Implementing Common Core Standards
By teaching in and through the arts
According to the mission statement of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, the standards “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.” The theme of the initiative is “Preparing America’s Students for College and Career”.
At this time, the Common Core State Standards have been adopted by forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity. When teaching to the standards, teachers are encouraged to assume the role of facilitator rather than lecturer. This is nothing new to fine arts teachers and those who integrate the arts in their classrooms—teachers do not “tell” students how to play an instrument, create a dance movement, write a scene for a play, or develop an illustration for a story or poem they have read. They model appropriate techniques and then allow their students to experiment, revise, and practice in order to create, perform and respond to the arts as a stimulus for growth and understanding.
Here are four additional ways teaching in and through the arts match best practices for teaching the core concepts and procedures of the Common Core State Standards:
- Each arts discipline (music, visual art, theatre, and dance) promotes connections to other arts disciplines AND to other subjects.
- Collaboration among teachers, as well as students, is a key to teaching through the arts.
- Providing arts experiences promotes in-depth learning that occurs over multiple sessions.
- Teachers provide immediate feedback when teaching in and through the arts, a well-known strategy that works.
The Cultural Kaleidoscope presenters place the arts in a central role within the Common Core. Bringing a Cultural Kaleidoscope program to your school will provide students with the enrichment needed to meet many of the Common Core State Standards. The Cultural Kaleidoscope study guides are aligned to the Common Core and are ready to implement in the classroom as preliminary lessons to prepare students for the performance and as a follow-up after the presentation.