- Peer Review: “National Standards for Arts Education”
National Standards for Arts Education
- Feb 7, 2003 by Teacher Education
- The National Standards for Arts Education, developed by the Consortium of
National Arts Education Associations, address what every young American should
know and be able to do in dance, theater/drama, music and visual art by the end
of 4th grade, 8th grade, 12 grade, and 12th grade advanced. It provides a
comprehensive description of national standards for the arts and a rationale for
standards that is thorough and convincing. The site, which is a sub-site within
ArtsEdge at the Kennedy Center, includes the following: table of contents, a
list of defined terms, an introduction, the actual K-12 standards, a glossary, a
summary that features how the standards came into existence, a list of those
people and organizations that developed the standards, and those who endorse the
- Type of Material:
- Resource, reference
- Recommended Uses:
- The rationales and standards can be used in developing comprehensive arts
programs at the school and district levels, as well as for unit and lesson plan
development at grade level and classroom levels.
- Technical Requirements:
- Basic Internet navigation skills
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
- Educators will learn about the national standards for arts education and why
they are critical to every student in America. The National Standards for Arts
Education assert that knowing and practicing the arts disciplines are
fundamental to the healthy development of children's minds and spirits. The
intent is to provide a vision of competence and educational effectiveness, but
without creating a mold into which all arts programs must fit.
- Target Student Population:
- Student teachers, K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, especially those in
teacher education, educational organizations, and parents
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
- A basic understanding of content knowledge and developmentally appropriate
skills in one or more the arts is helpful, but not required.
- The rationale for teaching the arts is thorough and convincing. It
connects the purpose of the arts to educational reform. This is important for
advanced understanding of the standards. Background on the historical
development of the arts standards provides a foundation. The actual standards
are systematically organized with specific information that clearly offers not
only expectations, but numerous ideas and suggestions for curriculum
development. This information is divided into three grade level groupings of
K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Supporting information at this site such as definitions
including hyperlinks within the standards, glossary, and an informative summary
contributeto broader coverage of the content.
- The actual process used for developing the standards is not presented, although
the major players and arts organizations that helped to write them are noted.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
- The K-12 national arts standards are presented in an organized manner, which
allows for immediate referencing, researching, and generation of curriculum
ideas. There is a thorough description of arts standards that could complement
an in-class introduction. The site articulates rationales for teaching the arts,
which are often difficult for beginning teachers to do. This is a great
starting place for all teachers (K-university) who are planning appropriate arts
lessons. The standards are written in appropriate lesson objective format.
The arts information access from this page is vast and allows for independent
research, group projects, presentations, and curriculum development within the
arts and across subject areas.
- It would be helpful to have some way on this site to connect these arts
standards to other curriculum areas so as to promote integration.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- The presentation of the standards and listing of specific links are clear and
efficient. At the top of the page there are direct links to current news issues
in the arts, arts and arts integration lessons, and professional development
materials. On the sidebar at this site there are direct links to national
standards and benchmarks for all areas of the curriculum, as well as best
practices and showcase examples of arts education. Hyperlinks with definitions
are imbedded within the text of the rationales and standards. Furthermore the
search button found at this site allows you to instantly conduct a search not
only on the arts standards, but also the entire ArtsEdge site. The organization
of each page is consistent, easy to read, and attractive to the eye. No
technical support should be needed.
- The listing of the standards content for each grade level grouping is continuous
in the middle of long pages--scrolling required. It is easy to get distracted
from the national standards link with the ArtsEdge homepage links to the left
but these were very helpful and interesting as well.
- Other Issues and Comments:
- At the top of this site is a direct link to a user guide for the entire ArtsEdge
site which is worth reviewing for an overall perspective of arts education
information and curriculum. The reviewers encourage a broader introduction to
the ArtsEdge site before focusing on the National Standards for Arts Education
specifically. Also, it would be helpful to have some way on this site to
connect these arts standards to other curriculum areas so as to promote
- Creative Commons: