Characteristics of the Common Core course, Art, Aesthetics, and Creativity

 Students in this course explore artistic disciplines and associated forms, materials, and practices as a means to engage in an inquiry into self. Through the creative process, students develop their making, looking, and listening skills, and they explore relationships to other individuals and cultures.   Students analyze and review their learning and its implications for their personal, academic, and professional pursuits.

General Characteristics         

The March 2003 General Education Report states that Common Core courses must:

•           introduce students to the nature of inquiry in the particular discipline

•           contain an interdisciplinary component

•           address ethical issues that arise in the context of course material

•         include instruction in one of the fundamental literacies (writing, speaking, critical thinking, quantitative     reasoning, computer literacy, information literacy, visual literacy)

Specifically, Students in an Art, Aesthetics and Creativity course  must…  

1. …engage the process of creativity through practice, inquiry, and reflection.   Creativity is more than a stroke of genius or natural tendency. Some creative geniuses are born; many more construct themselves. Creative people learn about media and forms, about history and trends, about the development of ideas. They recognize the importance of rehearsal and practice for developing their expressive skills. They risk trying something new, and they are open to learning from mistakes. Creative people are able to explain their creative products, and their creativity is a kind of dialog with others who may view or experience their work. Students in these courses will work as artists do, inquiring into, reflecting on and practicing an artistic discipline.

2. …explore artistic disciplines and associated forms. These courses will explore creative practices and criticism in one or more of the traditional artistic disciplines (writing, theatre, visual arts, dance, and music), or in the newer digital manifestations of traditional artistic practices. Students will investigate and use a diverse body of individual and/or collaborative practices and approaches to composition, performance, production, looking and listening, review, and criticism, and they will consider the value of ethical behavior and practices. The majority of the students in the course are likely to have little or no prior training in the preprofessional or professional practices of the particular discipline; therefore, the courses must introduce the creative practices and teach the skills students need for more sophisticated exploration and practice of the discipline.

3. …explore relationships to other individuals, traditions, and cultures. The arts both reflect and shape the cultures that create them. They influence our identities and daily lives. The arts are present in and at times are the focal point of celebrations and ceremonies that define relationships among family, friends and the wider community. As they encounter artistic and other traditions from different cultures, artists and audience members learn more about both the arts and the cultures that generate them. In these courses students will investigate similar and divergent practices representing at least two traditions or cultures. They will use the arts as an avenue for exploring their relationships to other individuals, traditions, and cultures. They will take care, however, to avoid tourist and missionary paradigms through critical and ethical reflection about issues such as cultural appropriation.

4. …experience and consider the interdisciplinary possibilities of the arts.   As students become immersed in the creative process, they realize that art is not "something made out of nothing" and does not "come from out of nowhere." They begin to understand that aesthetic sensibilities reflect a synthesis of knowledge of other disciplines, lived experiences, and the character of the maker. Accordingly, students will consider ways in which tenets of the humanities and sciences such as philosophy, communication and rhetoric, anthropology, political science, and physics intersect with art, aesthetics, and creativity.

5. ... reflect on and discuss insights regarding their experiences.  Artists often use journals or other note-taking or recording practices to collect material for their work and to reflect on the creative process and its products. Artists introduce their work to others in by a variety of genres, most obviously through live performance but also through such things as an introductory essay for an exhibit catalog, a manifesto or other statement of aesthetic principles, a gallery talk, an interview, a panel discussion, or a Web site.   Students in these courses will use some combination of reflective genres or media to record and discuss their creative process as well as their responses to the works by others that they study during the course.

Art Aesthetics, and Creativity Guidelines