Arts educators prepare to shift to new standards
Arts educators in public schools and in community and cultural institutions across Delaware will collaborate this summer to study the state’s new arts standards and begin aligning classroom instruction to the new standards.
The State Board of Education adopted the new, teacher-developed arts standards last week. They replace the standards that have been used to guide instruction in arts classrooms for the past 20 years for dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts.
Using a framework that includes philosophical foundations and lifelong learning, the new standards focus on the creative process and highlight learning that includes creating, performing, responding and connecting across arts disciplines. Details on the new standards can be found on the state’s website here.
The initiative to update Delaware’s arts standards began this fall with the support of the Delaware Division of the Arts, the Delaware Arts Alliance, the Delaware Art Educators Association and the Delaware Music Educators Association. More than 300 arts educators in the state also signed a petition requesting the Delaware Department of Education present new arts standards to the State Board of Education.
The Division of the Arts requires arts education grant requests to be aligned to current standards in the arts. The Delaware Arts Alliance maintains arts education as one of its major advocacy goals along with economic development. Both organizations are partners of the Delaware Department of Education.
The approval of the standards coincides with March for the Arts, a statewide celebration of arts education. Governor Jack Markell has signed a proclamation designating the month of March as “March for the Arts” in the state of Delaware. The importance of arts education is cited in the proclamation, as it “contributes to increased attendance and graduation rates; elevates academic achievement; and prepares students for college, career, and citizenship readiness.”