Introduction: I invited Dr. Rima Faber to share her perspective as chair of the dance writing team for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards in order to give us insights into the vision behind the new NCCAS dance-arts standards. The team’s work was deliberate and collaborative, generating the best thinking in the field to date. The attention focuses on dance’s artistic processes and dance’s relationship to the world (creating, performing, responding, and connecting). Existing programs that are of the old model (performance-driven and product oriented) would do well to take this opportunity to upgrade to the kind of process-based education which has long been considered best practice…and which these standards embrace. I particularly asked Dr. Faber to articulate the hoped-for impact of these new standards on educational dance today and to help us understand how they may inform our renewed efforts to re-envision more substantive K-12 dance programs in the United States. Here are her words. –B.McCutchen
Guest Blog: “The Hoped-For Impact of the New NCCAS Standards”
by Rima Faber, Ph.D.
April 1, 2014
The new “National Core Arts Standards” developed by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards focus on the processes of arts-making which are housed in overarching Philosophical Foundations, Lifelong Goals, Enduring Understandings, and Essential Questions. While the dance standards in 1994 focused on learning content in seven different categories, these standards provide deep meaning in the processes of creating dance, performing movement (the “doing” of it as well as performance), responding to choreography (self-reflection as well as providing feedback or critique), and connecting dance to all life and learning.
It is hoped that learning dance with this scope and vision will provide a long-lasting understanding and love of dance that will relate and integrate dance into a number of meaningful areas: to personal experiences, cultural and societal values, historical events and developments, natural phenomena, other arts disciplines, and learning in other academic subjects. The new standards also integrate the creation of choreography with learning dance skills and techniques for the refinement of movement performance. The goal is to simultaneously develop the innovative artist, the accomplished dancer, and the informed audience member.
The National Core Arts Standards are scheduled to be released online June 2014. For access, or for more information, go to the NCCAS Website at: http://nccas.wikispaces.com.
Rima Faber, Ph.D. retired as program director emerita of National Dance Education Organization and is currently serving as chair of the Dance Task Force of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards and as president of the Capital Region Educators of Dance Association in Washington, DC. She also is an adjunct faculty at Rutgers University (NJ) and George Washington University (DC), and the NDEO Online Professional Development Institute, as well as teaching classes at the Joy of Motion Dance Center in DC.