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Report Offers Glimpse of Arts Standards Across the Globe

As work gets under way on a national set of 'next generation' standards for arts education, the College Board has completed two new reports designed to inform the process, including an analysis of how more than a dozen countries have tackled their arts standards.

In all the countries surveyed, ranging from China and Japan to Scotland and Sweden, the core objectives of arts education were similar, finds the report on international standards. They include:

• the development of perceptual abilities, creative problem-solving, and idea generation;
• making, producing, and performing; and
• appreciating and responding to the arts with a critically, historically, and culturally informed understanding.

As we reported in June, a coalition of states and national organizations is working to overhaul voluntary national guidelines for learning in the arts. The target completion time frame is fall of 2012.

"The report on the international arts standards is something we've never really had before," Trevor Packer, a senior vice president at the College Board, said in a press release.

The second report analyzes the relationship between the 1994 national standards for arts education and the "21st Century Skills Map for the Arts," published last year by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

Both reports were prepared by the College Board for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, which is spearheading the new standards effort.

Speaking of arts education, Crayola this month announced that it was teaming up with several education organizations to create a new professional development program intended to enhance student creativity and an arts-infused education in schools. The initiative will empower "art teachers to become the 'chief creative officers' in their schools, and also assist principals in getting the tools to lead their faculty in fostering creativity among children.

Participating organizations include the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Art Education Association, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

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