DoDEA Visual Arts starts in elementary school, where students are introduced to the elements and principles of art, along with the chance to try a variety of artistic mediums. In middle school, the possible course offerings may include classes which cover a myriad of mediums, or those that focus on one type, such as Digital Photography, or Three-Dimensional Design. At the high school level, students may choose to use a visual arts course to fulfill their fine arts graduation requirement. These range from Fundamentals to Ceramics; Drawing to Printmaking; Painting to AP 2-D Art and Design or AP Art History.

As DoDEA students create and present their art, they learn that the arts are part of basic human communication and connect how to use the arts to respond to the world around them. Students learn to articulate specific meaning through their choices in the use of various arts elements and media, as they apply the principles of design in compositions.

Using the DoDEA College and Career Ready Standards for Arts and adopted standards from the National Core Arts Standards, visual art students will be able to create, present, respond, and connect to art across many mediums at all levels.


Visual Arts students in DoDEA may participate in co-curricular activities that occur outside the classroom, such as art clubs. Visual Art students in the Pacific region may submit work to be published in the Sun Journal, a published collection of literary works, musical compositions, photography, and visual artwork. High school students may also participate in Far East Creative Expressions, a week-long visual arts event that includes workshops and field trips. Visual Arts students in the European region may participate in Creative Connections, a six-day visual and performing arts symposium. All DoDEA students may also enter visual art pieces in the annual SAAM (Smithsonian American Art Museum) competition.

Summary of Standards

Standards, goals, and learning outcomes in DoDEA visual arts programs are aligned with the DoDEA College and Career Ready Standards for Arts which were adopted from the National Core Art Standards (NCAS). Both CCRSA and NCAS are organized by discipline (music, theatre, visual arts) and centered around four artistic processes—creating, presenting, responding, and connecting. Each artistic process contains two to three anchor standards. Performance standards are specific to each discipline and are arranged in grade-by-grade articulations of student achievement Grades K–8 and three proficiency levels in Grades 9–12 (proficient, accomplished, and advanced). Therefore, performance standards translate anchor standards into specific and measurable learning goals.

The four artistic processes, their definitions, and the anchor standards for each artistic process are as follows:


Definition: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work.

Anchor Standard #1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

Anchor Standard #2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

Anchor Standard #3. Refine and complete artistic work.


Definition: Realizing artistic ideas and work through interpretation and presentation.

Anchor Standard #4. Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

Anchor Standard #5. Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

Anchor Standard #6. Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.


Definition: Understanding and evaluating how the arts convey meaning.

Anchor Standard #7. Perceive and analyze artistic work.

Anchor Standard #8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

Anchor Standard #9. Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.


Definition: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.

Anchor Standard #10. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Anchor Standard #11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

(AP Art History, AP Drawing, AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design) have course content that is set by the College Board, that includes the preparation for the test or portfolio.

National Core Arts Standards - Visual Arts

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (2014) National Core Arts Standards - Visual Arts

AP Art History

College Board AP Art History will help you explore the history of art across the globe from prehistory to the present. You’ll analyze works of art through observation, discussion, reading, and research.

AP 2-D Art and Design

College Board AP 2-D Art and Design will develop your skills in two-dimensional media such as graphic design, photography, collage, printmaking, and more.

AP 3-D Art and Design

College Board AP 3-D Art and Design will develop your skills in three-dimensional media such as sculpture, architectural models, metal work, ceramics, glass work, and more.

AP Drawing

College Board AP Drawing will develop your skills in drawing as you explore different media and approaches. You’ll create artwork that reflects your own ideas and skills.

Standards and Content


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