This document replaces The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8: The Arts, 1998. Beginning in September 2009, all arts programs for Grades 1 to 8 will be based on the expectations outlined in this document.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ARTS IN THE CURRICULUM
Since arts experiences offer other modes and ways of experiencing and learning, children will have opportunities to think and feel as they explore, problem solve, express, interpret, and evaluate the process and the results. To watch a child completely engaged in an arts experience is to recognize that the brain is on, driven by the aesthetic and emotional imperative to make meaning, to say something, to represent what matters.
The Arts Go to School, David Booth and Masayuki Hachiya, eds.
(Markham, Ontario: Pembroke Publishers, 2004), p.15
Education in the arts is essential to students’ intellectual, social, physical, and emotional growth and well-being. Experiences in the arts – in dance, drama, music, and visual arts – play a valuable role in helping students to achieve their potential as learners and to participate fully in their community and in society as a whole. The arts provide a natural vehicle through which students can explore and express themselves and through which they can discover and interpret the world around them. Participation in the arts contributes in important ways to students’ lives and learning – it involves intense engagement, development of motivation and confidence, and the use of creative and dynamic ways of thinking and knowing. It is well documented that the intellectual and emotional development of children is enhanced through study of the arts. Through the study of dance, drama, music, and visual arts, students develop the ability to think creatively and critically. The arts nourish and stimulate the imagination, and provide students with an expanded range of tools, techniques, and skills to... [continues]
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