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The Art of Visual Arts Education

Barb Michel
Regardless of the grade level they teach, art educators can impact a student’s life in incredibly meaningful ways.

Art teachers are a great source of inspiration and encouragement. Most children don’t get the opportunity to work with mediums like clay, pastels, and watercolor until they encounter them in school, so art teachers are in a unique position to introduce their students to new ways of expressing themselves creatively. For older students, opportunities for expression can take on new depths as young artists develop their skills and self-awareness with the guidance of a good art teacher.

Regardless of the grade level they teach, art educators can impact a student’s life in incredibly meaningful ways. Huntington University alumna Sarah Stine shared her thoughts about the art educator’s role in the classroom:

“When I was first began my career as an art teacher, I thought my goal was to help these elementary schoolchildren become great artists. Once I started teaching, I realized that's not my purpose. My purpose is to help form my students into fruit-producing (and by that I mean well-rounded, kind, generous, selfless, etc.) human beings by using art as my vehicle.”

After having this realization, Sarah decided to focus her lessons “on collaboration, patience, pride, responsibility, and respect by using art to accomplish those things.”

The results were clear when she started to see “some of the students who may not excel in art learn to love it because they feel accepted and see that art is shaping them into the best versions of themselves.”

Teacher training at a Christian art school uniquely prepares teachers to see the creative potential in their students — as Christians, we understand that students are a reflection of their own Creator. Sarah advises those looking to attend a Christian art school and become visual arts education majors to take the extra time and effort to make projects that kids can relate to.

“Give them time to learn to draw things that interest them, or relate to current culture for cartoons, movies, or games that they know,” she said. “But overall, just have fun!”

If you are interested in studying at a Christian art school like Sarah, visit huntington.edu/Art to learn more about Huntington University’s visual arts education program, or schedule a campus visit at huntington.edu/Visit.

Original text by Stephanie Morin. Updated for 2022 by Huntington University.

Written by
Barb Michel