ACARA (The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority) has released a consultation draft of The Arts curriculum.

The paper is organised into eight sections:

  • Rationale and Aims
  • Organisation
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Media Arts
  • Music
  • Visual Arts
  • Glossary

Each of the five Arts subjects has its individual rational, aims and learning detailed. Learning outcomes are then expanded for the Foundation to Year 2, Years 3 and 4, Years 5 and 6, Years 7 and 8 and Years 9 and 10.

Unlike other¬†curricula (yes SACSA, I’m looking at you) the draft celebrates the diversity of the Arts’ subjects whilst acknowledging the connections; I love the description of them as being ‘distinct but related’.

The draft sees students in Foundation through Year 6 having ‘opportunities to experience and enjoy learning in, learning through and learning about all five Arts subjects’. From Years 8 up they have a more modest aim; ‘students will continue to learn in one or more of the Arts subjects, with the opportunity to specialise in one or more subjects in Years 9 and 10.’ Sounds like at least one of the authors has their feet grounded in the real world.

It’s interesting to see how the draft refines the presentation the Arts in each subject down to just two interrelated strands:

  • Making – using processes, techniques, knowledge and skills to make art works
  • Responding – exploring, responding to, analysing and interpreting art works.

There’s a nice turn of phrase for this; ‘The strands … involve learning as artists and audience’. Yay for simplicity!

Initial impressions are favourable, the draft is clear, concise and quite readable. Our school has an Australian Curriculum day this week and some our Arts teachers will be reading, analysing, dissecting and discussing the draft in detail.

I encourage all Arts teachers to do the same and make a submission while you can.

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