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Arts Frequently Asked Questions

General Arts FAQs

1. Why were the NYS Learning Standards for the Arts revised?

Survey data from NYS arts educators revealed that education policy priorities as well as art educators’ instructional resources and practices have evolved over the past twenty years. Students will benefit from updated standards infused with contemporary understandings of artists’ working methods and subject matter as well as artists’ use of technology to create and share their work. The National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) was used as a resource to revise the 2017 New York State Standards for the Arts. The NYS arts standards are designed to support arts educators in constructing high-quality curriculum and engage students in rigorous arts instruction and assessments that connects their life to real-world experiences, and supports them in succeeding in school and tomorrow’s careers. As policymakers and the workforce demand a more creative and effective workforce, the 2017 New York State Standards for the Arts delineate processes that cultivates students’ problem-solving skills for success in career, college, and life.

2. How do the new Arts Standards relate to the previous NYS Arts Standards and the National Core Arts Standards?

The NYS Learning Standards for the Arts retain structural and content alignment among the arts forms. They are based on the Philosophical Foundations and Lifelong Goals presented in the Conceptual Framework for the 2014 National Core Arts Standards, which emphasizes developing Artistic Literacy in five art forms, by empowering students to independently carry out four shared Artistic Processes: Creating, Performing/Producing/Presenting, Responding, and Connecting. These processes are common to all arts disciplines and have been adopted by NYS writers as articulated in the eleven Anchor Standards.

3. What organizations and constituencies have been consulted regarding the content of the standards?

The New York State Education Department consulted with the New York State Dance Education Association, the New York State School Music Association, the New York State Theatre Education Association, the New York State Art Teachers Association and the New York State Media Arts Teachers Association in developing crosswalks used by the arts standards writing teams. Additionally, the NYS United Teachers’ Statewide Committee on the Arts participated in the first review of the draft standards.

4. What are the similarities between the 1996 Arts Standards and the revised 2017 Arts Standards?

  • Philosophical foundations
  • Lifelong goals
  • Content glossaries
  • Parallel format among arts discipline
  • Overarching standards across all arts disciplines
  • Discipline specific performance indicators

The new Arts Standards are different from the previous Arts Standards in several ways:

Five Arts Disciplines

The new standards include a fifth artistic discipline: Media Arts. The addition of media arts standards reflects a broadened definition of arts-making that includes contemporary forms such as animation, film and video, gaming or interactive and computer-based art making.

Four Common Artistic Processes

Creating, Performing/Producing/Presenting, Responding, and Connecting are called Artistic Processes, which define the important, “large category” ways we engage with the arts. Though presented as separate areas for curriculum planning and analysis, the processes are interdependent parts of a larger whole, and are not designed to be taught in isolation.

11 Common Anchor Standards

The processes of Creating, Performing/Producing/Presenting, Responding, and Connecting are further divided into eleven Anchor Standards, which continue to be commonly shared by all 5 arts disciplines.

Discipline-specific Enduring Understandings & Essential Questions

Within each arts discipline’s standards, discipline-specific Process Components (modes of thinking; i.e. Investigate, Research, Reflect, etc.), Enduring Understandings, and Essential Questions provide the conceptual framework for the learning of content, habits of mind, techniques, and skills.

PreK–8 by grade level, high school at 3 achievement levels (HS1, HS II, HS III)

The new standards offer grade-by-grade performance indicators for PreK to Grade 8 and three high school levels. Grade-by-grade standards make it clear that learning in the arts is sequential and important at all grade levels. The three levels of high school standards–proficient, accomplished, and advanced–acknowledge the range of skills and knowledge that students possess as they progress through their secondary school years. The new arts standards call for all students to achieve at least the proficient level (meets the graduation requirement)–and preferably the accomplished level–in at least one arts discipline by the end of their PreK-12 schooling.

Traditional and contemporary approaches for Artistic Literacy in a culturally diverse and digital society

The new standards acknowledge the essential role of 21st Century skills, culturally responsive practice, and technology; both in their definitions of the art forms and in how the standards are presented.

5. What is emphasized in the new Standards? Is there a change in focus?

The new Arts Standards seek to instill arts literacy, emphasizing conceptual understanding, which is a departure from the previous emphasis on knowledge and skills. The new standards emphasize the collaborative nature of artistic production. Teaching these standards develops collaboration and communication–key components of the skill set desired by employers and higher education.

