Frequently Asked Questions

Grades 9 to 12 Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts Education

The following FAQs provide information related to the new Grades 9 to 12 Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts curriculum frameworks. The FAQs address questions about Grades 9 to 12 Arts Education implementation, assessment, courses, credits and course codes.

Why are Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts education important for Grades 9-12 learners in Manitoba? (CSL)

Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts education offer unique, diverse, and powerful ways for grades 9-12 learners to engage with, understand, and respond to their world. Research indicates that well-designed arts education contributes to learning engagement, self-efficacy, and a wide range of positive academic, social, and emotional effects.

Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts Education are important because they:

  1. have intrinsic value.
  2. develop creative, critical, and ethical thinking.
  3. expand iteracy choices for meaning making.
  4. contribute to identity construction.
  5. develop communication and collaboration competencies.
  6. are essential for well-being.
  7. support sustainable learning.
  8. are transformative.
  9. foster human flourishing.

The ten points above also support the Manitoba Education and Training, Mandate, Mission, Vision, Over-arching Goals, and Priority Action Areas.

For information specific to each Arts subject area, please see:

Why have four new Grades 9 to 12 Arts curriculum frameworks been developed?

Four unique frameworks were developed to support distinct disciplinary learnings in Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts education. The four new Grades 9-12 Arts curriculum frameworks are part of a department commitment to renew Kindergarten to Grade 12 Arts education in Manitoba. The Grades 9-12 arts curriculum frameworks extend the philosophy and features of the K-8 arts frameworks published in 2011. The frameworks were also written to align with current understandings about learning, for example, the deep learning goals (6 C’s) referred to by Michael Fullan (2013, p. 24).

Reference
Fullan, M. (2013). Commentary The New Pedagogy: Students and Teachers as Learning Partners. LEARNing Landscapes, 6(2), p. 24

What is new about Grades 9 to 12 Arts Education in Manitoba?

Four new Arts curriculum frameworks are now in mandatory implementation for Grades 9-12: Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts. These frameworks are based on four essential learning areas and their associated learnings. Together, the four arts frameworks expand arts learning and course offerings in Manitoba schools. All grades 9-12 arts courses are based on these frameworks.

Arts education learnings are recursive, interconnected, and promote authentic, transformative, and lifelong learning. Arts learnings focus on artistic and creative processes, critical reflection, the significance and purpose of the arts for individuals and groups, as well as disciplinary skills, knowledge, and competencies.

What are the goals of Manitoba Grades 9 to 12 Arts Education?

The Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts education are intended to support, promote and inspire the growth of all students as artistic learners in their “journey towards becoming creative and artistically literate adults and citizens who will enrich and transform their own lives and the lives of future communities”

An artistically literate arts learner is one who can move fluidly in and among the four essential learning areas or wings in each arts curriculum frameworks to make and communicate personal meaning about and through the arts.

Included in the goals of arts education, is the growth of intercultural competencies, sustainability, literacy identity construction, communication and collaboration competencies, and the fostering of human flourishing and well-being.

What are the essential features/characteristics of a quality Grades 9-12 Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts program?

Quality programs in Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts education are based on:

  • current understandings about complex, constructivist learning
  • curriculum as landscape
  • the learning environment (physical, pedagogical, and social/cultural spaces)
  • and assessment for, as, and of learning.

Quality arts programming makes the arts available and accessible to all learners in sustained ways and is facilitated by professional arts educators who are specialized in their arts disciplines.

Essential features/characteristics of a quality Grades 9-12 Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts program are further outlined in the front matter of each of the Grades 9-12 Arts education curriculum frameworks.

How can school leaders support arts educators and quality Grades 9-12 Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts programming?

School leaders can support quality arts education by:

  • ensuring all Grades 9-12 arts courses are based on the four inter-connected essential learning areas in the new Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts curriculum frameworks.
  • developing and reviewing school/division-wide arts policies and practices
  • allocating appropriate and sufficient budget, human and material resources
  • offering a range of arts programs
  • ensuring dedicated facilities and resources (physical and virtual)
  • encouraging professional development,
  • creating flexible scheduling time not in conflict with other subject areas.
  • ensuring arts education is available to and accessible for all learners.
  • hiring highly qualified professional arts educators and coordinators
  • developing arts program evaluation
  • connecting and/or partnering with networks of arts specialists, advisors, coordinators, artists, arts communities and associations.
What do school leaders need to know about Grades 9 to 12 Arts Education credits and codes?

Credits from Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts can be used towards the 13 optional credits available as part of the graduation requirements in Manitoba. Eight full credits in each of Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts are available at each grade level for a total of 128 available Grades 9 to 12 credits. Students and schools have the option to organize credits in half or half and full credit combinations.

Full and half Credits in arts education are based on full implementation of the arts education curriculum framework used for each arts course. Processes for full implementation are described in the School Leaders’ Guide that will be available in Fall 2016.

Arts course codes are found in: The Subject Table Handbook

  1. Why are there so many arts education course codes?
    Multiple course codes were created for each arts discipline in response to requests from school divisions to provide sufficient codes for all the different contexts and approaches used for arts education in schools in Manitoba.
  2. How do I know which course code to use?
    Decisions about course codes are made locally in response to specific context and needs. The department has not assigned specific arts codes to specific arts courses (e.g. concert band, concert choir, improv, etc.) since schools and divisions offer different arts programming throughout Manitoba.
  3. How do I know which course code to use across grades (e.g., Grade 9 Visual Arts, Grade 10 Visual Arts, Grade 11 Visual Arts, Grade 12 Visual Arts)?
    The same arts education course code is used for all four grade levels.
  4. How do I use the A and B course code designations?
    “A” codes are used for both full credit and stand alone half credit arts courses. “A” half credit codes can also be used with B half credit codes to give schools the option of awarding two half credits instead of one full credit for a single course. If a school wishes to award two half credits to a student at the same grade level, the applicable B code may be used to award the second half credit. “B” codes can only be used for half credit courses to provide schools the option of awarding two half credits instead of one full credit for a single course. No student should get a “B” half credit code (e.g., 1B) without first having the “A” half credit code (e.g., 1A, half credit).
  5. Where do I find the names and course descriptions for each course code (e.g. Where is Concert band, Concert Choir, Guitar, etc.)?
    School and school divisions attach their own course names to their various Arts course codes. For example:

