Domain: learning about art history and current practice. Communities: learning to interact as an artist with other artists (i.e., in classrooms, in local organizations, and across the art world) and within the broader society.
"Understand the Art World" has two parts. There is "Domain;" which is the objects and events that other people have made; the stuff art history talks about. But studio artists use it differently than art historians, because they're seeing it as a resource for their making. Studio artists use the objects, information, and productions that other people created very differently than art historians do. Artists use art as ideas. You look at the work that others have made because it's a resource to give you ideas about your own making. My friend and colleague Steve Locke, a painter, says, "All of art history belongs to me." That's how he feels when he walks into a museum! And that's how we want all our students to feel. An artist responds to the work other people have made, it's another opportunity. That's pretty different from how an art historian deals with it.
The other part of "Understand Art World" talks about communities, about how artists work in communities. There is a value to what everybody brings when we work in an artistic community. The artist stands at the center, autonomously. Sometimes, visual artists work alone, though not always, and that's been true in the past and now. But working alone or in a team, artists work in relationship to others. Those others might be right there now–your peers, friends, family, or teachers; or they might be occasional visitors, like art gallerists, local artists who exhibit, or audiences at your exhibitions; or they may be people you talk to in your mind, like artists you've never met who live in China but whom you relate to through their work, in books, or film/video, or on the web. And they might be alive, but they might be long dead. Artists are in relationship to a complex network of others who affect their making. That's what "Understand Art World: Communities" is about.
Again, it's important to understand that the Habits don't happen in isolation. Even if you are doing an observational drawing assignment, besides "Observe" the other seven Habits are floating around, sort of like a Jacob's Ladder, the toy where the wooden blocks seem to turn and fall and hit one another. It's not exactly linear, but it is responsive. All the Habits are happening. The question is, "What are you emphasizing that needs to be learned by your students?" You need to think hard about how to emphasize that. If you really want students to learn to observe, then emphasize that, but think about what you are going to cluster with or combine with it so that you can help your students learn to observe. Maybe contrast it with envisioning or reflection. Some generative, mobilizing tension needs to compel them to observe more deeply. Don't try to teach all eight Studio Habits with every project. It's important to make a choice about focus. I have my pre-service teachers go through the Habits and assign the state standards to each one. There is some overlap among them, but when these teachers articulate their goals for the lesson or unit, they can go back and see which standards and Habits that goal emphasizes.