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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Art Education

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"The arts must be at the heart of every child's learning experience if they are to have a chance to dream and to create, to have beliefs, to carry a sense of cultural identity."
- James D. Wolfensohn Former Chairman of the Kennedy Center

Recent studies of cognitive development suggest the arts as a foundational tool for learning. The arts offer students multiple avenues for learning and expressing knowledge while assisting in the integration of school subjects. The arts also offer an avenue to the human side of learning and allow us to explore and understand of our world. For more information on cognitive development and the arts see Howard Gardner’s work with Project Zero:

The Art Education program at Minnesota State University will certify you to teach art in Kindergarten through Grade 12. Also available for Graduate students, through the College of Education, are the Graduate Teaching Licensure and the Masters of Art in Teaching.

The BS degree in Art Education is structured to give students a strong foundation in art, experiences working in a variety of studio media, and a thorough grounding in Art Education theory. The professional education sequence, which includes student teaching, is taken through the College of Education K-12 & Secondary Programs department.

The Art department foundation core includes: beginning drawing and design courses, art history survey, and initial courses in studio specializations. These courses are designed to prepare students for advanced study in studio areas. The curricular structure, content, and time that the program requires is consistent with that expected of a liberal arts degree. The art education requirement includes courses in both elementary and secondary art methods, as well as focused study in issues pertinent for art educators. Clinical experiences for learning to teach art occur in area pubic schools and community art programs. BS candidates are required to participate in a capstone exhibition upon the completion of the program.

The Art Education program at MSU blends a broad-based concentration in subject areas of art with a strong professional education sequence to prepare students for the important responsibility of teaching the visual arts. The program also encourages profession development opportunities for its majors. In 2003, the MSU student chapter of the National Art Education Association was initiated. Guided by Dr. Gina Wenger, the officers and members of the student chapter attend state and national conferences, participate in community art programs, and are continually developing activities for the group. The state convention of Art Educators of Minnesota is held in the fall of each year, while the National Art Education Association Convention is held in a major city each spring.


Attending the National Art Education Association Convention in Chicago


Art Education majors volunteer at art fairs in area schools


Community mural with area school children