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Art Education Overview

The Art and Design Education program will enable you to be certified to teach art in the public schools, grades K-12. Students entering this program will become confident in teaching and gain competence as a practicing artist or designer.  This is an opportunity to excel as an art educator and become proficient within a studio concentration.

The program is a comprehensive experience, with a focus on the most current concepts for using art to develop knowledge and skills in young students. You will become acquainted with a wide range of media, as well as a concentration in the studio area of your choice. We include full use of technology to develop effective lesson planning strategies, with integration of laptop computers, digital video cameras and projectors, and access to a large on line library of world art. You will expand your knowledge of contemporary artists, explore how they create meaning in their work, and create engaging lessons that address concerns of young people in our current society. Your lessons will develop exciting and authentic experiences in art making. The skills you will teach will be important to your students’ success as creative problem solvers of the future.

Classes focus on discussion of topics in art education, studio projects that develop and demonstrate your learning in art education, and readings in this discipline and world art forms relevant to teaching. Importance is placed on postmodern concepts and processes in art, and in multicultural art. Emphasis will be on the understanding of meaningful themes for student art, and in research to find examples of relevant art works. You will learn to develop multi-media computer-based presentations, and to create lessons focused on meaningful themes.

Field experiences are included in classes at all levels, observing and teaching in local schools. You will have many chances to experience teaching in K-12 classrooms, before your final student teaching experience. Additionally, you will discover the excitement of creating and exhibiting your own body of artwork as an undergraduate art and design student. We believe a successful art teacher should be an active artist or designer. You will have the same studio experiences and exhibitions as any other art and design student. You will find this to be a unique aspect of the Art Education program here at NMU.

Art Education offers an artist the opportunity to make a living and make an important contribution to society and the lives of young people. Graduates of the NMU teacher education programs are highly regarded, both in Michigan and nationwide, and we have an accomplished record of successful employment of our new teachers in public schools. Art Education graduates can also go on to become museum education directors, community art directors, art therapists, art administrators, and more.