Master of Arts in Teaching

The Master of Arts in Teaching program at the Corcoran College of Art and Design offers students a rare and distinctive opportunity to study at one of the country's only museum-schools as is an integral part of the coursework and student experience. Rich in learning and teaching experiences, the program has a special focus on community engagement and issues of social justice.

A 60-credit program, the Master of Arts in Teaching degree is philosophically rooted in each student's experience of making, critiquing, and interpreting art. This program's focus is not only on Pre-K–12 art education and the adult learner population, but also on the impact of art education on community and museum settings.

The program is accredited by the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education to prepare candidates for D.C. licensure in art education.

Students in the Master of Arts in Teaching program discover first-hand how people learn and develop through the visual arts. This program focuses on active engagement with the community and is built on a progressive curriculum designed for future art educators who are determined to form a solid bridge between the personal experiences of art and art's capacity to enrich both the individual and greater community.

The academic and artistic backgrounds of the program's student body are broad and diverse, which adds to the richness and variety of the program.

Students pursuing licensure will complete the requisite education coursework for certification to teach in the District of Columbia.

Curriculum

During the Master of Arts in Teaching program, students are immersed in classroom work and field experiences that emphasize the shared principles of art education as they apply to varied situations and learners of all ages.

The program is structured around an interactive, tight-knit community of students and faculty. Approximately half of the courses in the Master of Arts in Teaching program are also open to Master of Arts in Art Education students, allowing for a cross-fertilization of experiences and ideas and providing a forum for the special concerns and interests of each group.

Required Courses

    • Foundations in Art Education
    • 3-D Studio Foundation
    • Thesis Pro-Seminar
    • Development, Behavior, and Learning
    • Sociology of the Family
    • Museums and Community Organizations
    • Art and Learners to Age 12 Or Art and Adolescence
    • Digital Media for Art Educators
    • Art and Special Education
    • Evaluation/Program Assessment Or Education Policy
    • Student Teaching Or Internship

 

Sample Electives

    • Studio Based Teaching and Learning
    • Social Justice and Art Education
    • Art Therapy Orientation for Art Educators
    • Gallery-Based Teaching and Learning
    • Art, Science, and Creativity
    • Art and Math
    • Art across the Curriculum
    • Art and Life-Long Learners

More than 95 percent of Master of Arts in Teaching graduates secure meaningful employment in the field, either as Pre-K 12 or museum and community art educators.

In addition to public, public-charter, and independent schools nationwide, graduates of the programs are currently employed by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Children's Museum, the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, among others.

Student Teaching or Internship

The purpose of field experiences is to expose Master of Arts in Teaching students to a variety of proven art education settings and pedagogical approaches, to observe where and how theory meets practice, and to discover the setting most suited to their career plans.

Student observation of a variety of educational practices and settings is essential to the Corcoran's art-education degree programs; each setting—schools, museums, and community or social-service organizations—offers an entirely different experience for the student.

Early on in the Master of Arts in Teaching program, students delve into field experiences, a process that helps them determine the art-education settings in which they are interested. More specifically, candidates are required to complete 80 hours of practicum field experience—prior to student teaching or an internship—in a variety of settings where they observe and assist experienced art education professionals with learners of all ages.

The six-credit student teaching or museum/community internship is the culminating experience in the program. It provides the opportunity for candidates to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and understanding learned in courses and pre-practicum experiences leading to their student teaching or internship placement.

The student teaching or internship placement provides:

    • a realistic view of a well-run educational program, with at least some opportunity to witness the broader environment involved beyond the perimeters of a specific teaching assignment or project;
    • a mentoring or hands-on supervisory experience with a senior art educator, through which important informal learning can result; and
    • a focused launching into new educational arenas, communities, or institutional sites not previously experienced, especially ones that the student hopes to pursue after completion of his or her degree.

Placements are selected based on the individual student's objectives and the educational institution's strengths. An internship may be focused on any audience or audiences involved in art education, and may be either mainly art-centered or cross-curricular, provided visual art is central to the character and purpose of the educational program. A professional art educator on site supervises the student teacher or intern, conducts formal observations, provides feedback on the candidate's performance, and consults regularly with the student's Corcoran site supervisor.

Candidates electing the museums or communities option must complete their internships with professional art educators in museum education departments or community art classrooms.

Careers and Internships

More than 95 percent of Master of Arts in Teaching graduates secure meaningful employment in the field, either as Pre-K 12 or museum and community art educators.
In addition to public, public-charter, and independent schools nationwide, graduates of the programs are currently employed by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Children's Museum, the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, among others.

Art Education Faculty

Rebecca Alberts
Adjunct Faculty

Ann Allen
Adjunct Professor

Debra Ambush
Dr. Debra Ambush

Raya Bodnarchuk
Associate Professor

Peter Bottger
Adjunct Instructor

Adrienne D'Angelo
Visiting Lecturer

Amy Aden Dunn
Adjuncy Faculty

Judith Gravitz
Adjunct Faculty

Selila Honig
Associate Faculty

Pamela Lawton
Director of Education Studies

Maria Marable-Bunch
Adjunct Faculty

Donna McKee
Adjunct Faculty

Marla McLean
Adjunct Faculty

George Rathbone
Adjunct Faculty

Judy Southerland
Associate Faculty

Annie V.F. Storr
Associate Professor, Director of Education Assessment

Department Life

The Art Education program offers three degree programs and totals more than 60 students from a diverse range of backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and experiences. This provides opportunities for students to learn as much from one another as they learn from their instructors.

Students work in close contact with museum educators in the Corcoran Gallery of Art's Public Education Department, supporting youth and family programs such as Camp Creativity, ArtReach, Aspiring Artists, and Community Days. Students also work with youth in Corcoran school partnerships with five Washington, D.C., public middle schools, one public charter elementary school, and the DiTondo Summer Art Camp.

Corcoran art education students are in constant demand from institutions throughout the Washington, D.C., area for internships, after-school programs, and adult programs. Each year students participate in an All Art Education student exhibition, and graduating students are an integral part of the annual NEXT at the Corcoran celebration.

A resource room houses books, DVDs, videos, curriculum materials, art supplies, computers, and space for students to meet, study, or conduct research. The department also maintains a blog for posting curriculum resources, art education events, and exhibition and job opportunities in the area.
The Corcoran has a student chapter of the National Art Education Association with officers that organize social events for the group, bring in guest speakers, and attend local and national NAEA conferences.

Examples of Student Work

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Program Brochure

Pamela Lawton

Director of Education Studies: Pamela Lawton ( contact ); meet Pam at Corcoran People