I really appreciate what you wrote charlie, i think that education really needs to move faster towards conceptual and innovative practice instead of nitpicking over drilling facts (which are all at the fingertips of every student today thanks to technology). I think that embracing technology is allowing students to take a common core concept and explore in a way that interests the student, pushing students to be innovative with information.
On to Jeff’s question though, I do think that incorporating the common core standards into our arts curricula is important to a point, i don’t think that we have to re-write our whole plans, but using the common core standards to guide what we already are doing as far as writing, researching etc, goes will make guidelines and expectations clearer for students? maybe? Although i do not think that the way that all schools are going about organizing time to incorporate the work for the common core is very helpful to arts teachers. As a new arts teacher, i do want to align my writing work to the english common core standards where it fits. However, I am one who understands the common core language as it is written, and can easily put it into action in my curriculum. As a one person department, I would find the time we have set aside in our district for common core more useful if i were allowed to unpack it into my curriculum first. I am very much a team player, but need to process new ideas initiatives on my own first before i can talk about them with others.
Also i do have to say that I do feel uneasy about the “core” subjects getting all of the attention and professional development time. One day i want to see an arts initiative with standards that requires all teachers to come together for an hour a month, and talk about ways in which they can incorporate the arts as a tool for their classrooms. I think that with all of the forward movement going on in education, this would be a task worth while and would allow for more challenge based projects in the classroom, engaging more students to be innovative with the way they take in and process information. Yesterday’s students needed to know things, today’s students need to know how to manipulate old ideas into new ones. The arts model should be everyone’s model.