Choice Based Art Education

Choice-Based Art Education

Art education is all about celebrating uniqueness. Every teacher is different, every student is different and every school and district is different. However, these differences sometimes require finding a balance that honors the district’s needs, the students’ needs and the teacher’s goals and philosophies.

Finding that balance is what choice-based art education is all about. In this class, you’ll learn about the choice spectrum to give your students more autonomy without losing control. You’ll explore the power of a student-centered curriculum, reflect on how you are currently using choice and set goals. By studying different choice-based approaches (TAB, Montessori, Reggio and others), you will reflect on the pros and cons of different programs and prepare to find solutions that work in your classroom. Assessment, advocacy and management strategies will also be covered.

Participants in this course will need to purchase a copy of the book Engaging Learners Through Artmaking: Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom by Katherine M. Douglas and Diane B. Jaquith (2018). 

ISBN-10: 0807758914

Graduate Credits
Contact Hours Total
All courses will now close at 11 PM Central time on the 27th of each month. Graduate Credits / PD Hours 3 Graduate Credits / 135 PD Hours
Price Non-Graduate Credit $597.00 / Graduate Credit $1047.00
Upcoming Course Run Dates
Jul 1 Aug 31
Aug 1 Sep 30
Sep 1 Oct 31
Oct 1 Nov 30
Nov 1 Dec 31
AOEU Course Code
Morningside Course Code
EDUC500 AOE022
Course Code

Course Outcomes

  • Develop student artists who take pride and ownership in their artwork.
  • Assist students while serving as classroom manager, environmental designer, art designer, art expert, facilitator, and student mentor.
  • Confidently push your teaching to the next level while still meeting state and national standards.
  • Construct authentic, student-directed, student-centered learning experiences from the bottom up.
  • Create practical assessment and self-reflection tools.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
Why Choice?
  1. Discover ways to give students more autonomy and ownership over their learning.
  2. Understand your position on the choice spectrum and find a combination of approaches that work for you.
Week 2
Levels of Choice
  1. Explore a variety of programs using different levels of choice in their design.
  2. Define the level of choice you would like to pursue in your classroom. Does this mean following a specific pedagogy or creating your own hybrid model for the classroom?
Week 3
Classroom Management
  1. Use concepts from Montessori and Reggio to create a learning environment.
  2. Reflect on the different aspects of “space” as you consider how space affects student learning.
  3. Craft an action plan you can use to improve your classroom space and facilitate meaningful learning.
Week 4
Demonstrations & Introductions
  1. Consider how you deliver instruction in the choice-based classroom.
  2. Choose from a menu of demonstration ideas and strategies for immediate implementation in your teaching environment.
Week 5
Instructional Organization and Planning
  1. Learn how small procedures can make a major difference in implementing a choice-based curriculum.
  2. Put pen to paper as you plan a choice lesson, unit, or full curriculum.
  3. Discover ways to motivate students to produce quality work.
Week 6
  1. Look at ways to authentically measure student growth.
  2. Create record-keeping tools that make tracking student progress possible and practical.
Week 7
  1. Develop a documentation sample to inspire and celebrate student learning and choices.
  2. Consider ways to showcase and celebrate student learning and reflection through exhibition.
Week 8
Choice-Based Toolkit
  1. Learn how to educate and motivate others when it comes to your choice-based program.
  2. Discover how to find the support you desire in the choice-based world.
  3. Leave the class with a comprehensive toolkit that houses all of your plans, organizational tools, and reflections from this class.

Classroom Management

A sample assignment from Week 3 of the class “Choice-Based Art Education.”

1. Research

How do we design and manage a choice-based art classroom? Just the thought of offering more media choices as well as more freedom to this equation can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Discover management strategies specific to the art room and research additional techniques that work in a choice-based classroom. 

2. Discussion

How will student-centered philosophies change your current classroom management? What are your major takeaways concerning cleanup processes? Reflect on your current practice concerning time management in the art room.

3. Practical, Hands-On Application

Craft an action plan you can use to improve your classroom space as well as important protocol like cleanup. Consider all the items in your space, along with the flow of actions that take place regularly in your space.
Leah D.
"This class was a huge eye opener to me; I would recommend to anyone in art education. I had no previous knowledge of choice based art ed; it truly is the best approach to teaching students to think like artists."
Stephanie H.
"This class has really helped me develop a new philosophy and teaching style that brings creativity, media, and curriculum together into a very student-centered structure."
Deyana M.
"Love the 'realness' of the class - we actually created things we can use in our own classroom. Whenever I can get something to use in my own life, it makes the time spent so much more valuable and appreciated!"

What do past course participants think?

Hundreds of art teachers have taken the course “Choice-Based Art Education”. Here’s what they actually think — without cherry-picking.
(12 month rolling average from all post-course survey respondents – Updated 6/1/19)







Let’s Get Started

If you know what you need, then go ahead and register.

Don’t worry if you still have questions. Our admissions counselors keep up with the requirements for teachers in your state and can help you choose a course that’s right for you and your career.

All you have to do is reach out.

Call Us 515.650.3198 8 am - 5 pm CST (M-F)
Text Us 515.650.3198 We'll respond within 24 hours (M-F)
Email [email protected] We'll respond within 24 hours (M-F)