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New Coalition Moving Forward with Arts Education Standards

Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

Late last week, it was announced that a coalition of arts education groups will begin revising the 1994 National Standards for Arts Education, with a plan in place to have completed standards ready in 2012.

The process, which began in May 2010 with a two-day meeting that I attended here in D.C., will now continue under the governance of 8 organizations: American Alliance for Theatre and Education; Arts Education Partnership; Educational Theatre Association; The College Board; MENC-The National Association for Music Education; National Art Education Association; National Dance Education Organization; and State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education.

According to the press release, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS):

“will make the creation of the new arts standards an inclusive process, with input from a broad range of arts educators and decision-makers. The revised standards will be grounded in arts education best practice drawn from the United States and abroad, as well as a comprehensive review of developmental research.

The College Board is currently gathering and organizing childhood and higher education data-including  international standards research, a child development and the arts literature review, a 21st-century skills gap analysis, and a review of college-level arts standards-with the expectation that this process will be completed by mid summer.

In creating the next generation of core arts standards, the primary goal of NCCAS is to help classroom educators better implement and assess standards-based arts instruction in their schools. Toward that goal, the revised arts standards will address 21st-century skills, guide the preparation of next-generation of arts educators, and embrace new technology, pedagogy, and changing modes of learning.

To take full advantage of today’s digital information tools, the new arts standards will exist in an online “evergreen” format, allowing for periodic, scheduled reviews and updates, and wiki-environments where student work, lesson plans, and new research can be posted to support standards-based
teaching and learning.

An NCCAS committee has begun work on a report that will summarize the current status of arts education in America; the status of arts education standards in the states; the context of arts education in a well-rounded education; and an analysis of the needs for the next generation of arts standards. The report will be made public in late summer or early fall.

NCCAS’s current timeline includes the creation of discipline writing teams in November, 2011, which will be followed by a six-month period of writing, review, and revision draft work.”

The full press release can be read here.

What do you think of the plan?

What kind of standards do you think should be included in the revised model?

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