6. What are Anchor Standards and why were they added to the Standards?

The past NYS Learning Standards for the Arts had overarching standards shared by all arts disciplines. However, the term “anchor standard” is new with the 2014 National Core Arts Standards and was adopted in NY for those standards shared by all art disciplines. Anchor Standards are overarching standards statements of what students should understand and do in all of the arts as a result of their PreK-12 education. The Anchors standards are broken down into Discipline Specific Performance Indicators, which are statements of what students should understand and be able to do in a particular artistic discipline by the end of a specific grade or level. 

7. What is the definition of Media Arts?

In the NYS Arts Standards, the term Media Arts applies to all forms of time- and motion-related artworks which are created by recording sound and/or visual images. Media artwork usually depends on a technological component to function. It includes both fine art and commercially-oriented works presented via film, television, radio, audio, video, the internet, interactive and mobile technologies, transmedia storytelling, and satellite. Forms that are shared with contemporary visual arts/fine arts include kinetic sculpture, information art, organic and algorithmic art, interactive art, multimedia installations, etc. Other more commercially oriented forms include news reporting, documentaries, advertisements, music videos, animation, machinima, video games and game design, and/or a combination of any of these. Media art forms are constantly evolving in response to technological innovations. The discipline of Media Arts serves students both as a stand-alone art form and as a form that can integrate with and connect all the arts and other core content disciplines.

8. Where can I find the Syllabus for the new Digital and Media Arts foundation level courses?

Rather than specific course syllabi, NYSED  will release comprehensive guidance documents to assist in generating locally developed curricula that address the new standards.

9. Do I still need to submit new arts courses for approval? 

Submissions of new applications, and/or for 1-year and 3-year continuing approvals will not be required until further notice.  Until such time as the approval process is reestablished, schools and districts are expected to ensure that new locally developed course offerings designed to culminate in diploma credit,  are appropriately aligned to the Arts Learning Standards at the Proficient, Accomplished, or Advanced levels.

10.  My school doesn't offer a sequential K-12 Dance, Theater, and/or Media Arts education program. How can students with limited prior experience achieve the performance Indicators for their grade level?

 In such cases, teachers may need to customize their curriculum to begin where students are and develop a level-appropriate curriculum that moves them forward at a somewhat accelerated pace. A Sliding Scale (NYSED, 2017, p.31-32) has been developed to facilitate, when necessary, the writing of curricula suitable to the students' experience and training, rather than grade level. Levels are scaffolded to represent student learning expectations in alignment with developmentally appropriate abilities. Arts educators determine the student’s level based on prior knowledge/experience and baseline assessments, and then tailor level- and age-appropriate curriculum to meet individual student needs. Students progress at a pace set by their teacher, based upon their abilities, prior experience, and developmental level.

11. Does the addition of Media Arts as a fifth discipline mean that school districts are required to implement a Media Arts program?

As of Spring 2018, no changes in regulation or policy have occurred as a result of the new standards. Media Arts is not a required course of study at any level. Media Arts learning is valuable, as is learning in all the arts forms. Schools without Media Arts programs are encouraged to utilize the new Media Arts Standards as a resource to design meaningful and unique experiences that may be incorporated into the Visual Arts program.

12. What impact will the new standards have on teaching and learning in the classroom?

Our new state arts standards are perhaps our best indicator of what a “quality” arts education should look like. Their focus on creation, production and reflection calls attention to the hands-on, minds-on learning that occurs through creative making and doing. The standards have been written using Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions to help both educators and students organize the information, skills and experiences within artistic processes. Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions focus on what are often called “Big Ideas.” Enduring Understandings complement the lifelong goals for our student arts learners, and the Essential Questions are those prompts we ask our students to wrestle with when experiencing and making art. With the new focus on technology in all the arts disciplines teachers and students will be expanding capacity with and exploring interdisciplinary use of technology tools. There is also a new emphasis on Presenting in the Visual Arts standards which should result in the building of relationships between the school arts program and the community. Arts literacy fosters connections among the arts and between the arts and other disciplines and should result in providing opportunities to access, develop, express, and integrate meaning across a variety of content areas. 

