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Designing Your Art Curriculum

Designing Your Art Curriculum

In this practical course, you’ll discover strategies for designing a highly personalized curriculum specific to the needs of your unique students and your individual style through the exploration of various approaches in the field of art education and real art curricula samples from across the globe. You will discuss and analyze traditional and contemporary philosophies that drive curricula in the art room as you cultivate ideas applicable to your own classroom needs. At the completion of this course, you will have produced your own comprehensive art curriculum ready for immediate implementation.

For the official course description, see the course syllabus or Graduate Catalog.

Required Materials

No text required for this course.

Additional Materials

  • Computer with basic audio and video output equipment
  • Internet access (broadband recommended)
  • Basic computing skills (see AOEU’s Technology Requirements)
  • Access to AOEU’s online learning platform, Brightspace, to view course content, submit assignments, and engage in discussion (provided)
  • Word-processing platform (Microsoft Office, Pages, Google Docs)
Graduate Credits
All courses will now close at 11 PM Central time on the 27th of each month. Graduate Credits 3 Graduate Credits
Price Graduate Credit $1197.00
Mon 8 Sun
Aug 2 Weeks Sep 26
Upcoming Course Run Dates
Aug 2 Sep 26
Sep 6 Oct 31
Oct 4 Nov 28
Nov 1 Dec 26
Dec 6 Jan 30
AOEU Course Code
Morningside Course Code
EDUC500 AOE007

Course Objectives

  • Discuss traditional and contemporary philosophies that drive curricula in the art classroom setting.
  • Evaluate trends that have impacted art education pedagogy on the local, national, and global levels.
  • Analyze diverse examples of visual arts K-12 curricula.
  • Produce comprehensive curricula for the art classroom setting.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
Reflecting Upon Your Curricular Journey
  1. Explore why you teach art and what you hope students will take away from your classes.
  2. Discover various art education methods and consider which ones align with the way you teach.
Week 2
Analyzing Curriculum Samples and Gathering Inspiration
  1. Consider what a comprehensive curriculum needs in order to thrive.
  2. Utilize backward design to build on your district, state, and/or national standards and create curricular documents to reflect your philosophy of teaching.
Week 3
Learning Outcomes, “I Can” Statements, and Essential Questions
  1. Map out the basic standards and experiences you want students to have in the art room.
  2. Develop learning outcomes for your classroom.
Week 4
Planning the Basics
  1. Utilize backward planning to organize your curriculum.
  2. Develop units, lessons, and projects to fit your teaching philosophy.
Week 5
Completing the Matrix
  1. Investigate other critical elements that will round out the learning experience for students.
  2. Develop assessment strategies to measure student learning.
Week 6
Teasing out the Details
  1. Develop a detailed unit plan for use in the classroom.
  2. Gain inspiration from a variety of unit plan exemplars.
Week 7
Identifying Curriculum Partners and Planning for Implementation
  1. Identify potential curricular partners in your school community.
  2. Make a plan to thoughtfully collaborate with other professionals in your working community.
Week 8
  1. Reflect on the process of developing a comprehensive curriculum.
  2. Prepare a comprehensive tool kit that houses all of your matrices, lesson plans, organizational tools, and reflections from this class.

Reflecting Upon Your Curricular Journey

A sample assignment from Week 1 of the class Designing Your Art Curriculum

1. Research

Review a WebQuest of current art education methods such as choice-based models, project-based learning, arts integration, and discipline-based art education.

2. Discussion

Share your preferred methods of teaching art with educators around the country and world. Discuss ideas you gleaned from the WebQuest and identify the commonalities and differences in approaches among the group.

3. Practical, Hands-On Application

Reflect upon your position as an art educator, as well as today’s students, to complete a planning form which will inform your curricular planning.

What do past course participants think?

Hundreds of art teachers have taken the course Designing Your Art Curriculum. Here’s what they actually think — without cherry-picking.
(12-month rolling average from all post-course survey respondents – Updated 1/28/2021


Course content was relevant and current.


Instructor was knowledgeable and provided value-added contributions.


I achieved the goals I set at the beginning of the course. 

Let's Get Started

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

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