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Educating Through Art History

Examine artists, analyze historical themes, and make cultural observations to build a repertoire of personalized strategies and heighten the relevance of art history in the classroom. 

Exposure to art history allows students to make meaningful connections between their world and the world around them. However, making art history relevant is a common struggle in the art room, and locating powerful art history resources can be overwhelming. In this course, participants will examine artists, analyze historical themes, and make cultural observations to build a repertoire of personalized strategies, including a personalized history-based unit plan, to heighten the relevance of art history in the classroom.

Note: Credits earned cannot be applied to the Master of Arts in Art Education degree program requirements if ART517 was previously taken for credit.

See the course syllabus and Graduate Catalog for more details.



Required Materials

Purchase: None

Additional Materials

  • Computer with basic audio and video input and 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)
  • A Google Drive account (not provided by AOEU)
  • 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
Mar 6 Weeks Apr 30
Upcoming Course Run Dates
Mar 6 Apr 30
May 1 Jun 25
Jul 3 Aug 27
AOEU Course Code
Morningside Course Code
EDUC500 AOE043

Course Objectives

  • Analyze the social, cultural, and contextual elements of art by examining a variety of artists, historical events, and artistic genres.
  • Create and integrate resources into new and revised curricula to increase student engagement and bolster educator best practices.
  • Produce a collection of art history resources to facilitate studio explorations, discussions, and critiques.
  • Utilize artists and artistic movements from diverse cultures, abilities, ethnicities, races, and time periods in an age-appropriate classroom setting.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
Art History Teaching Strategies
  1. Examine artists, analyze historical events, and make cultural observations.
  2. Build a repertoire of personalized strategies to increase the rigor and relevance of art history in your classroom.
Week 2
Examining Content in Art History
  1. Evaluate the content of artwork through visual analysis. Create a content-based learning activity that teaches the formal qualities of art including specific techniques, media, Elements of Art, and the Principles of Design.
Week 3
Understanding Context-Based Art
  1. Dive into the context-based components of art history. Create classroom tools that convey context-based concepts to students of all ages.
Week 4
Introducing Cultures Through Art History
  1. Examine different perspectives through the lens of visual art. Design a lesson plan focused on the importance of including different cultures and customs in your art curriculum.
Week 5
Contemporary Art for Contemporary Learners
  1. Explore the enriching opportunities that contemporary artists and their social commentaries can provide your student population. Discuss current and timely topics that provide you with strategies to incorporate contemporary art and themes into the art classroom successfully.
Week 6
Visit a Museum or Let the Museum Visit You
  1. Learn about the opportunities that museums provide to educators and students. Plan a field trip to a local art museum or create a virtual museum experience to enrich student learning through personalized art history experiences.
Week 7
Develop an Art History Unit Plan
  1. Develop an art history lesson plan that connects to a unit theme. Synthesize your learning through the creation of a classroom-ready art history unit plan.
Week 8
Finalize Your Unit Plan
  1. Reflect on your learning journey from the beginning to the end of this course.

Create An Infographic

A sample assignment from Week 5 of the class Educating Through Art History.

1. Research

Select a contemporary artist who reflects a current event you would like to address with your students.

2. Discussion

Design a discussion activity to be used in conjunction with your infographic.

3. Practical Application

Create a 3 x 3-panel infographic of the contemporary artist. Use your infographic as a teaching tool, a handout for students, or a poster to hang in your classroom.

Let's Get Started

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

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Please contact the Registrar (registrar@theartofeducation.edu) with questions.