Introduction

Introduction

In the Australian Curriculum, The Arts is a learning area that draws together related but distinct art forms. While these art forms have close relationships and are often used in interrelated ways, each involves different approaches to arts practices and critical and creative thinking that reflect distinct bodies of knowledge, understanding and skills. The curriculum examines past, current and emerging arts practices in each art form across a range of cultures and places.

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts comprises five subjects:

  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Media Arts
  • Music
  • Visual Arts.

Rationale

The arts have the capacity to engage, inspire and enrich all students, exciting the imagination and encouraging them to reach their creative and expressive potential. The five arts subjects in the Australian Curriculum provide opportunities for students to learn how to create, design, represent, communicate and share their imagined and conceptual ideas, emotions, observations and experiences.

Rich in tradition, the arts play a major role in the development and expression of cultures and communities, locally, nationally and globally. Students communicate ideas in current, traditional and emerging forms and use arts knowledge and understanding to make sense of their world. The Australian Curriculum: The Arts values, respects and explores the significant contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to Australia’s arts heritage and contemporary arts practices through their distinctive ways of representing and communicating knowledge, traditions and experience. In The Arts, students learn as artists and audience through the intellectual, emotional and sensory experiences of the arts. They acquire knowledge, skills and understanding specific to The Arts subjects and develop critical understanding that informs decision-making and aesthetic choices. Through The Arts, students learn to express their ideas, thoughts and opinions as they discover and interpret the world. They learn that designing, producing and resolving their work is as essential to learning in the arts as is creating a finished artwork. Students develop their arts knowledge and aesthetic understanding through a growing comprehension of the distinct and related languages, symbols, techniques, processes and skills of the arts subjects. Arts learning provides students with opportunities to engage with creative industries and arts professionals.

The arts entertain, challenge, provoke responses and enrich our knowledge of self, communities, world cultures and histories. The Arts contribute to the development of confident and creative individuals, nurturing and challenging active and informed citizens. Learning in The Arts is based on cognitive, affective and sensory/kinaesthetic response to arts practices as students revisit increasingly complex content, skills and processes with developing confidence and sophistication across their years of learning.

This rationale is extended and complemented by the specific rationale for each arts subject.

Aims

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts aims to develop students’:

  • creativity, critical thinking, aesthetic knowledge and understanding about arts practices, through making and responding to artworks with increasing self-confidence
  • arts knowledge and skills to communicate ideas; they value and share their arts and life experiences by representing, expressing and communicating ideas, imagination and observations about their individual and collective worlds to others in meaningful ways
  • use of innovative arts practices with available and emerging technologies, to express and represent ideas, while displaying empathy for multiple viewpoints
  • understanding of Australia’s histories and traditions through the arts, engaging with the artworks and practices, both traditional and contemporary, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • understanding of local, regional and global cultures, and their arts histories and traditions, through engaging with the worlds of artists, artworks, audiences and arts professions.

These aims are extended and complemented by specific aims for each arts subject.