13. What impact will the new standards have on students

Students will encounter a classroom experience that more closely reflects the actual processes in which artists engage, including thinking skills that are highly valued across all disciplines and in the workplace. The new standards cultivate a student’s ability to carry out the processes of Creating, Performing and Responding, along with Connecting their arts learning to their life, community, and world.

14. Are the new standards voluntary or mandatory?

Teachers in New York State are expected to use standards adopted by the Board of Regents as the goals of their instructional practice. The general education and diploma requirement regulations, referred to as Part 100 Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, require that every public school student in New York State be provided an opportunity to receive instruction in order to achieve the New York State Learning Standards. Standards are mandatory learning goals, and New York State teachers are charged with building meaningful experiences that guide students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and understandings aligned with the standards.

15. Will any state assessments and testing be connected to the new standards?

While NYS has not developed an arts assessment required for graduation, there are optional 4+1 arts pathway assessments that measure student progress on the State Learning Standards for the Arts at a level of rigor equivalent to a Regents examination. The Individual Arts Assessment Pathway (IAAP) is currently under development at the State level. It is anticipated that when fully implemented the IAAP with provide the tools necessary so that schools may design a sequence of Arts courses leading to the Arts 4+1 Pathway.  Currently, the local districts determine the basis for evaluation of student achievement. Grade-by-grade standards provide an appropriate starting place for identifying appropriate student learning goals. Because the new arts standards outline the most important outcomes of arts education, they will be helpful to arts educators as well as their supervisors in designing appropriate arts objectives and measures. The National Arts Standards provide a variety of materials to support implementation, including model assessments with rubrics. These provide tools teachers can adapt to document student growth and outcomes aligned with the new arts standards.

16. What has been the public and teacher reaction to the standards to date?

Our surveys indicate there is strong support for the new standards. Each public call for review included teaching artists, parents, and administrators as well as an arts and cultural organization leaders. After the initial adjustment to 11 standards rather than 4, teachers come to realize these succinct standards are actually easier to use than the former standards, which were written in paragraph form.

17. What is the implementation timeline for the Standards?

The Arts Learning Standards were developed through a collaborative process between the State Education Department and partners including school district teacher and administrative representatives, BOCES representatives, and state and county professional arts organizations. The new Arts Learning Standards were published in 2017. The Arts Standards Roadmap and Implementation Timeline found here identifies the steps necessary for schools, communities, and key stakeholders must embark upon in order to implement the new Arts Standards. Target full implementation of the NYS Learning Standards for the Arts is September 2021

18. Where can I find resources and other support?

Teachers, students, parents, and administrators can access the standards and support documents here. Additionally, individuals can customize a standards workbook most relevant to their needs here.

Professional associations may also have resource pages:








Media Arts FAQs

Media Arts Frequently Asked Questions

In today's classrooms, many of us use digital technology and multimedia platforms. Media arts mindfully applies technology to creative visual art ideas and solutions. As consumers of media arts, students and teachers are already engaged with new media technologies. Our new standards academically enrich and connect visual/media art learners in the 21st century.

1.    What is the relationship between Visual and Media Arts?

Visual and Media arts are both focused on big ideas and artistic literacy.  This connection began with the invention of photography. The disciplines have the potential to merge in the professional world to provide students with pre-vocational skills in the arts. Both disciplines are visual in nature and integrate design aesthetics, expression and artistic voice.  Media Arts includes diverse forms of media such as imaging, sound, the moving image, virtual and interactive platforms and experiences.

2.    What is the history or rationale for Media Arts as a discipline?

 Media Arts programs emerged in recent years to provide “Digital Native” students with contemporary understandings and tools to engage with  time based media.   Additionally, according to the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), “Media arts standards are intended to address the diverse forms and categories of media and arts…” Media Arts engages all other art disciplines to produce time-related art that communicates to a global community through digital platforms.  

3.    Who is teaching Media Arts? What are the qualifications?

Currently there is no teacher certification in Media Arts. Media Arts courses should be taught by a K-12 Art Certified Art Teacher.

4.    If I have a mixed ability/grade levels in my class, which performance Standards should I use?

A:  Use the Standards as a planning tool, not an absolute measure by beginning with the Performance Standard that aligns with most of your students. The Media Arts Sliding Scale (NYSED, 2017, p. 31-32) has been developed to facilitate, when necessary, the writing of curricula suitable to students’ experience and training rather than grade level.

