The Arts have the capacity to engage, inspire and enrich all students, exciting the imagination and encouraging them to reach their creative and expressive potential. The term 'creativity' plays a critical role in all arts subjects. For the Western Australian Curriculum, the following explanation of the creative process is useful:
[There are] … four characteristics of creative processes. First, they always involve thinking or behaving imaginatively. Second, overall this imaginative activity is purposeful: that is, it is directed to achieving an objective. Third, these processes must generate something original. Fourth, the outcome must be of value in relation to the objective. We therefore define creativity as: Imaginative activity fashioned so as to produce outcomes that are both original and of value. Robinson, K. (1999) National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education: "All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education". p. 30
The Arts learning area comprises five subjects: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts. Together they provide opportunities for students to learn how to create, design, represent, communicate and share their imagined and conceptual ideas, emotions, observations and experiences, as they discover and interpret the world.
The Arts entertain, inform, challenge, and encourage responses, and enrich our knowledge of self, communities, world cultures and histories. The Arts contribute to the development of confident and creative individuals, nurturing and challenging active and informed citizens. Learning in the Arts is based on cognitive, affective and sensory/kinaesthetic response to arts practices as students revisit increasingly complex content, skills and processes with developing confidence and sophistication through the years of schooling.
Dance is expressive movement with purpose and form. Through Dance, students represent, question and celebrate human experience, using movement as the medium for personal, social, emotional, physical and cultural communication.
Active participation as dancers, choreographers and audiences promotes wellbeing and social inclusion. Learning in and through Dance enhances students' knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures and contexts and develops their personal, social and cultural identity.
Drama is the expression and exploration of personal, emotional, social and cultural worlds, through role and situation, that engages, entertains and challenges. Students create meaning as drama makers, performers and audiences as they engage with and analyse their own and others' stories and points of view.
In making and staging drama, they learn how to be focused, innovative and resourceful, collaborate and take on responsibilities for drama presentations. Students develop a sense of curiosity and empathy by exploring the diversity of drama in the contemporary world and in other times, traditions, places and cultures.
Media Arts enables students to analyse past technologies, and use existing and emerging technologies as they explore imagery, text and sound to create meaning. Students participate in, experiment with, and interpret cultures, media genres and styles, and different communication practices.
Students learn to be critically aware of ways that media are culturally used and negotiated, and are dynamic and central to the way they make sense of the world and themselves. They learn to interpret, analyse and develop media practices through their experiences in making media arts. They are inspired to imagine, collaborate and take on responsibilities in planning, designing and producing media artworks.
Music has the capacity to engage, entertain, challenge, inspire and empower students. Studying music stimulates imaginative and innovative responses, critical thinking and aesthetic understanding, and encourages students to reach their creative and expressive potential.
Music exists distinctively in every culture and is a basic expression of human experience. Students' active participation in music, individually and collaboratively, draws on their own traditions and life experiences. These experiences help them to appreciate and meaningfully engage with music practices and traditions of other times, places, cultures and contexts.
Visual Arts incorporates all three fields of art, craft and design. Students create visual representations that communicate, challenge and express their own and others' ideas, both as artists and audience members. They develop perceptual and conceptual understanding, critical reasoning and practical skills through exploring and expanding their understanding of their world, and other worlds.
Visual Arts engages students in a journey of discovery, experimentation and problem-solving relevant to visual perception and visual language. Students undertake this journey by utilising visual techniques, technologies, practices and processes. Visual Arts supports students' ability to recognise and develop cultural appreciation of visual arts in the past and contemporary contexts through exploring and responding to artists and their artworks.