The guiding principles of the arts were developed by one of the authors of the Common Core State Standards. The seven principles for the Arts outlined in this document guide of developed curriculum modules and accompanying materials. Note the connections drawn in these principles to literacy and other areas of study such as art.
1.Studying works of arts as training in close observation across the arts disciplines and preparing students to create and perform in the arts
Meaningful appreciation and study of works of art begins with close observation. The Core Standards in Literacy similarly describe reading as the product of sustained observation and attention to detail. Particularly when encountering complex art, or reading the level of complex text students will need to be ready for college and careers, students will need to learn to re-examine and observe closely. The arts reward sustained inquiry and provide a perfect opportunity for students to practice the discipline of close observation whether looking at a painting or lithograph, watching a drama or a dance, or attending to a piece of music. New York State is therefore requesting a sequence of materials that cultivates students’ observation abilities in the context of the sustained examination of magnificent works of art that are worthy of prolonged focus. Classroom work would be spent on in depth study; several days or longer might be spent on a specific work. What is requested are a set of arts modules that bring to bear observing, listening to and appreciating expansive works of art across disciplines and grades. In both the arts and reading, such attention to the specifics can be hard, particularly when the work is complex. Often, when one first looks at a painting, hears a piece of music, or watches a dance, one does not know “what to say” or “where to begin.” The process of analyzing the work is a slow, gradual one that requires practice. Appreciation requires tolerating any initial confusion or uncertainty and staying with it until more is seen. Proposals should offer thoughtful, specific, and imaginative guidance to the student who stands before the painting and asks, what do I do now?
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