Art Methods

This is an overview of an undergraduate semester course for pre-service teachers of Art. Prerequisite to this course are foundational courses in the School of Education.

Essential Questions: Choosing to become a teacher of art.

  1. Why should you choose to become a teacher of art?
  2. Why should you, as an art teacher, explore a range of instructional curriculum choices?
  3. What must be considered in teacher choice making?
  4. What do you need to know to become a teacher of art?

Overview: Stages of Children’s Development

Overview: The roots of art education.

  1. Why do we make art?
    1. “One of the most striking features of human societies through history and across the globe is a prodigious involvement with the arts.” – Dissanayake on the universal interest humans have for the arts. “Making special.” Decoration can have meaning; signs could stand for ideas.
    2. Conceptions of the learner.
      1. Is the mind of a child a blank tablet waiting to receive the imprint of the teacher?
      2. Are learners passive receivers, active seekers, or some combination of both?
      3. Does learning take place most efficiently by using all the senses?
      4. Are drill and repetition necessary?
      5. Are there different learning styles?
      6. To what extent does learning transfer from one task or problem to another?
      7. Is learning self-determined, or is it the result of environmental influences?
      8. The evolution of art education
        1. Business and industry
        2. Cizek: children’s creative art production
        3. Early art educators

i.     Arthur Wesley Dow: elements and principles

ii.     Royal B. Farnum: Picture Study Movement

  1. Owatonna Project
  2. The Bauhaus
  3. Lowenfeld
  4. DBAE
  5. Visual Culture/visual literacy

Scope and Sequence: Introduction to Teaching Art

Oct. 21 The Big Idea: IdentityThe Essential Question: What makes you YOU?

Meeting at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art to explore artworks in small groups and to consider artists communicate ideas of self and identity through their artworks.

On your own. Use your cell phone to capture video reflections of yourself responding to the following prompts: “What can the viewing of an artwork reveal about an artist’s identity?” “What can viewing artworks reveal about your own identity?” Transfer these short video reflections to your computer.Write a comparative art criticism. You are comparing Picasso’s “Portrait of Gertrude Stein” to Milton Glaser’s iconic pop art portrait of Bob Dylan, which decorated posters, t-shirts, and album covers in the 1960s and early 70s. Remember that criticism is NOT critique; you are not judging, you are analyzing and evaluating. You are providing enough information that other viewers may make their own decisions about the artworks. Post this to your blog.


Oct. 27

Use of Images.

Meeting at Oak Park, room W102.

Opening discussion: Picasso/Glaser imagesWhat can a portrait tell us?

Unconventional portraits.

Written in Memory.

The Crit Cube: My Father by Jeffrey Wolin


On your own. Continue your video reflections.Write a short reflection and post to your blog, describing your thoughts about how to use images to initiate student discussion that is directed toward thinking about big ideas.
Nov. 3


Meeting at Oak Park, room W102.

Share video reflections.Art:21

Using dilemma: student dialogue and critical thinking exercise.

Discussion: What makes you YOU?

On your own. Artistic Moments assignment, a copy of which should be added to each of your blogs.Schedule a thirty minute time slot for review next week.
Nov. 10


Meeting at Oak Park, room W102.Schedule a thirty minute time slot to review your posted work to date and to discuss the final assignment, which includes:

  • Creation of artwork using product/process matrix
  • Documentation of artwork in progress added to blog.
  • Mini museum,  post proposal to blog; post final to blog.
  • Plan unit with a minimum of six activities, post proposed outline to blog; post final unit outline to blog.
  • Assessment system, including formative and summative models as well as scoring criteria for your entire unit.
  • Teach a 15 minute lesson.
On your own. Post documentation of artwork in progress to blog. You should document at least the beginning and end stages, with at least two middle stages of completion. Your artwork will be based upon the choice you make using the product/process matrix.Post your mini museum proposal. As you create the mini museum you should photographically document the process and post a final version to your blog.Plan and post your proposed unit outline to your blog.Plan to teach a 15 minute introductory lesson using your mini museum as a primary active learning focal point.
Nov. 17


Meeting at Oak Park, room W102.

What is curriculum? Discussion of one format. Discussion of standards.Review actual artworks that are in progress and in-progress documentation online. Discuss and share with class. Formative assessment and critique.

Review unit plan concepts.

On your own. Review the comments and suggestions to your unit outline, some of which may be added to your blog from the teacher and post a final version to your blog. Review your proposed unit and align to Missouri GLEs.With regard to YOUR unit concept, complete activity that will be outlined in class and post to blog.
Dec. 1

Student artwork.

Meeting at Oak Park, room W102.

Hands on: Photographing student artworks.Hands on: Digital exhibition of student artworks.

Review of individual progress if needed.

On your own. Using the techniques learned during this evening’s session, update your blog to include high quality images of exemplars in each of your required lesson plans posted on your visual art educator blog. Take this time to also review your lessons for completion.
Dec. 7


Meeting at Oak Park, room W102.

Bring your finished artwork for sharing, discussion and critique.Discussion of formative vs. summative assessment.

Mastery assessment tools.

Rubrics, scoring guides, checklists.

Guided practice.

On your own. Review your unit and all of your posted lessons. Post a written self reflection to your blog that addresses the following self evaluation of your work.

  • Have you clearly defined the anticipated learning outcomes? If not, what needs to be done?
  • What will your feedback look like if I walked into your classroom to observe you interacting with students?
  • Specifically, how will students be graded?

Be sure to update any shortcomings that you note in your lessons.


Dec. 15 Lesson presentation.Meeting at Oak Park, room W102.

Teach 15 minute introductory lesson and mini museum.Submit final digital portfolio.




Ongoing preservice teacher feedback follows a Cognitive Coaching model and addresses the following key areas.

  • Instructional Communication. The teacher is able to articulate ideas and clearly explain their artistic purposes and intentions.
  • Visual Exemplars. The teacher demonstrates artworks that exemplify critical and creative thinking skills, along with practical and experimental applications for visual problem-solving.
  • Technical Skills. The teacher’s artwork reveals acceptable and convincing art-making skills in their chosen media.
  • Professional Practice. The teacher manages classroom procedures and creates an environment of respect and rapport to establish a culture of learning; and provides positive feedback to actively involve learners while checking for understanding.
  • Instructional Planning. The teacher develops instructional planning that aligns with objectives and GLEs; demonstrates knowledge of content; plans lessons based upon mastery learning and communicates objectives to students, and follows an engaging and sensible framework that links learning to real-life application.

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