Art is a language. Just as English uses combinations of words which have specific meanings; art uses combinations of specific elements and principles of design which when placed together create meaning. An education in art gives the student the ability to analyze, synthesize, and create using these elements and principles. Students will see how cultures throughout history have used the elements and principles of art to create works of art which spoke about the current events and places. This will give students the context of how art works within society and the understanding that when they are creating art they continue this dialog throughout history. To give students a fully developed art education means they are learning how to look at art, how to talk about art, how to create art, and how art works within society. Within the classroom setting this means that there is more to an art education then just raw talent and creation. Students will be utilizing conceptual knowledge and critical thinking skills to understand works of art and how art is created.
Within the classroom setting a climate of comfort and confidence needs to be established. For student learning to be maximized students need to be comfortable and familiar with the classroom environment. An emphasis on procedures and student led instruction/discussion will give students the confidence and structure they need to be successful. Most classroom duties will be led by students. This gives them a sense of ownership, responsible, and purpose, which in turn will help with confidence within the group. These duties will be done within the structure of procedures which gives students comfort of knowing when and how things are to be done for best results. This allows the classroom to function more like a community then a classroom and will give students a greater sense of ownership in their education. This constructivist style of learning will also give students the type of personal relationship to the classroom and tools needed to create meaningful art.
Students in 4K through sixth grade receive art instruction as a special. In seventh and eighth grade, students can select art as an elective.