Art educators face a serious challenge preparing students for the future with rigorous art education tied to their lives, cultures and experiences. The NAEA knows how hard this is, which is why it offers a wide range of resources so that art educators can keep abreast of current trends, topics and legislation as well as educational resources for art educators to use in the classroom.
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National Arts Education Association National Visual Arts Standards
The National Visual Arts Standards by the National Art Education Association are part of the National Core Arts Standard first formally released in 2014. It intends to create educational standards and guidelines of what students K-12 should know and be able to do at each grade. The first voluntary national standards for the visual arts, music, theater, dance, media arts and others were developed in 1994. You can see the National Visual Arts Standards at http://nationalartsstandards.org/.
States may have their own visual arts standards or adopt a national one like the National Core Arts Standard. ArtScan, a project from the Arts Education Partnership, is a searchable educational policy database for the whole United States. You can find information on ArtScan about the arts education policies, educational standards, state level surveys of art education and education indicators for your state. The database only lists policies that have the weight of law, not recommendations. This site lets you see the high school requirements for art education, art educator licensing, art education instructional requirements and art accreditation.
You can find more recent policy updates through the ECS State Policy Database. This includes legislative changes that have not yet flowed down to state level art education standards. Federal level rules, regulations and executive orders are included in this database.
The NAEA offers training for its members on the National Core Arts Standard. Its Learn + Tools has links to the policy databases referenced above. The National Art Education Association created the Art Standards Toolbox, a free app for NAEA members containing many tools for National Visual Arts Standards based lesson planning, student assessments, schedule planning and archiving student data in the cloud. You can find the app on the Learn + Tools website or get it by going to http://naeaapp.com/.
Educational Opportunities for Art Educators
The National Art Education Association has a number of resources specifically for art educators. The group holds live learning opportunities that are simultaneously broadcast as webinars. Many of these webinars are saved to the NAEA site in webinar archives. Webinar archives are updated on a monthly basis.
One of the biggest educational opportunities for art educators take place at the NAEA convention held each March. While the NAEA doesn’t offer formal continuing education units for teacher certification, it offers certificates to attendees they can request be counted as such by their accrediting organization. National convention presentations are recorded and saved to the NAEA Learn+Tools page. It has presentations going back to 2009. Registration is required to see everything from the general session presentations to specific lessons like “New Forms of Engagement with Museums”. After you view all of the sessions for a particular NAEA national convention online, you can print off the certificate of participation and present it to your school or accrediting organization for continuing education credits.
Live events broadcast as webinars require the same registration to view content and opportunity to print a certificate for CEU credit. While the National Art Education Association convention content is equal to ten to fifteen CEU, each live event is worth one to two credits by most accrediting organizations. Live events cover topics like how to teach art to special education students or an overview of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math).
The NAEA periodically holds virtual only conferences, most of the recent ones being held in September during Arts in Education Week. The 2014 presentation was on the new visual arts standard while teaching in a visual age was the 2015 topic. Both of these presentations are worth six credits if you need them for CEU.
One of the benefits of National Art Education Association membership is that these presentations may be free or offered at a much lower cost than if you were not an NAEA member. You do not always have to be a National Art Education Association member to pay to watch and print off the continuing education certificates for these online presentations. Colleges like California State University, Chico offer university level credit for professional learning via the NAEA virtual sessions.
Some virtual sessions don’t rise to the level of professional continuing education content but are useful for some art instructors, such as the NAEA Museum Education division’s monthly hangouts to discuss public education through museum tours and exhibits. The related Viewfinder journal contains dialogues about museum education for the visual arts.
NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog
The Monthly Mentor blog of the NAEA shares advice from experienced art educators to new teachers. A different mentor or group of mentors is featured each month. The blog is curated by Reta Rickmers, an art teacher with almost thirty years of experience and who didn’t take the standard route to becoming an art teacher. You can visit the latest Monthly Mentor blog post at http://naea.typepad.com/naea/.