California's Visual & Performing Arts Framework Short Summary

Cris Guenter, Ed.D.
Dept. of Education
California State University, Chico

Essential ideas in arts education:

1. The arts are core subjects.

2. Arts instruction encompasses four components.

3. The arts enrich and are enriched by other subjects.

4. The arts promote creativity, thinking, and joy.

5. The arts offer different ways to make meaning.

6. The arts reflect and influence cultures.

7. The arts promote aesthetic literacy the arts.

8. Assessment is inherent in the arts.

9. Technology expands the arts.

10. The arts prepare students for full participation in society.


FOUR COMPONENTS equal the Goals for K-12 Arts Education in CA

Artistic Perception--processing sensory information through elements unique to the arts (skills, techniques, basic elements)

Creative Expression--producing works in the arts either by creating them or performing them (unique; problem solving)

Historical and Cultural Context--understanding and appreciating the arts in the time and place of their creation (arts and artists)

Aesthetic Valuing--analyzing, making informed judgments, and pursuing meaning in the arts (sharing, critiquing, reflecting)

FOUR DISCIPLINES--Dance, Music, Theatre & Visual Art

A fundamental goal embodied in the framework is that every student in every California school must experience each arts discipline and the breadth of all four components in each discipline during each school year.


SUBJECT-CENTERED arts instruction focuses on developing foundation skills in an arts discipline.

INSTRUCTION CONNECTING ARTS DISCIPLINES ties each art with one or more of the other arts disciplines in a well-planned, meaningful, and focused way.

INSTRUCTION CONNECTING THE ARTS AND OTHER CORE SUBJECTS ties the arts to other core subjects in substantive ways that strengthen the instructional goals in each subject.

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