5.    How can I integrate Media Arts? What are the benchmark grade bands for implementation?

A:   It is suggested to look at grade benchmarks to ensure that students have experiences in Media Arts at the Elementary (5th grade), Middle (8th) and HS Proficiency 9 (Studio in Art). This may be a different grade level depending on the structure of your school.  

6.    Does everything in a Media Arts course have to be time-based (4-D)?

 Currently in New York State, Media Arts is understood to apply to forms of time related artworks created by recording, producing, or manipulating sound and/or nonstatic visual images. Artworks that depend on a technological component to function can include screen-based projects presented via film, television, radio, audio, video, the internet, interactive and mobile technologies, video games, trans-media, as well as media-related printed books, catalogues, and journals. Media Arts include communicative works that explore the technological, aesthetical, and communicative potential of electronic means such as video, internet, streaming, computer, software, gaming, mobile devices and applications, code, GPS, sound production devices, robotics, and other evolving and emerging tools under development (NYSED, 2017 p. 46).  

7.     How can I set up a media arts classroom?

 Start with your own smartphone or Chromebook! How do you select your Facebook profile picture?  Did you crop it? Did you add a filter? You are developing artistic ideas with support to capture and experiment with media arts content.  MA: Cr3.1.K How do artists improve and refine their artwork? Students make changes to their artwork on a regular basis. The Media Arts classroom is a place where technology is a tool for the creation of artwork.  It can begin as a station in your room for exploration to a lab with a technology tool for every student to create and produce.  

8.    What is a low budget way to start?

To successfully start a Media Arts Program, educators should have access to a computer/ laptop, a Smartboard or flat screen with speakers, and at least one classroom mobile device and/or platform.  These tools will effectively allow the teacher to showcase media pieces and materials for the purpose of instruction, as well as the opportunity to produce works of art in a classroom setting. You may also check with your technology department or families for old digital cameras that are now being replaced with camera phones.  Check with your local BOCES or library to see if there is technology you can borrow.  

9.     What resources are there to start a Media Arts Program?

A: Many schools already have digital tools and technology that can be repurposed for a Media Arts Program, such as iPads, Smartboards, and Laptops.  These tools can be used to review pieces of work, develop ideas, and produce digital content that teachers can publicly or privately broadcast to a large audience.  

10.  What can assessment look like?

 Assessment for project-based learning in a Media Arts Classroom should include a series of rubrics that accurately assess the process of making / producing media arts content.  From development to creating, students must demonstrate mastery of skill sets in collaborative / group settings, while also indicating a clear understanding of the industry-based terminology used.  

13. How is the creative process similar in both Visual Arts and Media Arts?

The CREATE section of the standards are similar in the way that students are asked to conceptualize artistic ideas.  The technology used for creation is not the focus. The focus is on the refinement of the ideas that you will create, organize, refine and develop.  Clear communication of ideas along with the use of the elements and principles of design are evident in both the visual and media arts standards.  

14.  What are potential career paths and professional industries that students can explore as they advance their education?

 New media technologies offer many viable opportunities for students to pursue jobs that are both creative and financially rewarding. They may include, web design, graphic design, digital photography, animation, industrial design and filmmaking.

15.  Where can I find conferences or additional trainings?

Check with your local BOCES for new offerings.  You can also check the NYSATA and NYSMATA website for new course offerings.  Your state organizations are very involved in the standards writing process and can help you find training. Educators in the New York City / Metropolitan Area can attend the annual Moving Image Blueprint Professional Development workshops, coming from the NYC DOE Office and Arts and Special Projects.    

16. What are some potential partners for funding and educational resources?

Check with your local college for programs in Film, Photography and Graphic Design. Check out the links below:

·          Youth FX- (Albany),

·         Squeaky Wheel (Buffalo),

·         Museum of the Moving Image (NYC)

·         George Eastman Museum (Rochester)

·         Magic Box  (Pleasantville)


Design and Drawing for Production (DDP) FAQs

1. What is DDP?

Design and Drawing for Production (DDP) is a NYSED-approved, high school level interdisciplinary syllabus that meets both Visual Arts and Technology Learning Standards, and “is intended to be implemented through a two-semester course as an introduction to a universal graphic language through which students can express their ideas with creativity, clarity and exactness.” (NYSED, p. vi).

