Enjoying an excellent reputation nationally, the Teacher Education Program is designed to lead to K–12 teaching certification. Coursework offered through the Department of Education presents students with multiple opportunities to work in and observe K–12 grade school settings.
The main purpose of the art education program is to prepare future art teachers for successful art instruction in the public school system. The program supports the theme of “Teacher as a Reflective Problem Solver.” Consistent with this theme, courses in art, art education, and professional education are sequenced to enable students to critically examine, interpret, and evaluate their own educational behaviors as preparation for a teaching profession. The program prepares students to plan for and teach curriculum that meets the standards indicated by the West Virginia State Instructional Goals and Objectives.
As its name suggests, art education is a hybrid discipline, bridging the fields of visual art and education. As such, art education majors receive significant training from two departments. The function of the art education program is to meaningfully connect these two arenas of inquiry so as to enable students to synthesize knowledge that will serve them as effective educators.
Art education courses introduce majors to the historical and philosophical foundations, as well as to the methodologies of art education. In keeping with the Department of Art's emphasis on contemporary practice, the Art Education Program emphasizes recent research and scholarship in the field, as practiced by today's in-service art educators. Rather than adhering to any one educational philosophy, the art education program seeks to expose students to a diverse array of contemporary educational practices (including Discipline-Based Art Education, Community-Based Art Education, Critical Pedagogy and Visual Culture), so that individual students may draw the best from each as they begin to locate a unique voice as teachers.
Concurrently, in keeping with the Department of Education's theme of “Teacher as a Reflective Problem Solver,” the art education program is devoted to developing a community of original and critical thinkers. The intimate size of the program, with its seminar-sized discussion classes in its own permanent space, aims to foster such an intellectually and creatively stimulating community.