Discipline-based arts education (DBAE) is a comprehensive approach to instruction and learning in visual art derived primarily from the disciplines of aesthetics, art criticism, art history, and art production. Each discipline provides a different lens or perspective from which to view, understand, and value works of art, as well as the world in which art objects are created.
The model continues to evolve, expanding to include both the rigorous study of the arts and authentic connections with other subjects. The approach is now often referred to as comprehensive arts education.
Our experience as a multi-arts organization has shown that educators and parents are interested in all the art forms and in how they can be integrated across the curriculum. The structure of the Southeast Center's professional development offerings and instructional materials explore dynamic intersections and cross-curricular connections.
Intensive summer institutes have been the foundation of our work, bringing together presenters and participants with diverse backgrounds from different places. Those institutes have evolved in national Arts & Education Forums held in Chattanooga each May. Workshops are now conducted on-site at partner schools. Engaging in sustained professional development provides connections, experiences, and learning that cannot be achieved on a fragmented basis. We also know the power of authentic work and one-on-one mentoring on-site in schools throughout the academic year.
Collaborative curriculum development, team teaching, school site visits,and teacher exchanges have sparked the interest of many educators in our partner schools. We continue to explore and provide alternative methods of dynamic professional development.