The State-approved syllabus was originally published in 1989. It replaced “the previous New York State Education Department publication, Mechanical Drawing and Design, a cooperative product of both the Art and Industrial Arts units” (NYSED, p. ii). That syllabus was originally published in 1968 by the University of the State of New York, Bureau of Secondary Curriculum Development.

“This final edition syllabus, Design and Drawing for Production, [was]… developed through the combined efforts of the Bureau of Arts, Music and Humanities Education, the Bureau of Home Economics and Technology Education and the Bureau of Curriculum Develop­ment” (NYSED, p. vi).

2. What made DDP different from Mechanical Drawing and Design?

“This course intends to provide opportunities in the areas of design and drawing through creative thinking, decision-making and problem-solving experiences.  Strategies of design and drawing appropriate now and in the future are emphasized.  A shift from the conventional learning methods to this design problem approach is the basis for this syllabus” (NYSED, p. ii).

The 1989 DDP syllabus presented a shift away “from the conventional learning methods and application of skills through a follow-up exercise to a more exciting design problem approach” (NYSED, p. 1), that required students to develop and employ higher order thinking. “The syllabus emphasizes critical thinking, creative problem-solving and the decision-making processes by requiring the student to examine past solutions, learn technical drawing processes, experience design techniques and become critically active in evaluating both personal work and work by others” (NYSED, p. 2). Skills development (drawing exercises) became a supporting factor in helping to solve design problems, rather than the primary focus of the course. Design was also expanded to include much more than simple 3-D forms.

Download the full syllabus here

3. Which NYS diploma requirements does DDP meet, who can teach it, and what must be taught to earn Art credit?

As a State-developed interdisciplinary course, the “Design and Drawing for Production (DDP) syllabus may be used to provide instruction to any student to satisfy the commencement level Art/Music requirement. Either Art Education or Technology Education teachers can provide instruction. It may be used as part of the Technology Education curriculum or as part of the Art Education curriculum.”

“Effective September 2004, teachers certified in art education or technology education must teach instruction in DDP used to meet the art/music credit.  It may be used as part of the technology education curriculum or as part of the art education curriculum.  To fulfill this requirement, the course of study must use the State developed DDP syllabus in its entirety.”


Design and Drawing for Production (DDP) Syllabus Addendum (Spring 2000)

Memo to the Field, August 13, 2003, TO: Directors of Career and Technical Education
Design and Drawing for Production

4. What makes DDP an interdisciplinary Art/Technology course?

“Design and Drawing for Production (DDP) is an approved course to meet the one unit of art/music requirement for graduation for all students, in addition to approved art education course[s] or a CTE sequence. The DDP syllabus is aligned with Standard 5 of the Mathematics, Science and Technology Learning Standards and the Visual Arts Learning Standards. Only teachers certified in art education or technology education may provide instruction in DDP used to meet the art/music credit… To fulfill this requirement, the course of study must use the State developed DDP syllabus in its entirety.”                 


Design and Drawing for Production Information (updated November 29, 2017)  
Design and Drawing for Production (DDP) Syllabus Addendum (Spring 2000)                                                                        

5. Can any other frameworks be used instead of the NYS-developed DDP Syllabus?

Regardless of whether the title given to the course includes “DDP” the course content must use the NYS-developed DDP syllabus in its entirety if art credit is being awarded.

  • Locally developed versions of a course “something like DDP” may not be used to award art credit. (See Page 3 on how to create an updated version of the State-approved DDP).
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD), or similar courses, may not be used to award art credit.
  • Introduction to Engineering Design (IED), or similar courses may not be used to award art credit.
  • Vendor-provided curriculum – even if “DDP” is part of the title – may not be used to award art credit (except for instances in which the syllabus follows the NYS DDP Syllabus, see above). NYS does not endorse any vendor-provided curriculum.

“To fulfill this requirement, the course of study must utilize the State developed DDP syllabus. Courses of study such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) or Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) may not be substituted for DDP, and do not fulfill the Art/Music unit requirement.”

