Arts & Humanities






Based on the National Standards for Arts Education, The humanities may be defined as the beliefs, thoughts, and traditions of humankind as reflected in history, philosophy, religion, literature, dance, music, theater, and visual art. The study of humanities places the arts within a larger canvas of ideas, allowing the arts to draw upon a multitude of social and cultural resources, and that art may define and even help shape historical circumstances.

Exploring interrelationships among the arts is central to the study of the humanities. Allowing connections among visual arts, dance, theater, literature, and music of a given stylistic or historical period multiplies the capacity for appreciation of each individual art form, and provides an alternative for viewing the forces that shape thought. Finally, a study of the humanities exhibits common issues and themes expressed through all the arts, transcending race, place, and time, in turn making us human.

See Core Content for Reference Chart.






High school students need to continue to dance and create dances in order to heighten their ability to communicate in a way that is different from written or spoken word, or even from other visual or auditory symbol systems. They also need to respect their bodies and to understand that dance is the product of intentional and intelligent physical actions. Continued development of movement skills, and creative and critical thinking skills in dance is important regardless of whether students intend to pursue a dance career.

Technical expertise and artistic expression are enhanced through reflective practice, study, and evaluation of student’s work and that of others. Because dance involves abstract images, students can develop higher-order thinking skills through perceiving , analyzing and making discriminating judgments about dance. Education in dance, which has been an integral part of human history, is also important if students are to gain a broad cultural and historical perspective. Students examine the role and meaning of dance in diverse social,  cultural, and historical contexts through a variety of dance forms. Experience with dance of many cultures help students to understand the cultural lives of others.

Skills and Knowledge (see Core Content)

1. Dance Production

2. Dance Forms

3. Cultures, Purposes, and Styles




The study of music contributes in important ways to the quality of every student’s life.  Every musical work is a product of its time and place, although some works transcend their original settings and continue to appeal to humans through their timeless and universal attraction.  Through singing, playing instruments, and composing, students can express themselves creatively, while a knowledge of notation and performance traditions enables them to learn new music independently throughout their lives.  Skills in analysis, evaluation, and synthesis are important because they enable students to recognize and pursue excellence in their musical experiences and to understand and enrich their environment.  Because music is an integral part of human history, the ability to listen with understanding is essential if students are to gain a broad cultural and historical perspective.  The adult life of every student is enriched by the skills, knowledge, and habits acquired in the study of music.

Every course in music, including performance courses, should provide instruction in creating, performing, listening to, and analyzing music, in addition to focusing on its specific subject matter.

Skills and Knowledge (see Core contents)

1.  Music Elements

2.  Melody

3.  Form

4.  Cultures, purposes, Periods, and Styles




Students will view and construct dramatic works as metaphorical visions of life that embrace connotative meanings, juxtaposition, ambiguity and varied interpretations.  By creating, performing, analyzing, and critiquing dramatic performances, they develop a deeper understanding of personal issues and a broader world view that includes global issues.  Since theater in all its forms reflects and affects life, students should learn about representative dramatic texts and performances and the place of that work and those events in history.  Classroom work becomes more formalized with the advanced students participating in theater, film, television, and electronic media productions.

Skills and Knowledge  (see Core Content)

1.  Dramatic Elements and Terminology

2.  Elements of Production

3.  Elements of Performance

4.  History, Culture, Styles, and Periods



Students develop deeper and more profound works of visual art that reflect the maturation of their creative and problem-solving skills.  Students understand the interplay of different media, styles, forms, techniques, and processes in creating work.

Students develop increasing abilities to pose insightful questions about contexts, processes, and criteria for evaluation.  They use these questions to examine works in light of various analytical methods and to express sophisticated ideas about visual relationships using precise terminology.  They reflect on the nature of human involvement in art as a viewer, creator, and participant.

Skills and Knowledge (see Core Content)

1.  Art elements

2.  Principles of Design

3.  Purposes of Art

4.  Cultures, Periods, and Styles

5.  Art Processes

6.  Media