--School of Art and Design
--University of Illinois at Chicago

The Art Education program provides the education and experiences needed to become effective teacher/artists and teacher/researchers at the high school and middle school level. Students completing the program are awarded a B.F.A. in Art Education and meet the requirements for Illinois State teacher certification.

The UIC School of Art and Design Art Education Program is rooted in the understanding that effective art teaching links students’ life experiences to experiencing contemporary and traditional art forms. The Art Education curriculum develops student teachers’ understanding of art and visual culture as it encourages student teachers to explore and develop their own art practices. Through the program, student teachers consider how serious and joyful aesthetic investigations can be shared with their students. The Art Education curriculum is based on the premise that an understanding of aesthetic theory, technical competence in art making, familiarity with contemporary critical practices, and skill in effective communication, supported by a broad background in the liberal arts and sciences, is vital to proficient and inspiring teaching.

The process of art education is studied from the perspective of the critical pedagogy movement; students are encouraged to view art teaching and learning as not merely a site for the transmission of previously made knowledge, but rather as a site of cultural production. Students are supported in drawing from many disciplines--art making, aesthetics, art history, critical theory, and cultural studies--as they formulate an individual teaching practice that encourages the widest possible scope of intellectual and aesthetic inquiry. The program cultivates the study of ways of art making that are rooted in diverse communities and that utilize collaborative strategies of learning and making. UIC’s Art Education program is committed to creating new models of art education that are multi-cultural and that aid students in developing the tools to analyze and contribute to contemporary culture.

Foundations of Art Education (AD 281) links the study of everyday practices of teaching such as lesson planning, developing a safe and constructive learning environment, and stimulating creative problem solving to an exploration of the meaning and possibilities of art and culture in postmodern times. In Art Education Practicum (AD 382), students gain practical experience in classroom teaching and curriculum design through participating in the Spiral Workshop, a Saturday program in contemporary art for Chicago teenagers. In Spring Semester, the Student Teaching experience (AD 484 & 485) at selected Chicago and suburban schools gives students the opportunity to develop their teaching skills under the guidance of experienced mentor teachers. An accompanying Praxis Seminar provides students with a time and place to make connections between their lived experiences in the schools and various theories of art, education, and culture. In the closing weeks of the seminar, students prepare portfolios to seek employment as art teachers and work together to articulate their individual visions of a thought-provoking and creative art teacher.

For information on entering the UIC Art Education Program, contact an academic advisor at the School of Art and Design office, 312-996-3337.