*updated November 2022

Design and Drawing for Production (DDP) Syllabus Addendum (Spring 2000)

Design and Drawing for Production Information (updated November 29, 2017)    

6. Why must the State-developed DDP syllabus be used?

The State-developed syllabus was specifically designed to be interdisciplinary. When it was first developed in 1988/89, it incorporated the criteria established for meeting the ten goals of the NYS Regents Action Plan and Part 100 of the Commissioner's Regulations for both visual arts and occupational education. It was a joint creation of the NYSED Bureaus of Arts, Music and Humanities Education, the Bureau of Home Economics and Technology Education and the Bureau of Curriculum Develop­ment.

In 2000, an addendum was created and published that revised the syllabus to integrate the NYS Learning Standards in the Visual Arts at the commencement level, and Standard 5 of the NYS Learning Standards for Math, Science and Technology, at the commencement level.  It has been specifically designed to meet New York State requirements and learning standards in two different subjects.

7. The DDP Syllabus was last updated in 2000. Our students today need something different, don’t they?

A syllabus provides guiding principles and goals, primary objectives for learning, suggested units, etc. aligned to the Learning Standards. It is the framework around which local curriculum is planned.

The NYSED DDP syllabus was designed for longevity by not focusing on particular tools and techniques, but instead on a particular philosophy about how the design process informs the creation of functional objects, spaces, buildings, and systems that serve human needs, and the use of universal graphic language to communicate design ideas. These two core principles continue to be absolutely essential in the today’s design world.

“This course provides opportunities in the areas of design and drawing through creative thinking, decision-making and problem-solving experiences. These transferable skills play an important role in helping students achieve the higher standards expected of them. Strategies of design and drawing appropriate now and in the future are emphasized. Although there are tremendous changes taking place in the design area pertaining to the use of computers, this course should provide students with an opportunity to express themselves and display their talents in a variety of ways. Content of the course should drive instruction, not the computer. A shift from the conventional learning methods to this design problem approach is the basis for this syllabus.”

Reference: Design and Drawing for Production (DDP) Syllabus Addendum (Spring 2000)


Local curriculum can remain fresh and pertinent by following the goals, objectives, and driving philosophy of the DDP syllabus, while updating content (what problems will students solve?), methods of graphic delivery (which visual languages will be employed?), and methods of modeling (which “tools” will students use to create prototypes and models?). When well designed, local curriculum based on the DDP syllabus lays the foundation for future coursework, which prepares students for the rapidly expanding, technologically-driven fields where design thinking is essential.

8.When can DDP be used to satisfy the Art/Music credit requirement?

Design and Drawing for Production may be used by any student to satisfy the Art/Music credit requirement if the following criteria are met:

  • Addresses aspects of both the Visual Arts* and Technology standards
  • Be commencement level in content and focus
  • A full year course for use in this requirement
  • Taught by a certified Art or Technology teacher or team taught
  • Content focused on critical thinking and creative problem solving skills using the design process
  • Computers may be introduced as a tool of the process but not driving delivery of the content
  • Available for use by students in an Art or Technology sequence
  • The existing State developed syllabus, Design and Drawing for Production should be used as a starting framework for instructional approach and context

9. What are the goals and objectives of DDP?

“Design and Drawing for Production, formerly entitled Mechanical Drawing and Design, encourages visual problem-solving using a common graphic language to describe forms in the human-made environ­ment.  To enable the student to analyze, creatively design and critically evaluate these forms, the syllabus requires researching for historical precedents, cultural referen­ces, environmental impact and future vision.

“This syllabus is an attempt to deviate from the conventional learning methods and application of skills through a follow-up exercise to a more exciting design problem approach.  It provides experiences for the student to be given a design problem and present a solution through design and drawing exercises.

“This type of approach is the vehicle for worldwide industrial communication and an integral step in the process toward product design and production.  Other simulation techniques such as model building help develop an ability to analyze and demonstrate an understanding of three-dimensional forms in space.  Application of these design and drawing activities and simulation techniques ultimately result in the manufacturing of products, design of transportation systems, the integration of communication and the construction of buildings.

