaces.com/file/view/NCCAS_%26_Media_Arts_7-28-12+FINAL.pdf
Riley, S. (November 30, 2012). Use arts integration to enhance the Common Core [blog post]. Retrieved from Education Trends at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/core-practices-arts-integration-susan-riley
Riley, S. (2011, December 22). Creating harmony in Common Core: Where do we fit in? [Prezi file]. Retrieved from http://prezi.com/kd3d17zl1aof/creating-harmony-in-common-core-where-do-we-fit-in/
Kirsten Miller is the lead communications consultant at McREL.
ASCD Express, Vol. 8, No. 8. Copyright 2013 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit www.ascd.org/ascdexpress.
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