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Student Teaching in Art
Marvin Bartel, instructor
Student teachers and supervising teachers are referred to the printed publication, 2001-2002 STUDENT TEACHER GUIDE, Goshen College and Cooperating School Communities.

Student Teachers in Art are supervised by a faculty member from the Art Department and from the Teacher Education Department with primary supervision from the Art Faculty.  


Student teachering is an awsome opportunity to learn and to serve. The primary responsibility is to learn from and collaborate with the supervising classroom teacher. As a temporary classroom worker and apprentice, the student teacher does everything possible to leave the classroom teacher and the students in a better position at the end than they were found at the beginning.

Before accepting a placement, there should be a visit between the teacher and the student teacher. The supervising teacher and the student teacher need to gain assurance that they are able to accept each other's philosophy of art education.

There needs to be a regularly scheduled set time for the supervising teacher and student teacher to discuss and process all that happens. During the initial week or weeks prior to teaching, the student teacher is encouraged to learn by doing all the routine paperwork involved in managing an art class. The student teacher needs to arrive in the mornings early enough to be present when the supervising teacher arrives. At the end of the teaching day, the student teacher needs to stay as long as the supervising teacher stays, or as long as their is work to complete, which ever is longer. Any changes in these expectations need to be clearly communicated and agreed upon in advance.

Art student teachers are in a unique position to help their students cultivate art skills, art knowledge, and creativity. Here are a few ideas new teachers may want to keep in mind. 

  • Questions compared to suggestions
    Some art teachers unintentionally foster student dependency when they answer compositional questions for their students. When a student asks for advice, how can an art teacher phrase questions to encourage students to think for themselves and develop several ideas in their artwork? Often a student can set up a simple experiment to learn how to solve a problem or make a choice.
  • Critiques in the classroom
    Critiques provide important dynamic art learning. Some art teachers avoid critique sessions because of some unpleasant experiences in the past. How can art teachers define and teach guidelines to assure that student interactions will be positive, informative, and helpful during a student critique session?
  • Image flooding and examples compared to preliminary practice
    Preliminary examples from art history or from last year's class are seen as a quick and expedient way to get acceptable looking work.  However, sometimes the work is done without much real thinking about the concepts involved.  Sometimes the examples prevent students from trusting themselves and their own ideas.  How can art teachers clarify concepts and provide preliminary planning activities to help students learn to develop their own thoughts and ideas that do not rely on visual examples by other artists?  How can we get students to practice and gain confidence with technique, process, and materials before proceeding to the final product?  How can we get students to develop idea lists and thumbnails to develop their own ideas from experience and observation actual objects, scenes, and people without copying from others art or from photos?
  • How to include art history
    How can art teachers make art history relevant to recent studio activities?  How can students themselves take responsibility to present art history topics to each other in the classroom?

Links for Review
Links to many art education topics
How to observe and journal in an art classroom
How to plan and teach an art lesson
How to teach idea generation
Transfer of learning
Teaching creativity
How to grade artwork using a Rubric
What is graded in art
A Rubric for the discussion of artwork.
Conducting art critiques
Writing a test for art.

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Goshen College students may print a copy for their own use.

Posted Fall Semester, 2001, page updated Feb. 2006