Art Teacher Video: Educational Requirements and Career Options for Art Teachers

Art Teacher Video: Educational Requirements and Career Options for Art Teachers Transcript

Teaching is widely regarded to be among the most important and rewarding professions. Arts education attracts those who wish to combine a love for teaching and an appreciation of human expression. Art teachers instruct students on techniques in drawing, painting, sketching, watercolor, computer graphics and other media. These professionals have a hand in fostering our country's next generation of great artists.


Art teachers help students at all education levels to express themselves using visual media. For decades, education in the arts has been a staple of public education in K-12 settings, private schools and universities. While the vigor of instruction can vary significantly, art teachers in these settings provide instruction on methods including drawing, painting sculpture, ceramics, printmaking and photography. Multimedia forms, such as videography, digital photography and graphic design, are increasingly becoming points of emphasis within curricula.

Art teachers help students manipulate pens, pencils, paints, chalk, clay, paper, software programs and other media to create original works. In primary and secondary settings, these teachers also play an important role in the healthy development of their students. In addition to instructional duties, art teachers evaluate students' work, address academic or social problems and perform administrative duties.

Typical Coursework

Educational requirements for art teachers vary in large part upon teaching level. In K-12 settings, a bachelor's degree in fine arts or design has traditionally been required. Due to shortages of teaching professionals, however, most states have allowed for alternative education routes to licensure. Teachers at private schools need not be licensed, but generally must have a bachelor's degree. Arts education students can expect to take classes in curriculum implementation and instructional strategies. They must, of course, also be familiar with the art disciplines in which they will be expected to teach. Often this training is achieved through studio courses in university art departments.

Higher Learning/Graduate Opportunities

Those interested in postsecondary teaching positions must often complete graduate work. These programs provide students with additional training in instructional theory, arts programming and curriculum implementation. Graduate students usually complete significant studio work and may have to participate in community education programs through schools, museums and arts organizations. Research and scholarly contributions to the field of arts education may also be required. While vigorous, graduate studies provide for a decided advantage in the pursuit of high-profile positions.


For many people, teaching art is a passion rooted in both an appreciation for visual expression and a desire to foster students' creative development. While these careers can be very rewarding, they can also be quite challenging. Patience and excellent communication skills are crucial toward establishing trust with and motivating students. Art teachers must also be attuned to the social and emotional needs of students in their charge, particularly in K-12 settings.


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