    0258 Music 1A
    Down Arrow
    0260 Music 2A
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    0264 Music 4A
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    0266 Music 5A
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    Concert Band Concert Choir Guitar Vocal Jazz

    Names of courses will be specific to the local context (according to school and/or school division). However, on the provincial transcript courses will be labelled as they appear in the Subject Table Handbook. If a school listed 0258 Music 1A as Concert Band in their school information, it would appear as 0258 Music 1A in provincial transcripts.

    Course descriptions are also locally developed and are expected to align with the four essential learning areas and thirteen recursive learnings found in each of the four Grades 9-12 arts curriculum frameworks. Examples of course descriptions can be found in the School Leaders’ Guide to Grades 9-12 Arts Education.
  6. What is the course designation for arts course codes (e.g., Foundation, General or Specialized)?
    Arts course codes are designated as Specialized (S). They can also be designated as (M) modified or (E) English as an Additional Language.
  7. What is the difference between the full and the half credit courses in Arts education?
    In arts education, full and half credit courses both integrate the 13 learnings of the four essential learnings areas. The difference between a full and a half credit course is a combination of different factors including course duration (55 hours/half credit hours or 110 hours/full credit) and learning dimension variables of depth, breadth, and transformation (see Appendix A in arts Curriculum Frameworks).
  8. Are the arts course codes also used for the AP and IB arts courses?
    The AP and IB course codes are in addition and separate to the available arts course codes for each grade. The IB and AP course codes are listed under the “Externally developed” course codes in the Subject Table Handbook.
  9. Who is eligible for the Private Music Option?
    The Private Music Option is open to students who have successfully obtained standing in the designated grade level in the Conservatory Canada or Royal Conservatory of Music examination system for instrument or voice. One credit may be earned at each of the grade levels, up to a maximum of four credits.

    For further information see the Subject Table Handbook and the Private Music Option
  10. Who is eligible for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Dance Option?
    Students can obtain dance optional credits only if they are registered in the senior levels of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet professional program.
How can school leaders transform existing SICs into Department developed codes?

It is anticipated that schools will be able to transform existing SICs into S level department developed course codes by aligning SIC learning outcomes with the recursive learnings from the four essential learning areas in each of the four arts curriculum frameworks. Examples for transforming SICs to department developed course codes are found in the School Leaders’ Guide that will be available in Fall 2016.

How can I combine arts course codes (e.g., Musical Theatre, etc.) to create interdisciplinary arts courses?

It is possible to combine ½ credit arts course codes to create full credit interdisciplinary courses. For example, a school offering Musical Theatre might combine a half credit Dramatic Arts course (e.g., Dramatic Arts 4A 0246) with a half credit general Music course (e.g., Music 4A 0264) to create a full credit course that includes all recursive learnings from the four essential learning areas in both the Music and Dramatic Arts curriculum frameworks.

How can schools use the new Grades 9-12 Arts curriculum frameworks to design courses and learning experiences in their schools?

The guiding philosophy of arts education for Manitoba schools is outlined in the front matter of each arts curriculum framework. Using the guiding philosophy, each arts curriculum framework was created to provide opportunities for educators to design multiple arts courses based on the four essential learning areas (wings) of the Dance, Dramatic Arts, Music, and/or Visual Arts curriculum butterfly.

Schools use the four essential learning areas and associated 13 recursive learnings in each arts curriculum framework as the foundation and organizing structure for course design. The intent of the 9-12 arts curriculum frameworks is to allow teachers the flexibility to design arts education with their specific learners and context in mind. Courses may be unique to each school or division but are designed using the appropriate 9-12 arts education curriculum framework.

Arts courses are not specified by the Department since many different variables affect learning contexts from school to school.

The Signposts included in the conceptual framework of Arts Learning Growth (first Appendix) provide direction for designing courses at different grades using the recursive learnings. For further information, see the 9-12 arts curriculum frameworks and the School Leaders Guide to Grades 9-12 Arts Education.

What does quality arts education assessment and evaluation look like?

Quality assessment and evaluation in Manitoba arts education:

  • Is based on the 13 recursive and interconnected learnings
  • is ongoing and includes assessment for, as, and of learning
  • is based on learners’ best and recent work and most consistent patterns of learning over time
  • is based on shared and/or co-created criteria
  • is equitable, fair, transparent,clearly communicated assessment
  • is meaningful and congruent with curricular and learning goals
  • enables learners to construct and co-construct individual and collaborative learning goals and criteria
  • provides learners with multiple and various opportunities and ways to demonstrate learning
  • is varied and includes a broad range of assessment tools and strategies (e.g., portfolios, recordings, interviews, journals, logs, conversations, observations, products, performances)
  • encourages rather than limits artistic and creative development
How are the four wings of the arts curriculum butterfly weighted for assessment and evaluation?

The essential learning areas are not necessarily weighted equally. The weighting of the wings should reflect the learning context related to the essential learning areas. Although the 13 recursive learnings are not taught in isolation, learnings may be clustered and targeted for focused observation when appropriate as part of assessment “for, as, and of” learning.

Further information about assessment and evaluation in Manitoba is found in various documents on the Manitoba Education and Training Assessment and Evaluation website