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Art and Art Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Art and Art Education

About Us > Program Description

Program Description

Our Program acknowledges teaching and learning in broad terms spanning infancy to the elderly, in sites that include schools, art colleges, museums, community and international settings. We embrace a diversity of students representing cultures within and outside the United States who bring unique insights and richness to our community. The education of our teachers draws upon deep knowledge in the practice and history of art, design and popular culture,  familiarity with contemporary movements and cutting-edge debates, well-grounded insights about the span of artistic development and the worlds that contextualize individual lives. We expect our students will be able to translate their knowledge into curricular and instructional practices that nurture development and challenge learning across a diversity of life spans.

The work of the Program seeks to cross-pollinate theory and studio practice in new and innovative ways. Working with a broad spectrum of traditional and digital tools and materials we hope to broaden horizons and foster the informed personal development of our students as artists, researchers, reflective thinkers and imaginative educational practitioners. To these ends we stretch out to other programs in the College for the contributions of their distinctive disciplines, as well as through our own specially designed conferences and symposia that bring individuals and groups representing contemporary issues, cultures and practices to our study. We maintain a lively schedule of Macy Art Gallery exhibitions and in-service offerings each year that allow us to confront themes, ideas and practices that represent the professional world of art.

Research holds a critical and central place in our Program as faculty and students address problems of today that impinge upon our discipline. Working collaboratively through a series of seminars our doctoral candidates have the mandate to “make new knowledge” as this engages critical reflection and informs new directions for the future. Our Masters students and student teachers are encouraged to engage in classroom and other forms of grounded research and participate in producing the kind of insights needed to move the field of art education forward.

Above all we recognize that as artists and art educators we need to exercise our experimental and exploratory voices and investigate ourselves as we work within the myriad tensions that shape modern-day culture.