Fine Arts

Why Study Fine Arts?

"The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create." — Former President Barack Obama

The arts education is part of the foundation for student success in school, work, and life. The arts help to develop learning processes and support students to:

  • Be critical thinkers and problem solvers
  • Communicate ideas and responses
  • Collaborate
  • Be creative and innovative

Students exposed to an appreciation for the arts show curiosity, self-expression, logical thinking, self-esteem, and imagination. The art experiences also teach the students to think outside of the box, be more tolerant of others’ differences and give them the courage to take risks (Education.com, 2013).

Skills learned from studying the arts including concentration and dedication, affects classroom values and test scores (Lock, 2012). In a 2005 Harris Poll found that 93 percent of Americans agreed the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education for children. In another 2009 study, 12 years of data were collected for the National Educational Longitudinal Survey to look at the effect of education, visual, and performing arts on the achievement and values of children. The study found that students who were highly involved with the arts out performed less-involved peers, even within low socioeconomic groups. (Evans, 2008)

Core Principles of Fine Arts Education

The Fine Arts – visual arts, music, drama and theatre, and dance — are fundamental disciplines of the arts. Each discipline is unique in its own way, and the multisensory characteristics of the arts provide means for students to integrate the cognitive, emotional, and physical domains of learning (Curriculum Framework, 2008).

The Department recognizes the critical role arts play in our student’s education, and the Board of Education (BOE) Policy 105-9 Fine Arts Program supports the Department schools in establishing and maintaining robust fine arts programs (BOE Policy 105-9, 2016).

All students in grades K-12 should have equal access to the arts education and the teacher address and sets high expectations based on the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards (HCPS) III for Fine Arts.

Through the arts, students are able to personalize and voice their choice. Arts are a vehicle in which students are able to connect to personal total well-being and sense of belonging in school, community and at home. Arts are core to a well-rounded education, it includes rigorous, sequential, standard based arts instruction in the classroom, as well as participation and learning in community based arts programs (NAEA, 2017).

“Inang” — Willie Jay Nicolas, Leilehua High, grade 12,  (Photography). National Medalist (Gold), 2016 Scholastic Art Awards.
“Inang” — Willie Jay Nicolas, Leilehua High, grade 12, (Photography). National Medalist (Gold), 2016 Scholastic Art Awards.
"Blue Hawaii" — Tadum Lee-Reyes, Castle High, Gold Key nominee, 2017 Hawaii Regional Scholastic Art Awards.
"Blue Hawaii" — Tadum Lee-Reyes, Castle High, Gold Key nominee, 2017 Hawaii Regional Scholastic Art Awards.

Where is Fine Arts Headed?

Fine Arts Education is currently defined by the HCPS III for Fine Arts, that is aligned to the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) 2008. The revised NCAS was released in 2014, and the Department is exploring the adoption of the NCAS 2014 to provide teachers and students with updated standards and layer of rigor for upper level courses to strengthen the quality of standards based arts education for all students in grades PreK-12.

In support of the arts education and arts integration in grades PreK-12, collaboration within the complex area and the schools are vital. Building of Fine Arts Leadership group of elementary and secondary fine arts teachers will strengthen these Fine Arts programs. This leadership group may provide support for the elementary level teachers with minimal arts training.

Arts integration in the elementary school level works well with all content areas. It addresses the HCPS III for Fine Arts, and the connecting content area standards.

Integrating Nā Hopena Aʻo (HĀ), social and emotional learning and the arts enhance student learning, understanding and appreciation for not only their own culture and the arts, but of people around them.

Arts education is for all learners, it allows for students to share their thoughts and ideas with confidence. This process leads to high level of learning, and it deepens learning relationships between students and teachers.

Here's how Maui's Pomaikai Elementary's media team is using arts as a pathway into the Common Core ELA standards.

Fine Arts Resources

ReferencesCurriculum Framework for Fine Arts. (September 2008). Department of Education State of Hawaii, Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support. 3.
Education.com (2013, August 27). Art Appreciation for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.education.com/magazine/article/early-art-means-encourage/
Evans, K. (2008). Arts and Smarts. Greater Good Magazine. Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/arts_smart
Lock, C. (2012, May 25). PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/turn-to-the-arts-to-boost-self-esteem/