The art teacher education program prepares individuals to teach art and art appreciation programs at different academic levels that are determined by the degree. Typical courses include art criticism, printmaking, 2-D design, art history, art philosophy, studio art, and art for the exceptional child. Students interested in this program should be prepared to complete student teaching. Student teaching is placing the student in a classroom for an instructional term and allowing her or him to lead class and make lesson plans under the supervision of an experienced art teacher. Quality art teaching includes production, creativity, aesthetics, art criticism, art interpretation, and individual exploration. Learning how to teach art is an ongoing process because teachers must keep current within their subject area while continuously learning new methods to enhance their teaching.
In order to teach at a public school, students must obtain licensure in the state where they plan to teach, and requirements vary by state. The 2010 annual median pay for kindergarten and elementary school teachers was $51,380. While most art education programs prepare students to teach children in schools, graduates also have the opportunity to work with others in hospitals, prisons, summer camps, and nursing homes. The art teacher program must be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.