Art Education (K-12)

The Visual Arts Education Program at Mars Hill University is designed to equip majors with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to provide effective visual arts instruction to student's kindergarten through twelfth grade. Completing all program requirements qualifies majors for North Carolina special subject area licensure in Art (K-12). This license confers eligibility to teach in North Carolina or in any of 44 other states with reciprocal licensure.

Program majors complete all requirements for the B.A. in Art, choosing the Studio Art concentration. These requirements include experiences in drawing, design fundamentals, and art history and options among ceramics, printmaking, photography, painting, and graphic design. In addition, majors will complete all Professional Education Requirements, including one semester of student teaching in area schools.

Among its central purposes, the program includes the following:

1) To provide experiences that lead to the understanding that art can and should be viewed by educators as an important basis for perceptual and intellectual development. Art methods courses and art courses support this purpose.

2) To provide learning experiences which enhance the students' own creative abilities, art production skills, and conceptual knowledge concerning art and its role in the culture. The studio courses in the program support this purpose.

3) To provide learning experiences which allow the student to develop a foundation on which to base his/her own philosophy of education, ideas concerning the place of art in the school curriculum, teaching style, and professional attitudes. A number of courses support this purpose. General education courses, education core courses, and art and art education methods courses help the student form a personal philosophy.

4) To provide learning experiences which help the student to develop a broad base of knowledge and skills relating to education as a whole. The professional education core courses and the art education methods courses support this purpose.

5) To promote the understanding of ways that the professional educator can continue to grow both in artistic terms and as a teacher. The professional education core and the art education methods courses support this purpose.

The Mars Hill Visual Arts Education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  The program acknowledges the standards of excellence established by those bodies as its goals, including the following:

1. Visual arts teachers know the content they teach,
2. make informed selection of instructional content,
3. are able to effectively instruct students in visual arts,
4. are well-versed in pedagogy,
5. have a comprehensive knowledge of student characteristics, abilities
and learning styles,
6. create effective instructional environments conducive to student safety,
7. effectively manage student behavior,
8. conduct meaningful, appropriate assessments of student learning,
9. develop a curriculum that embraces a respect for multiculturalism
10. develop a curriculum inclusive of the goals, values, and purposes of
education within a diverse community and society,
11. are sensitive and insightful observers of students' individual differences,
12. recognize their responsibilities to the school and to the community,
13. contribute to the growth of the profession as art educators
14. continually reflect on their own practice, and
15. know, respect, and care about students, their ideas and accomplishments.

The Mars Hill University Art Education Program asserts that the study of the visual arts possesses intrinsic value, that the integrity of arts instruction deserves safeguarding, and that visual art merits an important place in the K-12 curriculum. Arts education has also been recognized as beneficial when integrated across the curriculum--for its power to enliven, expand, and reinforce teaching and learning in other content areas. The program maintains that the goal of arts education is not solely the cumulative mastery of technical skills, but also includes understanding of the place of art in culture and history; its connections to other disciplines, and its role in the development of intellectual abilities-analysis and synthesis, problem-solving, divergent thought, critical thinking, and creativity; social skills-communication, collaboration, and critique; as well as personal qualities-commitment, perseverance, independence, self-expression, and self-critique.