“The style of presentation for this syllabus evolved from the way industrial, engineering and architectural firms solve their design problems and communicate their solution(s).  The syllabus emphasizes critical thinking, creative problem-solving and the decision-making processes by requiring the student to examine past solutions, learn technical drawing processes, experience design techniques and become critically active in evaluating both personal work and work by others.”

Reference: DDP Syllabus, pages 1-2

10. DDP was amended in 2000 to meet the 1996 NYS Learning Standards for the Visual Arts. Is there an amendment coming that aligns DDP to the 2017 Visual Arts Standards?

Districts can certainly create their own crosswalk to see how well-aligned their current DDP curriculum is with the 2017 New York State Learning Standards for the Visual Arts. (Don’t forget: updated curriculum must meet the goals and objectives of the 1989/2000 DDP syllabus.)

From the 2000 Addendum: “*All… of the Arts Standards for Visual Arts under the General Education heading at the commencement level must be incorporated and documented to satisfy this requirement… The Technology standard key ideas are also referenced to facilitate alignment and context for instruction.”

Districts should now use the High School 1 (HSI)/ Proficient Level of the Visual Arts Standards for the foundation version of DDP. The DDP curriculum must meet all 11 arts standards and their performance indicators.  The (HSI)/ Proficient Level in the 2017 arts standards replaces the Commencement General Education Level in the 1996 standards.

The 2017 Visual Arts standards place an emphasis on design as an important strand of visual arts, so teachers will find great compatibility between DDP and the new Arts Standards.

Click here to view and download a copy of the 2017 NYS Learning Standards for Visual Arts.
Click here to view and download a Glossary of Visual Arts Standards terms, including those related to Design and Design Thinking.

Did you know?

Art and Technology have been natural partners in “design” since humans began making functional tools and implements, textiles, decorative and religious objects, shelter, gathering spaces, transportation, etc. Aesthetically pleasing functional design invited continued use, anticipated and/or solved needs, provided group identity, and increased trade.

The integration of Art and Technology to increase the effectiveness and desirability of functional design was a pressing need in Industrial-era Europe and America. During the second half of the 19th century, dozens of books and courses were produced to help aesthetically improve design and spur innovation in manufactured goods for local and national trade. This movement, started in Europe to improve the fit of machine parts as well as the quality of manufactured goods for international trade.

Visual Art FAQs

Visual Art

1.  Do all 11 standards need to be addressed in every art unit?

     Not all 11 standards need to be addressed in one lesson or unit. The weight and time devoted to each standard may vary.

2.  Do visual art educators need to incorporate Media Arts in their practice? Is Media Arts required?

     Yes, Media Arts has been identified as the fifth art discipline. Visual art teachers should incorporate Media Arts lessons in their practice especially if a Media Arts course is not available to students.

3.  Do teachers have to use the Essential Questions as presented in the Standards or can we adapt them to meet our individual classroom needs?

      The Standards are based on BIG ideas, Enduring Understandings (EU) and Essential Questions (EQ) to guide student understanding. Arts educators can adapt these to meet their own student needs. When developing their own EQ it is important that they remain provocative, open-ended questions that provide opportunities for discussion and investigation.

 4. Do all 4 processes need to be addressed in every unit and do they need to be addressed equally?

     The standards are not linear; they address many arts processes simultaneously. The four processes are not taught in isolation and may not have equal weight in all lessons.

5.  Do teachers need to provide lessons that encourage student choice? How do teachers assess student outcomes that were not anticipated?

    Creativity and innovation are critical to the school arts curriculum and artistic literacy. Lessons that encourage student choice allow students to become active participants and generators of content in the arts. The Standards emphasize innovative thought and reflection which should be assessed rather than specific product-based outcomes.

6. What is the place of Elements of Art and Principles of Design in the new Standards?

    Elements (of art) are visual forms used by artists in the creation of an artwork, such as line, color, form, value, size, texture. Principles (of design) describe structural relationships between the forms, such as balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis and unity. Many classrooms emphasize the elements and principles, but, in truth, there is no consensus in the field about a uniform set of elements and principles. There are other relationships that are commonly found in works of art that are neither elements or principles, such as time, flavor, sound, site-specificity, juxtaposition, re-contextualization, hybridization, etc. This has led to the contemporary use of the more inclusive phrase form and structure. Such conventions are not instructional goals in themselves but systems of organization that help students effectively represent their visual ideas.