Arts Education in Missouri

Arts Education happens in a variety of ways in Missouri.

With our Early Learners

In Missouri K-12 public, private and parochial schools

In Missouri's Higher Education Community

In Private Studio Settings

Through our Community Arts Agencies

Through arts institutions

Through Local Community institutions


MAAE believes highly trained, well-qualified arts educators are essential

  • Fine Arts Courses taught by certified arts educators are an integral part of education for every student in Missouri schools.

  • MAAE acknowledges non-profit organizations, teaching artists, private studio teachers and arts businesses provide high quality arts education opportunities which enrich the lives of Missourians.

  • Arts education and engagement with the arts develops pro-social skills, leads to workplace success and economic prosperity, and improved quality of life for all.

MAAE believes learning comes alive when the arts are involved in instruction

  • Using songs as a rote memory tool, such as learning to sing A-B-Cs or using Tangrams® to create figures shapes student learning is enhanced through use of the arts.

MAAE believes in integrating the arts into ANY subject:

  • makes learning more holistic, relevant and meaningful

  • provides opportunities for deeper student engagement and increased retention

  • enriches the experience for both teacher and learner, making learning more fun and effective

  • allows students to connect an art form with other subject area(s) to construct and deepen understanding.

MAAE believes the arts are a crucial and intricate part of STE(A)M education

In Missouri, you may find four distinct ways that the arts are used in K-12 education.

These approaches meet different needs and goals addressed by each.

Fine Arts Curriculum

"Arts for Arts' Sake"

  • Primary focus: Art & art-making

  • Taught by certified fine arts specialists

  • Fine arts standards guide learning tasks, assessment and program evaluation

  • Indirect corollary learning may be related to other subject areas

  • Only arts standards are assessed

Teacher Role: The arts teacher's primary responsibility is delivering and assessing district-approved curriculum in their area which reflects the Missouri Fine Arts standards.

Arts-enhanced Learning

  • Art form is used to teach something else. (singing ABC's)

  • May or may not be taught using collaboration between an Arts specialist and a non-arts teacher.

  • Other subject areas guide selection of learning tasks, assessment and program evaluation.

  • Fine Arts standards may be assessed.

Teacher role: Unless requested by another teacher, the arts specialist has no formal role in this approach.

Arts Integration

  • Students engage in a creative process which connects art forms and other subject areas and meets evolving objectives in both.

  • Students construct and demonstrate understanding through one or more art forms.

  • Students use an art form to demonstrate learning, reflecting standards in the arts and non-arts subject area(s).

  • In the planning stages for an arts integration experience the standards are identified and assessments planned.

  • Both arts and non-arts standards are assessed.

  • Learning objectives may evolve throughout the process.

  • Instruction is often delivered collaboratively by non-arts teachers, certified arts specialists and/or teaching artists.

  • The presence of the arts in the learning experience is guaranteed.

Teacher role: Teachers design and deliver lessons that integrate the arts with at least one other subject and reflects learning standards in both. Delivery methods vary. It may require collaborative planning.

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  • Collaborative pedagogy where learners solve real-world problems

  • Subject areas involved may include science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.

  • Lesson/units are planned collaboratively involving all subject areas. POTENTIAL EDIT: It is considered best practice for STEAM schools to design their modes of instructional delivery to provide teachers with common planning time and co-teaching opportunities.

  • Learning standards are authentically aligned.

  • Artistic elements may be reflected in the area of design, or communication of the results

  • the presence of the arts as a focal point in the student learning experience is not guaranteed.

Teacher role: Teachers collaborate within the planning and design process. Teacher as coach, facilitates learning as students engage in the design thinking and experimentation to solve a "real-world" problem.

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