(1) The fine arts incorporate the study of dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts to offer unique experiences and empower students to explore realities, relationships, and ideas. These disciplines engage and motivate all students through active learning, critical thinking, and innovative problem solving. The fine arts develop cognitive functioning and increase student academic achievement, higher-order thinking, communication, and collaboration skills, making the fine arts applicable to college readiness, career opportunities, workplace environments, social skills, and everyday life. Students develop aesthetic and cultural awareness through exploration, leading to creative expression. Creativity, encouraged through the study of the fine arts, is essential to nurture and develop the whole child.
(2) Four basic strands--foundations: inquiry and understanding; creative expression; historical and cultural relevance; and critical evaluation and response--provide broad, unifying structures for organizing knowledge and skills students are expected to acquire. Through the foundations: inquiry and understanding strand, students develop a perception of self, human relationships, and the world using elements of drama and conventions of theatre. Through the creative expression strand, students communicate in a dramatic form, engage in artistic thinking, build positive self-concepts, relate interpersonally, and integrate knowledge with other content areas in a relevant manner. Through the historical and cultural relevance strand, students increase their understanding of heritage and traditions in theatre and the diversity of world cultures as expressed in theatre. Through the critical evaluation and response strand, students engage in inquiry and dialogue, accept constructive criticism, revise personal views to promote creative and critical thinking, and develop the ability to appreciate and evaluate live theatre.
(3) Statements that contain the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.