Art Teacher Education Programs

(found programs from 761 schools)

Below is a directory (broken down by state) of all of the Art Teacher Education programs we could find, from more than 1,700 accredited colleges and universities across the US.

If you have a passion for art that you desire to share with others, consider a career as an art teacher. Art teaches children to express their thoughts and communicate well before their language develops for conversation. As an art teacher, you may experience how adolescents learn through their thoughtfully and carefully designed artwork. Art teachers work in public and private schools and enjoy the autonomy of a self-designed classroom.

If you want to start your career as an art teacher, use our listings below to get school information and compare your options. When comparing schools, search for programs that match your career goals and lifestyle.

As an art teacher, you may desire to teach a specific population of students or a secondary school level. As reported in the New York Daily News, art teachers may elect to work with special education students such as autism, activity deficit disorder or other learning disabilities. Art teachers may also choose to assist gifted children to express themselves through their artwork.

The arts - whether visual, musical, or dramatic - are forms of self-expression central to every civilization. Exposure to the arts is widely accepted as key to a well-rounded education, and a steady stream of research indicates that arts education improves overall academic performance. Music, drama and visual arts teachers help students discover and develop their own artistic skills and foster a life-long appreciation for the arts.

Art Education Job Description

Arts teachers may specialize in visual arts, music or drama at the elementary, middle or secondary level. They may teach in a single school or travel from school to school within a district. Instruction tends to be generalized at the elementary level and grow increasingly specialized at the middle and secondary levels.

Depending on their specialization, arts teachers fill a variety of roles in a school. In addition to teaching classes in theory, history, or appreciation, they may direct plays and musicals or oversee the school band or orchestra.

Art Education Requirements

Art, music, and drama teachers at both the elementary and secondary levels are subject to the same state licensing requirements as other teachers. All 50 states require that public school teachers be licensed. Arts teachers in private schools do not have to be licensed. Licensing requires a bachelor's degree of education from an approved teacher education program, a student teaching internship, and a passing score on a competency test. Regular professional development is required to maintain an active teaching license.

Art Education Career Outlook

A 2008 study by the American Association for Employment in Education found that the supply of arts teachers is relatively balanced with demand. As with other teaching specialties, arts teachers will find the most job opportunities if they are geographically mobile and willing to consider positions in rural or less desirable school districts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for teachers in 2008 was between $47,000 to $51, 000. The lowest 10 percent of teachers earned between $31,000 and $34,000 while the highest 10 percent earned between $75,000 and $80,000. Private school salaries are generally lower than those of public schools.

Art Education Trends

Despite perceptions that schools are cutting arts education programs, a recent study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that the frequency of music and visual arts instruction among eighth grade students attending schools where such instruction was offered held steady between 1997 and 2008. In addition, the study found that arts teachers are incorporating more writing into their instruction but visiting museums, galleries, and exhibits less frequently.

Online Art Education Degree Programs

Whether you are an art educator already working in the classroom or a working artist looking to become an educator, there is likely an online art education program to meet your needs.

Using a variety of technology, including email, live chats, discussion forums and Web-based courses accessible at any time, online art education programs deliver the same content as traditional, campus-based programs but in a more flexible format.

Most online art education programs include courses on art history and the philosophy and pedagogy of art education, as well as studio electives in various art disciplines. Many also require a student teaching practicum and/or a comprehensive studio project. It's possible to complete an online art education degree in as little as two years.

To ensure a program meets established national standards, look for accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and/or the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Also, make sure the program you choose has strong student support services. A 2009 report on online teacher preparation programs by consulting firm Eduventures found such services are essential to student success in online programs.

Online Art Education Degrees to Consider

Prestigious Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, offers an online Master of Arts in art education that can be completed without interfering with your current classroom or day-to-day responsibilities. This program includes a nine-day summer studio session on the Boston University campus during which students take electives in various art disciplines.

East Carolina University's online Master of Arts in education with a concentration in art is designed for current elementary, middle and secondary art teachers. The university is located in Greenville, North Carolina, but this program is offered entirely online. It includes an option to complete either a thesis or a comprehensive studio project.

If you're interested in teaching in sunny Florida, the University of Florida in Gainesville has an online Master of Arts in art education with an educator preparation track that can lead to Florida K-12 art education certification. This program includes a teacher internship.

Curriculum Information for Art Education

The curriculum for an art teacher is designed to assist the aspiring educator to teach their area of expertise. Teachers use art as a medium for education that is guided by learning theories and educational research. Your curriculum may include the following courses:

The History of Art

As a window in time, art history depicts the social changes and events that influenced the great artists of their time. Historical works of art also provide a glimpse into the cultural influences, dramatic events and the issues of an era. The examination of the history of artists reveals the significance of the contributions that they made and the societal confluence of their day.

As a teacher, you may explore the role of art in the classroom and the monumental impact it provides on critical thinking skills and the development of visual analysis. Through the guidelines of theoretical frameworks and learning theories, art teachers design lesson plans and classroom activities that are child-centered and appropriate for the level of learners.

Methods of Teaching

Art teachers use an array of methods for teaching each individual child. The choice-based approach supports multiple modes of teaching and learning. As a teacher, you may approach your students with direct or indirect learning, group sessions or teach the entire class. Learning theories guide you to select the appropriate method and adapt the technique for individual learners.

Known as Teaching for Artistic Behavior, art teachers use psychology, sociology and learning theories to assess the motivation and abilities of their students. The four basic contexts of this approach are as follows:

  • Personal Context
  • Pedagogical Context
  • Classroom Context
  • Assessment

Child Psychology and Development

This class may explore the cognitive, mental and emotional aspects of children and adolescents as it pertains to education. Through grand theories of learning, the development of infants to adults is explored. Although each child may develop in different stages of growth at separate rates, a timeline of events is defined and the influence on behaviors is identified.

Childhood and adolescence is a remarkable time of behavior that is influenced by several factors. Children may need adaptive techniques in creating artwork from lack of motor coordination, discerning social skills or learning disabilities. As an art teacher, you may be expected to identify common learning disabilities in your students and adapt the classroom as necessary.

Art Curriculum and Instruction

The construction of course planning, learning materials and curriculum is guided by learning theories, education research and conceptual frameworks for education. You may explore the need for the design of a rational sequence in classroom activities and assignments that allow students to build knowledge from previous lessons. Curriculum design is constructed by the appropriateness of learners, their level of ability and may be adapted for individual students with special needs.

Designing curriculum with intentional, reflective choices allows you to achieve the goals and objectives you have selected for the class. Using learning theories to construct activities that are integral to the course experience may help students identify and approach their goals.

Evaluation and Assessment

As your program progresses, you may learn how to implement your curriculum design and evaluate the success of the course or activity. Through educational research, teachers weigh validity, course objectives and student response to redesign the class curriculum if necessary. With evaluation instruments grounded in research, teachers learn the continuous process of modifying the courses and activities to reach the objectives of the classroom.

Your program may include a teaching practicum that will provide you with real-world experience in a functioning classroom. A project may include the designing of your course or activity, implementing the plan in the classroom and evaluating the results through learning theories and evaluation tools.

Useful Resources

Find more than 700 schools below that offer accredited programs to help you earn your degree of education.


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Are we missing any schools or programs? If so, please let us know! We appreciate your help in making this the best directory of Education Degree Programs on the web. You can send us an email at schools@educationdegree.com.