Taxonomy of Arts Education
Several models of arts education are practiced in U.S. schools:
- Creative, Self-Expressive Model. This traditional approach
is used in many schools. Its goal is to allow students to express themselves
through the arts and help them develop the skills needed to make or
perform works of art. In many schools, arts classes provide release
time for classroom teachers, as the arts classes are taught in isolation
from the rest of the curriculum.
- Comprehensive Model. This model is intended to help students
understand and appreciate the arts from four perspectives: aesthetics,
criticism, history, and production and performance. It is based on arts
education standards, including National Standards for Arts Education,
that outline content and achievement standards for dance, music, theatre,
and visual art at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Many
states have adapted parts of these national standards within their own
- Community Resources Model. This approach exposes students
to visual and performing artists at work in their communities, to expand
their understanding and appreciation of the arts and develop future
audiences for the arts. Examples of practices in this model include
a field trip to the local museum and attendance at a young peoples
concert given by the local symphony orchestra.
- Arts Across the Curriculum. This is the interdisciplinary
or integrated curriculum model used in The Arts in Every Classroom
workshop. It responds to many needs, including deepening learning within
current time constraints, addressing the different ways students learn,
and making learning more relevant to students (real-world connections).
In this model, the curriculum typically is developed by a teacher or
team of teachers and starts from one of three places:
- major ideas within disciplines (art, math, science, etc.);
- major problems whose solutions require the use of various subject
matter and methods; or
- methods of thinking, inquiry, or study specific to various disciplines.
Students need to learn about the arts themselves and apply the skills
that come from arts awareness to other areas.
Source: Vicki Rosenberg, Council of Michigan Foundations
For more perspectives on integrated arts curriculum, see The Arts
in Every Classroom video library program What
Is Arts Education?