Art Curriculum: Current and Relevant
The two major high schools in Chico, Pleasant Valley and Chico High, have a diverse population of almost 4000 students. Currently there are 35 sections of visual art offered that serve approximately 1,100 students in grades 9-12 or about 25% of the student body. Since Proposition 13 was approved in 1978 and due to on-going budget cuts, funding support for art education state-wide has diminished significantly. This lack of support has led to dated art education curriculum and 20th century technology. While striving to keep our curriculum current, art faculty have not received adequate professional development, most technology has not been significantly updated since 2003, and the resources available to students has been drastically reduced.
Our challenge is to design innovative approaches to teaching that combine tools that students have at their fingertips with critical thinking and communication skills. How does the infusion of 21st Century art skills and current technology affect student motivation and engagement in learning art content? Building professional development into our school year is essential. Our need is PD opportunities for art teachers to learn the current art education trends and digital media tools needed to increase student achievement.