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Davis Publications, Inc.
2014 Catalog
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Explorations in Art Elementary

21st-Century Skills

Each program, K–12, from Davis Publications reflects and emphasizes the core values, skills, and competencies that have been identified as skills that are critical for our young people in the 21st century. Each of our textbook programs supports critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and creative problem-solving. This emphasis begins in Explorations in Art, K–8 with our theme-based and process-based approach. Below are correlations showing how Explorations in Art addresses 21st-century skills throughout the program.


Expand beyond basic competency to understanding at much higher levels.

The themes found throughout Explorations in Art are informed by the ideas of educator Ernest Boyer, and are aligned with the principles of 21st century-skills, to ensure that students relate to content, and how people learn, rather than simply the building blocks of the mechanics of art, such as the elements of art and the principles of design.

Emphasize learning skills, including information and media literacy skills and communication skills.

Throughout Explorations in Art, students learn to assess and create media designed to communicate with a variety of audiences. There are numerous opportunities for students to communicate with their peers in assessing their own work. Visual literacy, which includes media literacy skills, is found throughout each unit.

Emphasize learning skills, such as thinking and problem-solving skills, critical thinking and systems thinking, and problem identification.

Explorations in Art ensures that each studio in which students create artworks is based on a five-step creative process aligned with the writing process, which focuses on the thinking and problem solving involved in art creation, rather than a simple “make-and-take” art project.

Emphasize learning skills, such as interpersonal and self-directional skills, accountability, and adaptability.

Davis’s Explorations in Art emphasizes peer revision and inquiry-based projects that focus on interpersonal skills with peers. Self-direction is emphasized in each studio, where students are given a problem or goal to solve. To reinforce accountability, assessment criteria are always presented prior to each studio, and revisited at the end of each studio.

Use 21st-century tools to develop learning skills.

Each unit in Davis’s Explorations in Art emphasizes the value of 21st-century tools, such as the Internet and software
programs to assist in learning about art, artworks, and artists, and in creating unique artworks.

Teach and learn in a 21st-century context that is relevant, meaningful, and engaging, and that expands beyond the classroom.

The themes in Explorations in Art not only relate to people across time and place, but also relate to each student’s personal life. Each child can relate to the unit themes, such as Celebrations, Belonging, and Change. The Unit Close for each Teacher’s Edition lesson encourages students to take what they have learned, and apply it beyond the classroom in their community and daily activities.

Teach and learn 21st-century content, such as global awareness and civic literacy.

Unique to Explorations in Art, each unit has a four-page lesson on global awareness. Civic literacy is taught throughout the program, as students learn about the role of art in government, how artworks can influence the public’s decision making, and the importance of art across time and around the globe in contributing to effective citizenship and civic literacy.

Use 21st-century assessments that measure 21st-century skills.

Explorations in Art uses rubrics to measure student progress, and students are taught peer- and self-revision through rubrics. Each unit concludes with an authentic real-world assessment that is measured through a rubric based on 21st-century skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, innovation, and problem-solving.
© 2014 Davis Publications, Inc.