Art Education

To be successful, artists and teachers must draw upon creativity, passion, and a commitment to excellence in their chosen craft.

The art education department prepares students to be skillful, imaginative, and socially engaged teachers and artists.

As the only free-standing public college of art and design in the country, MassArt advocates for access to and equity in art and art education. The art education department nurtures students in developing contemporary and historical understandings of the theories and practices of learning, art, and teaching. Because these areas interact and inform one another in dynamic, often messy ways, the faculty challenges students to become reflective, resourceful, socially-committed artist-educators. Students develop understanding of the interdependence among these practices in coursework and urban contexts through our community partnerships, internships, and field-based experiences. Our graduates, then, exemplify the interdependent roles of the contemporary artist-educator.

Students can choose from four possible programs:

  • Art teacher education provides a broad, generalist education in studio work and eligibility for state licensure to teach in the visual arts
  • Studio education provides expertise and preparation in a single studio area eligibility for state licensure to teach in the visual arts
  • Museum education specializes in art history, museum study, and art education. It is intended for students who want to work in museums or programs interfacing with collections or gallery exhibitions.
  • Community education prepares students to work in settings outside the traditional classroom — in hospitals, after-school programs, cultural centers, or homeless shelters. The studio portion of the program provides a broad, generalist education in art. 

Students in all four programs take introductory seminars in teaching new and traditional media and human development. They also learn about different instructional methods and the challenges their students face in their daily lives. In addition, all students are required to complete four interdisciplinary portfolio courses, which demonstrate their competency in art making.

MassArt's Saturday Studios program affords an opportunity for students to gain supervised and supported hands-on experience as educators by teaching Saturday morning art classes to children grades 4 through 12.

While preparation for the Initial License mandates a minimum of 150 hours of student teaching practicum, the art education faculty believe that students profit from additional experience and require 300+ hours in the classroom for BFA candidates.

View the annual report (PDF) to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.