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New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

May 1996

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New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards
for Visual and Performing Arts


An education in the arts is an essential part of the academic curriculum for the achievement of human, social, and economic growth. The education of our students in the disciplines of dance, music, theater, and visual arts is critical to the success of New Jersey and the nation as we move into the twenty-first century. Our economic well-being and ability to compete and cooperate in the global marketplace require that our students learn to develop original ideas, increase their ability to solve problems, and interact in partnerships -- skills inherently learned through the arts.

An education in the arts has the potential to:

Strengthen our ability to be creative and inventive decision-makers

Develop a wide range of skills significant to many aspects of life and work

Provide varied and powerful ways of communicating ideas, thoughts and feelings, both as individuals and as members of communities

Enable us to understand and influence the increasingly complex technological environment affecting all aspects of our lives

Provide a strong economic base through the state's cultural attractions

Emphasize humanities education as a key to understanding the arts as products of complex social, cultural, and intellectual trends

Enrich understanding of the human experience across cultures and histories, including the accomplishments of men and women of different ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds

Provide valuable tools to enhance learning across all disciplines

Empower people to create, reshape and fully participate in personal and community environments, to enhance the quality of life for all.

All children require and must be provided with an opportunity for a meaningful arts education. These core curriculum standards provide the foundation for creating a framework for essential arts education in all New Jersey schools. They form the core of our expectations for New Jersey students.

Six core curriculum content standards for Visual and Performing Arts are arranged in five broad categories including: aesthetic (1.1); creating and performing (1.2, 1.3); critical, analytic, judgmental, and evaluative (1.4); historical, social, and cultural (1.5); and design with respect to form, function, and structure (1.6).

The categories stated above include specific standards that define these artistic concepts and elements in the art forms of dance, music, theater, and the visual arts. A focus on general artistic concepts and themes rather than on the individual art forms provides a document that can be easily accessed by all arts educators, regardless of discipline.

While national, state, and individual arts discipline standards were extensively reviewed and considered during initial panel deliberation, it was determined that a more comprehensive and interdisciplinary design be constructed, where all art forms could be included in one document. These standards reflect the concern that the separate arts disciplines be viewed as one common body of skills and knowledge.

Visual And Performing Arts List Of Standards


All students will acquire knowledge and skills that increase aesthetic awareness in dance, music, theater, and visual arts.


All students will refine perceptual, intellectual, physical, and technical skills through creating dance, music, theater, and/or visual arts.


All students will utilize arts elements and arts media to produce artistic products and performances.


All students will demonstrate knowledge of the process of critique.


All students will identify the various historical, social, and cultural influences and traditions which have generated artistic accomplishments throughout the ages and which continue to shape contemporary arts.


All students will develop design skills for planning the form and function of space, structures, objects, sound, and events.






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