1. How many focus areas are students offered each year? There are four focus areas offered each year. Each focus area lasts 6 weeks. Students in grades 2nd to 5th grade are given the opportunity to participate in focus areas. Please see our focus area page on the website for more information on focus areas.
2. Where can I find examples of my child's work? Student work can be found in the student work section on this webpage under DRAMA AT CONN.
3. Do students have a chance to participate in musicals? 2nd and 5th grade students are able to choose the Musical focus area during the year. 4th grade students also can help with the technical design of the 5th grade musical. .
4. How can I stay informed of current issues, events, opportunities, and resources in arts education? Join the arts education listserv to receive weekly updates from NCDPI. You may do so by emailing: email@example.com or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org . You may also visit the North Carolina Arts Education Essential Standards wiki:http://ances.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/ for links to standards, resources, and instructional tools to support implementation of the NC Arts Education Essential Standards (2010).
5. Is there a Standard Course of Study for Theater Education? Yes. The North Carolina General Assembly and State Board of Education require the Standard Course of Study ; moreover, they require that all areas of the Standard Course of Study should be taught. Beginning in the 2012-13 School Year, the North Carolina Arts Education Essential Standards(approved by the NC State Board of Education in 2010) are required to be implemented as the Arts Education Standard Course of Study for NC school children. The essential standards are those skills, understandings and learning experiences that a student must master at each level in order to move to the next level. Essential standards are the "must have" goals of the curriculum that help teachers focus on the higher-order knowledge and skills that all students should master. The North Carolina Arts Education Essential Standards communicate what students should know and be able to do as a result of instruction at each grade level (K-8) or proficiency level: beginning, intermediate, proficient, and advanced (9-12). The may be accessed online at:http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/new-standards/#arts Please visit the North Carolina Essential Standards wiki: http://ances.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/ for links to standards, resources, and instructional tools to support implementation of the NC Arts Education Essential Standards (2010).]
6. How does Theater prepare Future-Ready Students for the 21st Century? Arts Education programs address the State Board of Education Mission and Goals of preparing Future-Ready Students for the 21st Century. The guiding mission of the North Carolina State Board of Education is that "every public school student will graduate from high school, globally competitive for work and postsecondary education and prepared for life in the 21st Century." Under the first goal of producing globally competitive students, the first bullet states that, "Every student excels in rigorous and relevant core curriculum that reflects what students need to know and demonstrate in a global 21st Century environment, including a mastery of languages, an appreciation of the arts, and competencies in the use of technology." The arts are recognized as core, academic subjects, and for their abilities in developing globally competitive students. The North Carolina Essential Standards , including the standards for Arts Education, were filtered through the Framework for 21st Century Skills. Specifically, the following 21st century skills are taught as an inherent part of each of the arts education disciplines:
Thinking and working creatively (creating, elaborating on, refining, and evaluating original ideas; implementing originality and inventiveness; and demonstrating openness and responsiveness to new and diverse perspectives);
Implementing innovations and acting on creative ideas;
Reasoning, making judgments and decisions, and solving problems in both conventional and innovative ways;
Communicating in a variety of forms and contexts and for a range of purposes;
Collaborating effectively, respectfully, and flexibly with diverse teams to accomplish a goal; assuming shared responsibility and valuing contributions of each team member;
Accessing, evaluating, using, and managing information from a variety of sources with an understanding of ethical/legal issues;
Understanding media messages, influences, creation, interpretations, and purposes;
Applying technology tools effectively to research, organize, evaluate, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create, and communicate information;
Applying life and career skills, including flexibility and adaptability; initiative and self-direction; social and cross-cultural skills; productivity and accountability; and leadership and responsibility.
