The basic content throughout the entire K-12 North Allegheny Visual Arts curriculum consists of the interweaving of four art disciplinary strands (art production, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics) with engagement with the artistic processes of creating, presenting, responding, and connecting.
Through learning about and creating art, North Allegheny students engage in processes and understandings considered vital to life in the 21st century, such as independence, organization and planning, goal setting, research, idea formation, observational skills, creative thinking, problem solving, risk-taking, personal realization, reflective habits, and the ability to carry ideas to completion.
The North Allegheny Visual Arts Curriculum is both informed by the National Core Art Standards for Visual Arts (artistic processes and concepts) and the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities (discipline-specific content). Instructional goals in each visual arts course are organized around six "Big Ideas" articulated through Pennsylvania's Standards Aligned System framework:
- The skills, techniques, elements and principles of the arts can be learned, studied, refined and practiced.
- Artists use tools and resources as well as their own experiences and skil to create art.
- The arts provide a medium to understand and exchange ideas.
- People have expressed experiences and ideas through the arts throughout time and across cultures.
- There are formal and informal processes used to assess the quality of works in the arts.
- People use both aesthetic and critical processes to assess quality, interpret meaning and determine value.