Art Education Program

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Art Education – Masters in Teaching (MAT)
Unit Mission

MECA began offering its Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) curriculum in Summer 2012. The State of Maine and the regional accrediting body New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) have granted MECA the authority to award the MAT.

Learn more about MECA's MAT announcement

The Art Education Department prepares artists to become effective art educators who use the knowledge, skills and dispositions acquired in our MAT program to creatively serve children and youth in PK-12 schools, museums, community-based and alternative settings, and virtual learning environments. The program, which is both individualized and collaborative, prepares artists to recognize how their personal and professional characteristics and attributes enhance and strengthen the learning environment.

The goal of the MAT program is to prepare mature candidates for initial teacher licensing who can reach the program outcomes listed on Table 3 that align with Maine College of Art’s mission and vision and are consonant with the professional standards for educator preparation as designated by Maine’s Ten Initial Teacher Certification Standards and those professional standards established by INTASC and the National Art Education Association. Course expectations reflect academic rigor at the master’s level and connect theory to practice through extensive field experiences.

  • Outcome 1: Candidates know and can demonstrate the fundamental principles of teaching, learning and assessment and those principles that apply specifically to art education. (Fundamental Principles)
  • Outcome 2: Candidates apply their skills and knowledge in a variety of settings including PK-12 education, museums, community-based, alternative settings, and virtual environments. (Variety of Settings)
  • Outcome 3: Candidates understand themselves as artist/educators who develop effective dispositions for teaching and recognize how their personal characteristics and attributes enhance and strengthen the learning environment. (Self-awareness)
  • Outcome 4: Candidates use visual art to foster learning across the curriculum, including digital technologies. (Art Integration)
  • Outcome 5: Candidates use a collaborative circle of learning that sets the stage for inquiry and improvement of practice throughout their careers and contributes to the growth of their profession. (Inquiry and Professional Growth)
  • Outcome 6: Candidates foster an inclusive learning environment that is culturally responsive and invites creative and critical thinking. (Positive Learning Environment)
  • Outcome 7: Candidates envision and invent new learning strategies that adapt to an ever-changing global community. (Envision and Invent)
  • Outcome 8: Candidates adhere to a professional code of conduct that upholds the ethical and legal responsibilities of an educator. (Professionalism)

Conceptual Framework Overview


Utilizing a working artist’s values of professionalism and high-caliber studio practice, the Art Education program at Maine College of Art is designed to provide teacher candidates with the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and direct experiences in general education and the specific content of art education to become responsive and innovative educators. Through a combination of focused individual attention and meaningful collective inquiry we encourage candidates to take risks, to think critically and creatively, and to prepare their students to become culture-making citizens. Our interdisciplinary program blends theory and research with practical, action-based learning in hands-on settings that enrich both creativity and critical thinking. Candidates collect concrete evidence to demonstrate effectiveness and improve their practice. A collaborative circle of learning sets the stage for continuous inquiry and action. The program emphasizes an art integration approach to learning that shows how to change education through visual art and creates “a place at the table” for the art teacher in general discussions about education.

As part of the MECA’s Artists at Work initiative, candidates gain the tools necessary to be reflective, successful, culturally aware practitioners. As artists they also learn to appropriately apply or adapt these tools and to create new tools when necessary.


Mission: to offer students the opportunity to work collaboratively with artists, community leaders, and museum and art educators to develop a uniquely personal philosophy and practice of teaching, one in which each student is involved in service learning, community art, and teaching in public, private, and alternative schools.

The Art Education program at MECA emphasizes experiential learning. Our connections with the Greater Portland community of public and private schools, galleries, professional artists, school administrators, and K -12 art educators, coupled with MECA’s own resources--a vibrant visiting artist’s program, the Joanne Waxman Library, and the Institute of Contemporary Art--make our program an exceptional pathway to a teaching career in the arts.

Our small class size and dedicated faculty form a close-knit community where students receive individualized attention and peer support to pursue their professional goals in personally meaningful, creative, engaging, and self-directed study.

The demanding schedule encompasses varied teaching opportunities to explore, experiment and develop an understanding of the best contemporary practices in art education. Students work collaboratively with faculty to develop art experiences for diverse populations.

MECA began offering its Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) curriculum in Summer 2012. The State of Maine and the accrediting body New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) have granted MECA the authority to award the MAT. The MAT will be reviewed for approval by our second accrediting body, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), in Spring 2013.