Designed for students who have completed an undergraduate major in studio art, the MAT Art Education program at SVA can be completed either as a full-time, one-year intensive or as a two-year, part-time program, ideal for those who want to continue working while they complete the coursework required to qualify for the New York State Initial Certification in Visual Art. In advance of their open house, SVA Close Up caught up with department chair Rose Viggiano and asked her a few questions about teaching art in 2015.
What are some of the qualities that make a good art teacher?
To be a teacher is a calling. You should be someone who wants to serve community and change peoples’ lives—but realizing this is a big challenge, you also need an open and flexible personality. Children will love and challenge you at the same time, so patience is important. You need an understanding that art changes peoples’ lives and the dedication to teach it.
What is the role of an art practice in an art educator’s life?
We believe that in order to be an art teacher you have to be an artist first. Therefore we encourage all our students to continue with their art practice, as this is the fuel for their present and future teaching practice. Their art practice will be the foundation for their curriculum and will inspire and motivate their teaching. The arts develop learning, self-reflection, and cognitive thinking. We help them to develop their artistic interests into curriculum that is age appropriate for children ages K-12.
How has art education changed with the introduction of digital tools and how has it stayed the same?
Technology is a tool for teachers and students, and we try to integrate it into our teaching philosophy. Still, students must have a foundation in drawing and painting in order to better use technology for their artmaking.
We offer a class especially to address these concerns, where we ask questions like: What are the differences between handmade objects and digital images? How much time should students spend working on computers? How do we combat cyber bulling? MAT students learn how to develop digital curriculum into their classroom teaching.
Who should consider attending the Open House?
Anyone interested in teaching. If you want a job where you make a difference in childrens’ lives and open them up to their creative process then you are in the right place.
For more information and to reserve a space in the MAT Art Education Open House on Friday, November 13, click here.