Advocacy + Policy

NAEA Position Statement on Pre-service Education and its Relationship to Higher Education

[Adopted March 2011; Reviewed and Revised April 2014; Reviewed and Revised March 2019]

NAEA supports quality pre-service education taught by experienced visual art educators as a required foundation for the development of professional practices. Accredited higher education institutions in partnership with schools, museums, and community organizations provide the best models of pre-service preparation. Such programs should include: clinical experiences, pedagogy courses, visual arts content courses, professional development opportunities, and student associations. NAEA believes that comprehensive pre-service education engages learners in inquiry, advocacy, and leadership in relation to the following domains:

The Profession:

Pre-service art education programs prepare art educators to

  • Recognize and enact their role as leaders in schools and communities.
  • Exhibit professional dispositions defined by current state, national, and professional standards.

These include exemplifying professional values and qualities, engaging in reflective practices associated with life-long learning, advocating for excellence in their schools and communities, and participating in, as well as taking on leadership positions in their local, state, and national associations.

The Learners:

Pre-service art education programs prepare art educators to

  • Understand their students from theoretical and practical perspectives.
  • Understand factors such as diverse learning styles, developmental variance, social conditions, and family and cultural values that might affect learner performance in the visual arts.

NAEA recognizes the importance of clinical experiences in mastering the art of teaching. Teaching is a practice skill, requiring the hands-on application of theory. As student teachers, pre-service educators should have experiences in the classroom with diverse students and explore different approaches to teaching students with disabilities

The Teaching Contexts:

Pre-service art education programs prepare art educators to

  • Understand that community values can contribute to the guiding principles of the educational settings.
  • Become highly skilled in curriculum development, assessment procedures, standards application, and instructional strategies.
  • Deliver curriculum through both historical and emerging technologies.
  • Understand, appropriately develop and apply a variety of student engagement and classroom management strategies.

The Content:

Pre-service art education programs prepare art educators to

  • Have a strong knowledge base in traditional and emerging visual arts practices.
  • Explore the complexity of art making.
  • Become fluent in interpreting works of art and other visual images, objects, experiences, and environments in relation to various cultural and historical contexts.
  • Prepare students with skills that will enable their success.

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