Online Art Teacher Certification, Certificate and Degree Info

A bachelor's degree in art education, rather than a certificate, is typically needed to teach at the primary or secondary level. Degree programs are available online and provide learners with a thorough overview of art and design as well as the ability to translate that knowledge to students. Those who wish to become art teachers must be certified (or licensed) in their state.

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Essential Information

While many schools offer bachelor's degrees in art education, only a few programs are available online. Some programs are entirely online, but many are hybrids that call for a mix of online and on-campus courses. The online lectures can be viewed at the student's convenience; students communicate with instructors and other students through e-mail, video conferencing and online forums. Students seeking their teacher's licenses must complete practice teaching experiences in schools.

Students in an art education program focus on the skills they'll need to teach at the elementary and secondary levels. They take courses in general education methods as well as in the teaching of art. The programs usually include courses in types of art, art history and artistic skills such as drawing. Other courses cover methods of teaching art to children and adolescents. General teaching theory, child development and classroom management courses are included as well.

All states require that public school teachers be licensed. Licensing requirements generally include holding a bachelor's degree, completing an approved teacher education program that includes student teaching and passing a teaching competency test.


Online Bachelor's Degree in Art Education Overview

Students explore the theoretical and practical skills necessary to teach art at the elementary and secondary school level. They leverage analysis and research to understand and develop effective art teaching skills and methods. Interpretation, critiquing, motivation and classroom management topics are also explored. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate to enroll; participants may come away with a Bachelor of Art Education or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education.

Program Information and Requirements

A number of these programs are offered completely online; however, some may include a mix of distance-education and on-campus lectures, along with studio work. Most institutions require students to complete an internship or field practicum to satisfy the curriculum. Online courses are viewed through learning management systems, such as Blackboard, so that students can interact with their professors and classmates through discussion boards and chat rooms.

Most bachelor's degree programs prepare students for certification, or licensure, as an art teacher. Applicants must successfully complete and pass PRAXIS/PRAXIS II exams that are administered and certified by their own state. PRAXIS exams cannot be taken online, but online test preparation courses are available through a variety of providers, such as the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Kaptest.com.

Common Online Courses

Coursework generally emphasizes technical artistic skills as well as the ability to translate that information to a classes ranging from young children to teenagers.

Fundamentals of Art Education Course

This course provides an historical, sociological and philosophical overview of art education. Topics of discussion include curriculum development and effective instruction techniques for K-12 students. A field experience allows students to observe learning concepts in real-world classroom situations.

Drawing for Art Educators Course

Students learn classical drawing principles through the use of chiaroscuro techniques. They draw various subjects in charcoal in order to develop skills in observation, form, value and space. Peers critique all pieces with the goal of understanding teaching methods and the overall learning process.

Teaching Skills and Classroom Management Course

This class explores fundamental concepts and tools in pedagogy, focusing on effective teaching skills and a positive learning environment. Major areas of study include student-teacher relationships and the assessment of academic performance. Students develop an art education curriculum that can be evaluated by the instructor as well as classmates.

Career Information for Graduates

Bachelor's degree-holders are qualified to seek positions as teachers in elementary and high schools, provided they have acquired certification or licensure in their particular state of employment. As of May 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reports that the median annual salary for elementary, middle and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180. Those interested in teaching art at the postsecondary level can choose from online graduate programs in this same field; post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also available.

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