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This is a short course of learning brought to you by the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, serving arts education across the nation through our members.

About This Course

The release of the 2014 voluntary National Core Arts Standards presented a major shift in conceptualizing arts education in the United States. The new arts standards establish a contemporary vision for teaching and learning in the arts (dance, media art, music, theatre, and visual arts). This course is designed to help educators read, understand, and apply the arts standards. Major topics include:

    • a snapshot of the background and history of the standards-development process, 

    • an examination of artistic literacy and how the standards are written to support this important goal,  

    • a review of the performance standards by arts discipline, and 

    • additional tools and resources that support the 2014 arts standards.

Act I, Artistic Literacy in the Classroom answers these questions and more: Why were new arts standards created? What are the broad goals of the new standards? How are the arts standards organized? How might the new arts standards inform teaching and learning in my twenty-first century classroom? 

If you are looking for a chance to delve into the 2014 national arts standards, this course is for you. It will help you construct your own knowledge about the standards. Once you understand the basic tenets and features of the new standards, you will discover new ways to think about art education, what you teach, and how you teach it.

This course is designed to complement ARTS 122, Curtain Up! An Introduction to the National Arts Standards, a broad overview of the main components of the arts standards. 


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Simply Audit this Course

Can't commit to all of the lectures, assignments, and tests? Audit this course and have complete access to all of the course material, tests, people, portfolios, and the online discussion forum. You decide what and how much you want to do.

Try for a Certificate

Looking to test your mettle? Participate in all of the course's activities (we use the honor code around here) and if your work meets the 85% requirements, you'll receive a personalized certificate to showcase your achievement. You can also apply for course credit (if desired).

Course Staff

Marcia McCaffrey

Marcia McCaffrey, Arts Consultant for the NH Department of Education, has close to 20 years of leadership experience at the state agency working with partners and key stakeholders on supporting policy and practices for the public education sector. Marcia served as President of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) from 2013-2015. She represented SEADAE on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Leadership Team and facilitated meetings for NCCAS during the 3 years of national standards development. 

Marcia’s work focuses on quality arts education for all students. She is a presenter and facilitator at state, national, and international conferences and a co-author with colleague Dr. Linda Lovins on “The Status of Arts Assessment in the United States” prepared for The Oxford Handbook of Assessment Policy and Practice in Music Education (Summer 2017). Marcia’s experience includes grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, organizer of New England regional and national conferences on advancing standards and assessment in teaching and learning, dance educator for public schools and higher education, proprietor of a small dance business, and director of a seniors’ dance company. Her service to the National Dance Education Organization includes six years on the board with a focus on curriculum, standards, and assessment.

MA, Dance Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
BS, Elementary Education, Iowa State University
BS, Physical Education with a dance emphasis, Iowa State University  
Enter Name of Authors (Author 1 First Name Last Name, Author 2 First Name Last Name)
Course Code: ARTS123
Course Release: Mar 21, 2017
Estimated Effort: 4 hours

Suggested Prerequisites:

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