There are four areas of emphasis in contemporary art education: visual arts, theatre, music and dance. Nowadays both visual and performing arts play a vital part in the core curriculum, as its importance has been recognized by the educational approach of the National Standards Summary Statement and the National Standards for the Arts Education. Art education assists the educational system of the United States to cultivate developed and deep personalities in the future citizens. In order to completely analyze the significance of dance, music, theatre and visual arts in the core curriculum it is necessary to reveal their primary educational goals and methods.
Visual arts basically are a certain form of art education with a goal of focusing on all the works that are visual products of creativity. These include: painting, sculpture, film, photography, and fine arts. The type of visual arts should be chosen according the artistic potential and the interest of the student. Students need to learn to perceive the visual works and to be able to find beauty in the outside world and therefore be capable of making a visual creative product themselves. Students in visual arts learn how to combine the visual picture with the emotions they want the viewer to experience while looking at it. Visual art teaches the student to find his personal way to reflect his inner world with all its positive and negative manifestations in his own works. Contemporary digital tools, cameras, common tools such as charcoal and pencil, and a great variety of examples of great artists available nowadays that is what teaches to speak out feelings and thoughts in the language of art. It starts from preschool and is also a part of secondary education.
Dance is a term used to indicate a form of performing arts characterized by human movements. The main goal of any dance class is to teach the student to express the feelings, moods, attitude and other different issues in a setting of movements. Dance develops the muscles, making them stronger and more flexible. In other words it is a class of the language of the body. There are many different types of dance genres: ballet, ballroom dancing, modern dances, hip-hop dances and others. The American system of education has included gymnastics, synchronized swimming and figure skating to the list of the dance classed in educational establishments. Contemporary educational establishments posses a large choice of dance classes from aerobics to cheerleading, so the student is free to choose. Dance teaches children to concentrate of the movements of their body and feel its plastic capasity.
Music is also a way of a creative development of a personality as it is an artistic work made of tones, sound and pauses that always carry a personal message delivered from the author to the audience. The students attending music classes should be able to recognize the sounds and learn the patterns of their harmonic combinations. Such musical training begins in preschool and continues even in postsecondary education establishments. Contemporary educational program implies school bands, choirs and other alternative music formations such as orchestras, which teach students and contribute to integration of arts in learning process.
Theatre is basically the art of dramatizing different situations on stage. The primary tool of the theatre and the goal of this class are to teach the student how to apply correct and proper word combinations, and the combination of movements so everything would look natural. Contemporary school possesses speech and drama clubs, which conduct several plays a year, students also can try themselves out in pantomime, mime or Chinese opera. The major development of this form of art is detected in secondary education establishments.
Gelineau was definitely right saying that “the national goals are written into law naming the arts as a core, academic subject”. For the national law has one great goal – to have a strong, mature, developed, intelligent and physically resourceful generation.
Gelineau, R.P. Integrating the arts across the elementary school curriculum. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2004.
Sporre, D.J. Perceiving the arts: An introduction to the humanities. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003.
Wikipedia. “Art”. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art on July 25,2006.
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