Your Online Resource for Art Education Programs
There are a variety of different degrees available for those who want to become art teachers. The most typical degree is in art education. An art education degree is a great way for an art enthusiast to pursue a career by teaching students about art.
What is an Art Education Degree?
If you love creating and discussing art and enjoy being around kids, then this may be the perfect degree for you. Both the teaching of art and the planning of lesson plans can be a creative and artistic process. As a future art teacher you must be prepared to mix your knowledge of art history, methods, and materials with your specific students’ energy, interests, and age level.
An art education degree will teach you how to show different grade levels correct art methods and techniques. They’ll also provide students the opportunity to explore their creative selves. Art educators create safe and supportive environments for students to understand and learn about art. Art classes have been shown to improve problem solving and critical thinking skills in students. Additionally, art classes are often a safe haven for students who may struggle in other courses. A great art teacher can help students gain confidence and take pride in their creations. If you become an art teacher you can make a deep impact on students beyond the classroom.
The Different Art Education Degree Options
As with many areas of study, art education degrees come in a variety of forms. You should get a degree that fits with your art education career goals. Some degree options require previous art education, while others start immediately after high school. The following are a few degree options that you can choose from:
- Associate’s Degree: These are typically two-year programs that prepare students to transfer into four-year schools to earn their Bachelor of Arts degree in art education. This is a good plan if you want to explore art classes without committing to the major. An associate’s degree allows you to get your general education courses finished, and you’ll be able to take general art courses such as painting or drawing. These credits will transfer over when you’re ready to get your four-year art education degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree in art education that prepares students to become licensed art teachers in their state. A student can focus on elementary, middle, or high school education levels. Typically these programs involve a heavy course load in general education courses, in addition to education and art courses. Additionally there is a semester of student teaching that a student must complete to get an education certificate.
- Master’s Degree: A Master’s of Art in art education is a graduate level degree program. It’s designed for students who have a BA degree in a related subject area such as art or education. These degrees are advanced degrees and therefore enable students to teach at community colleges or to become involved in museum education and arts administration.
- Doctoral Degree: A doctoral degree is the highest level of education a person can get for art education. These programs prepare students to teach art at the college or university level. They also allow graduates to become involved in leadership or administration roles in art education.
Schools with Art Education Degrees:
You can get an art education degree from a variety of different schools. These degrees can be found at specialized art colleges, at many universities and colleges, and at a few online schools and programs. Most specialized colleges, either on-campus or online, offer numerous types of visual art and design programs. Therefore these schools let you narrow your art education specialization. On the other hand, other programs can be more comprehensive and cover other subjects such as music, fashion, theater, culinary arts, and more.
Since there are so many different school options for art education degrees, it’s important to narrow down your search. A few important questions to ask when looking for a good art education degree program include:
- Is the art program approved by your state’s department of education?
- Is it accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education?
- Are professors active in the larger community as artists and researchers?
- Are the program’s art studios well equipped and up-to-date?
- Are class sizes small enough to allow plenty of contact between students and faculty?
- Will you have access to museums, galleries, and art libraries with good collections?
- How much does the program cost and are there scholarship or grant options offered through the school?
Those who wish to go to an art education school or program must be skilled artists. They should have patience, creativity, originality, organizational skills, and the ability to inspire students and help them produce art. An upbeat, flexible and encouraging art teacher can make all the difference to a child’s education.
Art Education Degree Coursework
The coursework for art education degrees varies depending on the type of program or college you’re enrolled in. A typical degree will have general education or liberal arts courses, major core courses in education and art, and elective courses. A four-year degree is usually 120 credits. Some examples of common art education courses include:
- Artistic Development of Children
- Curriculum Design in Art Education
- Processes and Structures in the Visual Arts
- Artistic Development: Adolescence to Adulthood
- Technology Applications for Art Teachers
- 2-D Design
- Figure Sculpture
- Drawing for Art Educators
- Developmental Psychology
- History of Art Education
- Curriculum Analysis in Art Education Settings
- Museum Literacy
Often a graduate degree program will end with a thesis or capstone project. These projects vary from program to program. They usually undertake original research or involve producing an original art project based on art education issues or experiences that have arisen through internship or coursework. Through thesis projects students will demonstrate their advanced skills in art, their knowledge and experience in education and their readiness for the profession.
There are many related majors to art education degrees. Some of these majors may include art history, studio art, art therapy, graphic design, elementary school education, middle school education, high school education, or more. Typically colleges will combine classes from different degrees to create an art education degree. Sometimes you can also receive the same education that an art education degree offers through double majoring in some of these other majors.
Career Options for Art Education Degree Graduates
The obvious career choice for an art education graduate is to become a teacher. Even within that career path though there are many options. You can become an art teacher at public or private schools, or at universities and colleges. You could teach an array of age levels—preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, or high school. You can also choose to teach about art in other venues than just schools. Many art education degree graduates end up in community venues or at museum art programs. Summer camps and after school programs are also looking for educators who have training in teaching art.
Sometimes art education degree graduates specialize in a particular area of work. These areas may include painting, illustrating, sketching, sculpting, printmaking, and restoring. With these special skills art educators can work outside of the classroom setting by holding workshops or classes for those who want to learn a particular form of art. An art educator can also become an illustrator or designer on the side.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2008 the median annual wages of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180. The lowest 10 percent earned $30,970 to $34,280 and the top 10 percent earned $75,190 to $80,970. According to the American Federation of Teachers, beginning teachers with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $33,227 in the 2005-2006 school year.
Additional Art Education Degree Information:
- National Art Education Association: This is a professional membership organization for visual arts educators, including elementary, middle and high school visual arts teachers, college and university professors, researchers and scholars, teaching artists, administrators and supervisors, and art museum educators, as well as more than 45,000 students who are members of the National Art Honor Society or are university students preparing to be art educators.
- Arts Education Association: This organization and website provides information and communication about current and emerging arts education policies, issues, and activities at the national, state, and local levels.
- College Art Association: This website provides services such as a career center, publications, conferences, and more for art educators and art education students.
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