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MarylandFine Arts Education Instructional Tool Kit
All Fine Arts Content Areas Dance Music Theatre Visual Arts
Maryland Fine Arts Education
Developing Fine Arts Assessments
Integrating Fine Arts Across the Curriculum
Assessment Outcomes and Implications

Voluntary State Curricula

This section presents the fine arts Voluntary State Curricula (VSC).

In September 2003, Dr. Nancy Grasmick, the State Superintendent of Schools, announced three priorities for the fine arts:

  • The development of the fine arts Voluntary State Curricula (VSC) in PreK through grade 8 for each of the four fine arts content areas;
  • The development of an Instructional Tool Kit to inform instructional practice and enhance the practitioner's understanding of assessment processes and skills; and
  • The development of a fine arts assessment for students exiting grade 8.

The fine arts VSC in dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts is a refinement of the previous Maryland fine arts content standard document, the Essential Learner Outcomes for the Fine Arts (ELOs).  The VSC provides grade-by-grade standards, while the ELOs present content standards by instructional level (elementary, middle, high school).  Using a format similar to that of the ELOs, the fine arts VSC identifies four content standards.  Each content standard is a broad statement about what students should know and be able to do in each of four dimensions:  Perceiving and Responding; Historical, Cultural, and Social Context; Creative Expression and Production; and Aesthetics and Criticism.  Indicator statements provide the next level of specificity within each of the four content standards.  Finally, measurable objectives within each indicator provide teachers with clear information about what specific learning should occur.

The VSC in each arts content area also includes a glossary that defines vocabulary used in the document.

Essential Learner Outcomes for the Fine Arts (ELOs)

The Theatre ELOs are included here for comparison with the VSC.

Elementary School (PDF: 674k)
Middle School (PDF: 593k)
High School (PDF: 772k)

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Tragedy and comedy masks