Standards, Goals, and Habits

National Visual Arts Standards: Visual Art Goals The National Standards for the Visual Arts have been developed into a series of GOALS that are clear, measurable, observable, and understandable to the students, parents, and community. The use of goals is to keep the mind open to the idea of learning and focused on the act of learning, By combining both declarative (mind) and procedural (application) knowledge the intentionality is focused on the combination of art theory and art making as well as the investigating the close relationship between the two.

National Visual Arts Standards

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N.E.T.S. (http://www.iste.org/standards): Technology has forever changed not only what we need to learn, but the way we learn.

The NETS set a standard of excellence and best practices in learning, teaching, and leading with technology in education. The benefits of using the NETS include:

  • Improving higher-order thinking skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity
  • Preparing students for their future in a competitive global job market
  • Designing student-centered, project-based, and online learning environments
  • Guiding systemic change in our schools to create digital places of learning
  • Inspiring digital age professional models for working, collaborating, and decision making

N.E.T.S. from the Visual Arts Goals Page

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8 Studio Habits of Mind – PDF Available HERE

  1. Develop Craft: Learning to use tools, materials, artistic conventions; and learning to care for tools, materials, and space.
  2. Engage & Persist: Learning to embrace problems of relevance within the art world and/or of personal importance, to develop focus conducive to working and persevering at tasks.
  3. Envision: Learning to picture mentally what cannot be directly observed, and imagine possible next steps in making a piece.
  4. Express: Learning to create works that convey an idea, a feeling, or a personal meaning.
  5. Observe: Learning to attend to visual contexts more closely than ordinary “looking” requires, and thereby to see things that otherwise might not be seen.
  6. Reflect: Learning to think and talk with others about an aspect of one’s work or working process, and learning to judge one’s own work and working process and the work of others.
  7. Stretch & Explore: Learning to reach beyond one’s capacities, to explore playfully without a preconceived plan, and to embrace the opportunity to learn from mistakes.
  8. Understand (Arts) Community: Learning to interact as an artist with other artists (i.e., in classrooms, in local arts organizations, and across the art field) and within the broader society. Arts is in parenthesis here as it can easily be switched with other disciplines, like science or history.

Studio Habits of Mind from Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education, Hetland, Winner, et al, Teachers College Press, 2007.


Fort Atkinson Umbrella Standards 9 – 12

  • Planning / Ideation: Student Artists will problem solve and experiment through a variety of means (sketches, personal photographs, collages, conversations) to develop a unique and personal plan including composition, concept and technique. Student’s solutions will use their own knowledge, intuition, personal interests, and experiences to develop ideas for artwork.
  • Concept: Student Artists will create art that visually express ideas and examine a variety of themes (emotions, stories, social commentary, narrative, technique, etc). Students will research, investigate and utilize their knowledge, intuition, traits, and experiences to develop artwork that explores and expresses their approach and intent.
  • Composition: Student Artists will design and develop engaging works of art through the organization and use of the elements and principles of art and design. Materials and techniques will amplify both the expressive quality of the work as well as the overall design.
  • Craftsmanship: Student Artists will carefully construct their work through purposeful use of materials and techniques. They will work towards a sense of mastery through the use of both experimental and traditional techniques.  Students will use a growth mindset to consistently develop, refine, and produce quality work.
  • Techniques: Student Artists will develop and refine a tool box of skills and approaches utilizing a variety of media through practice, demonstrating their knowledge and acquired skills in finished works. They will use both traditional and experimental processes as indicated by the goals of the project or individual work.   
  • Studio Habits: Student Artists will develop the habits and practices of successful and productive artists: purposeful use of studio time, responsible and careful use of media and tools, consistent proactive reflection, collaborative interactions with others, persistence and grit to grown beyond supposed limitations, detailed observations of the subtleties of things.
  • Critique: Student Artists will consistently reflect on and communicate about both theirs and others works to better understand the purposes of art as well as develop content literacy. Through the use of ongoing formal and informal reflection and assessment students will describe, analyze, interpret and revise works in order to grow towards mastery.

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