Art education programs train students to keep a watchful eye over children
as they make a mess, get their fingers dirty and let their imaginations run
There are a variety of routes to an art education degree. Many schools
offer an art education specialization through the art department. Students
receive a bachelor of fine arts degree in art education. This route usually
takes four or five years.
"They can then acquire certification to teach in public schools and a K-to-12
art endorsement," explains Elizabeth Garber. She teaches in the art education
program at the University of Arizona. "This means that they may teach art
in any grade, kindergarten through Grade 12."
Some schools offer art education degrees through the college or faculty
"Individuals wishing to become art teachers at the secondary level enroll
in our B.Ed. degree program," says Robert Dalton, an art education professor.
"Our M.Ed. degree is aimed at experienced teachers who want to return to university
to develop themselves professionally, to become more knowledgeable and skilled
teachers of art."
He says students have another choice as well: "Some students choose to
complete a bachelor of fine arts degree in visual art and then apply for admission
to the faculty of education to enter the 10-month post-degree professional
program," which allows grads to be certified as teachers.
Garber says students in her program can expect to take introductory and
upper-level courses in studio art and art history. They also take courses
that cover the history and philosophy of art education, methods of teaching
esthetics, art criticism, art history and studio art. Plus, students will
participate in practice teaching.
Obviously, it's important to focus on art classes in high school.
"I would encourage joining the yearbook club or other art-related clubs
in school, such as a photography club," says Dalton. "This would broaden a
student's exposure to equipment, materials and visual organization. Outside
school, I would suggest visiting art galleries and reading about artists."
You could also volunteer at a museum, work with children in an art camp
or become active in community art programs that involve children, the aged
or the homeless.
The cost of textbooks in art education is relatively low, but students
will also pay for some art supplies.
In the U.S., many college art programs, including art education programs,
are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
This means they've met certain curriculum requirements set out by the association.
But it's not necessary to go to an accredited school to find work in art education.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field, see School Teachers
-- Kindergarten, Elementary and Secondary
An art site for kids, with activities
Young at Art Children's Museum
See what this art museum offers for children