Arts & Humanities
Arts and Humanities
encompasses the discipline areas of visual art, music, theatre and
dance. These areas are unified by the themes of production, history,
criticism and aesthetics. In the arts and humanities the human need to
create can be expressed kinesthetically, aurally, spatially or through
interdisciplinary interpretation. The rich experiences and learning
provided to students in Pennsylvania by quality teachers in the arts and
humanities has produced nationally recognized artists.
Arts and Humanities Academic Standards
All students in grades K-12 must be provided with instruction in all
four arts disciplines: dance, music, theater and the visual arts.
- Dance Education is a kinesthetic art form that satisfies the
human need to respond to life experiences through movement of the
- Music Education is an aural art form that satisfies the human need
to respond to life experiences through singing, listening and/or playing
- Theatre Education is an interdisciplinary art form that satisfies
the human need to express thoughts and feelings through written text,
dramatic interpretation and multimedia production.
- Visual Arts Education is a spatial art form that satisfies the human
need to respond to life experiences through images, structures and
Local school districts are responsible for creating written curricula in
all content areas. The state Academic Standards outline the minimum
skills and knowledge that students must have at the end of grades 3, 5, 8
and 12. School districts are responsible for assessing students in the
arts and insuring that they are proficient in the standards in order to
The Standards Aligned System (SAS) is
Pennsylvania Department of Education's digital curriculum and
resource site. SAS is comprised of six distinct elements which provide a
common framework for continuous student, teacher, school and district
The elements are Standards, Assessment, Curriculum Framework,
Instruction, Materials and Resources, and Safe and Supportive Schools.
The academic standards for arts and humanities,
as well as resources for teaching and developing high quality visual
art, music, theatre and dance education programs, are available on SAS.
Art and music are taught by certified art and
music educators. Dance is taught by educators certified in health and
physical education, and theatre is taught by educators certified in
either communications or English.
Certification and Staffing Policy Guidelines that pertain to arts and humanities education certification and course assignment are:
CSPG 31 Art
- CSPG 36 Communications
- CSPG 42 English 7-12
- CSPG 47 Health and Physical Education
- CSPG 51 Middle Level English
- CSPG 55 Music Education
- CSPG 69 Grades PK-4
CSPG 70 Grades 4-8
Dance educators are certified under CSPG 47
Health and Physical Education and CSPG 36 Communicates. Music educators
are certified under CSPG 55 Music Education and/or CSPG 69 Grades PK-4
and CSPG 70 Grades 4-8. Theatre educators are certified under CSPG 42
English, CSPG 36 Communications and CSPG 69 Grades PK-4. Visual arts
educators are certified under CSPG 31 Art, CSPG Grades PK-4 and CSPG
Questions regarding certification requirements should be directed to the
Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.