7. Is Arts Education defined in North Carolina's Basic Education Program (BEP), Public School Law 115C-81? Yes. The Basic Education Program (BEP), required by the General Assembly and adopted by the State Board of Education in 1985, describes a "program of instruction which is fundamentally complete and which would give the student a thorough grounding in these areas: arts education [dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts], English language arts (communication skills), guidance, healthful living [health education and physical education], information skills and computer skills, mathematics, science, world languages, social studies and vocational [career-technical] education." (BEP, p1, 1994)
8. Are the arts CORE ACADEMIC SUBJECTS under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act? Yes. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), formerly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which was signed into federal law in January 2002, defines core, academic subject areas as English, Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, Civics and Government, Economics, Arts, History, and Geography. Because the arts are core under NCLB, they are therefore eligible for Federal funding.
9. Do all arts education teachers have to be highly qualified? All teachers must meet North Carolina licensure requirements for the subjects that they teach. For licensure purposes, only Music and Visual Arts teachers must meet the Highly Qualified (HQ) rules in North Carolina. Dance and Theatre Arts teachers do not have to meet HQ rules according to NC's definition; however, dance and theatre arts teachers must meet NC licensure requirements
10. What research supports the benefits of arts education as part of a basic and balanced curriculum for all students? Note: The following points are taken from Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development. Critical Links was published by the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a coalition of more than 100 national education, arts, business, and philanthropic organizations. AEP is administered by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies through a cooperative agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education. Critical Links and other research studies point to strong relationships between learning in the arts and fundamental cognitive skills and capacities used in mastering other school subjects, including reading, writing and mathematics. Of great importance to schools struggling to close achievement gaps are the indications that for certain populations students from economically disadvantaged circumstances and students needing remedial instruction - learning in the arts may be uniquely able to boost learning and achievement. Reading and Language Development:
Certain forms of arts instruction enhance and complement basic reading instruction aimed at helping children "break the phonetic code" that unlocks written language by associating letters, words, and phrases with sounds, sentences and meanings. (Critical Links, 2002) .
Young children who engage in dramatic enactments of stories and text improve their reading comprehension, story understanding and ability to read new materials they have not seen before. The effects are even more significant for children from economically disadvantaged circumstances and those with reading difficulties in the early and middle grades. The studies suggest that for certain populations - students from economically disadvantaged circumstances, students needing remedial instruction, and young children - learning in the arts may be especially helpful in boosting learning and achievement. (Critical Links, 2002)
Arts learning experiences develop expressive and reflective skills that enhance writing proficiency. (Critical Links, 2002) .
Music instruction develops spatial reasoning and spatial-temporal reasoning skills, which are fundamental to understanding and using mathematical ideas and concepts. (Critical Links, 2002).
Fundamental Cognitive Skills and Capacities:
Learning in individual art forms as well as in multi-arts experiences engages and strengthens such fundamental cognitive capacities as spatial reasoning (the capacity for organizing and sequencing ideas); conditional reasoning (theorizing about outcomes and consequences); problem solving; and the components of creative thinking (originality, elaboration, flexibility).(Critical Links, 2002) .
Motivation to Learn:
Motivation and the attitudes and dispositions to pursue and sustain learning are essential to achievement. Learning in the arts nurtures these capacities, including active engagement, disciplined and sustained attention, persistence, and risk-taking, and increases attendance and educational aspirations (Critical Links, 2002).
Effective Social Behavior:
Studies of student learning experiences in drama, music, dance and multi-arts activities show student growth in self-confidence, self-control, self-identity, conflict resolution, collaboration, empathy and social tolerance. (Critical Links, 2002).
It is critical that a school provide a positive context for learning. Studies in this compendium show that the arts help to create the kind of learning environment that is conducive to teacher and student success by fostering teacher innovation, a positive professional culture, community engagement, increased student attendance and retention, effective instructional practice, and school identity. (Critical Links, 2002).
Critical Links stresses that not all of the studies demonstrate that instruction in the arts directly causes learning in another subject, but rather the cognitive skills and achievement motivations used and developed in the arts appear to be fundamental in other learning situations as well.