Online master's degree programs in art education are rare. The few that exist may include some on-campus requirements, such as a teaching practicum. Practice teaching requirements are mandatory for students seeking a teacher's license, and they must be completed in person. Students can usually access online lessons at any time, within established deadlines, and turn in assignments electronically.
Some programs require students to complete art education courses and courses in child development and classroom management. Other programs focus on art education in non-school settings. Courses in both types of programs usually include new media, art history and teaching methods for art. Students generally learn about research methodology, and a thesis is often required.
All states require that public school teachers be licensed. This usually calls for at least a bachelor's degree, completion of an accredited teacher education program and passing an examination.
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Master's Degree in Art Education
Partly because of the practicum component commonly found in many education programs that involves supervising students, distance learning master's degrees in art education are uncommon. Graduate students taking art education classes online study art, art history and teaching, both in theory and practical application. These programs could concentrate on teaching in schools and non-school settings, like museums.
Program Information and Requirements
Online master's degree programs in art education usually take about two years to complete. Preparatory undergraduate majors include art studio, art history, art education or a related field. Some programs accommodate a flexible start date. Internships, brief on-campus sessions and completion of a thesis or final project are common graduation requirements. Some degree programs have a strong emphasis on technology, both for student use and for mastery by students to use in their own classrooms.
List of Common Arts Education Courses
Art and education are the primary focus of art education master's degree programs. Students might also be able to choose studio art electives in order to pursue their own creative interests.
Art Education Curriculum Design and Practice
This class explores how to develop instructional content according to accepted practice and recognized state and federal standards. Lessons include theoretical approaches to curricula as they relate specifically to art education.
Foundation in Art Instruction
Students learn how to translate educational theory into classroom techniques. Common discussion topics are child development, teaching styles, classroom diversity and students' learning styles.
Art Education Research Models
This course provides students with a survey of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Students examine various research models as they apply specifically to a broad art education environment and individual classroom settings.
Career Information for Art Education Teachers
Master's degree programs in art education typically prepare students to teach art to children and young adults. Graduates could become public school teachers or teach art in a facility such as a museum.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected average job growth of 6% for kindergarten and elementary teachers between 2014 and 2024, with a median annual salary of $54,890 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Those who complete a master's degree in art education could be eligible to apply for a state teaching license.
Graduates of a master's program in art education may also apply for professional certification from an organization through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This certification is separate from a state license. The certification process includes completion of knowledge assessments and submission of a portfolio (www.nbpts.org ). NBPTS credentials relevant to aspiring art educators include the Early and Middle Childhood/Art and the Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood/Art designations.
It may be difficult for aspiring art teachers to find a distance learning master's degree program in the field, but the hybrid options that exist provide online courses in art instruction while also requiring students to participate in real-world training before they graduate.