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Fine Arts: Visual Art Standards

These standards provide a framework for helping students learn the characteristics of the visual arts by using a wide range of subject matter, symbols, meaningful images, and visual expressions, to reflect their idea, feelings, and emotions, and to evaluate the merits of their efforts. The standards address these objectives in ways that promote acquisition of and fluency in new ways of thinking, working, communicating, reasoning, and investigating. They emphasize student acquisition of the most important and enduring ideas, concepts, issues, dilemmas, and knowledge offered by the visual arts. They develop new techniques, approaches, and habits for applying knowledge and skills in the visual arts to the world beyond school.

The visual arts are extremely rich. They range from drawing, painting, sculpture, and design, to architecture, film, video, and folk arts. They involve a wide variety of tools, techniques, and processes. The standards are structured to recognize that many elements from this broad array can be used to accomplish specific educational objectives. For example, drawing can be used as the basis for creative activity, historical and cultural investigation, or analysis, as can any other fields within the visual arts. The standards present educational goals. It is the responsibility of practitioners to choose appropriately from this rich array of content and processes to fulfill these goals in specific circumstances and to develop the curriculum.

To meet the standards, students must learn vocabularies and concepts associated with various types of work in the visual arts and must exhibit their competence at various levels in visual, oral, and written form.

The division of the Standards into special competencies does not indicate that each is, or should be, given the same weight, time, or emphasis at any point in the K-12 sequence, or over the student's entire school career. The mixture and balance will vary with grade level, by course, by instructional unit, and from school to school.

Two different types of Standards are used to guide student assessment in each of the competence areas:

  • Content Standards specify what students should know and be able to do in the discipline.
  • Achievement Standards specify the understandings and levels of achievement that students are expected to attain in the competencies.

Current Content Standards
Current Content Standards: K to Grade 12

DoDEA Standards Referenced Posters

Contact Information:

DoDEA Visual Arts Coordinator
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1400
Phone: 571-372-6027