Like many educators and parents across America, the common core whispers have turned into talk, even shouts. I've been listening. I've started to read more and gather more concrete information about how the common core relates to me and the way I teach art to elementary students.
Here are a few resources that I've found to be helpful:
I'm still not crystal clear on what the expectations are from my district, or the State of Illinois. But, from what I've read and heard it sounds like the common core standards align with art education quite easily. Educators of music and art already know the fundamental value of interrelated learning. We already strive to encourage creative thinking, problem solving, and active experimentation. My initial feeling is that the new common core standards are inline with the teaching philosophy of many art and music educators, including myself.
I took comfort in Amy Johnson's opinion of common core standards when she wrote:
"The methods of CCSS rely on teachers working as facilitators as opposed to lecturers, stress the value of modeling over telling, and emphasizes valuable learning occurs when subjects are interrelated and meaningful connections are made". 1
This is what art educators do, we encourage kids to learn through creating. We already make meaningful connections to other subject matters and life experiences. Art teachers stress the importance of doing rather than watching or telling. I'm hopeful that the new set of Common Core Standards will let the process of art and the craft of art education shine and show the world what an asset fine arts education is.
1. Excerpt from Amy Johnson's article Common Core Collaboration Key for Fine Arts and Classroom Teachers on ARTSblog, Sept. 11th, 2011