Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Taxonomy of Arts Education
Comprehensive Arts Education
Roles of Specialists and Teachers
Factors for Arts Education Success
Research on Arts Integration

Comprehensive Arts Education

Comprehensive arts education (also known as discipline-based arts education) is a conceptual approach, not a prescribed curriculum. It is taught as an essential component of general education and as a foundation for specialized arts study.

The goal of comprehensive arts education is to develop students’ abilities to understand and appreciate the arts by:

  • exploring the nature and meaning of the arts (aesthetics),
  • responding to the arts (criticism),
  • discovering contexts of artworks (history), and
  • creating works of art (production and performance).

Curriculum is:

  • written with sequentially organized content at all grade levels;
  • developed around enduring ideas and works of art from Western and non-Western cultures from ancient to contemporary times;
  • structured to provide creative inquiry from four perspectives (aesthetics, criticism, history, and production); and
  • organized to increase student learning and understanding while recognizing appropriate developmental levels.

Full implementation of a comprehensive arts education program is marked by:

  • systematic and regular arts instruction, arts education expertise, administrative support, and adequate resources; and
  • student achievement and program effectiveness, which are confirmed by appropriate evaluation criteria and procedures.

Blending teaching practices often thought of as separate, comprehensive arts education expects instruction in the arts — and in any art form — to:

  • include knowledge and skills in creating or performing, aesthetics, criticism, and history and culture;
  • integrate with other subjects around important themes or big ideas; and
  • use the set of practices that have come to be called “constructivist” or “inquiry-based” and that adjust to the diverse learning styles of students, especially those at risk of educational failure.

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