Art Education


Students in the Art Education program are trained as artists in studio classes with the requisite art history, criticism, and art education course work. Students must also complete the competencies and perspectives in general education and The Phyllis J. Walker College of Education and Human Sciences. Additionally, students must meet the requirements of the Department of Art Education. The Art Education program provides undergraduate students with a well-rounded liberal arts education, intensive studies in visual culture, and significant preparatory course work in the theory and practice of art education. The undergraduate terminal degree title is Bachelor of Art (or Fine Art) with a specialization in Art Education. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The art education program at The University of Montana promotes an understanding of the arts and visual culture for all students through a curriculum that is research-based, interdisciplinary, and intent on collaboration with communities both within and outside the University, state, nation, and world. The program emphasizes and understanding of arts and culture, especially visual culture, in a global, culturally diverse, and technological society. This content is explored through pedagogical theory and practices, critical inquiry of historical and contemporary artworks, the analysis of public and educational policy in the arts and cultures, and inquiry in the philosophical, historical, and policy in art education.


Montana Teaching Certification in Art K-12 requires a BA in Art. Alternative options include a BFA in Art with a specialization in Art Education, which extends beyond the 120-credit limit, or an MA in Curriculum and Instruction with the required undergraduate credits for teacher certification in art


This mission is held in partnership by the Department of Art Education in The School of Art and The Phyllis J Washington College of Education and Human Sciences.

Education programs at The School of Education and the School of Art shape professional practices that contribute to the development of human potential. We are individuals in a community of lifelong learners, guided by respect for knowledge, human dignity, and ethical behavior.

Themes of a Learning Community

It is part of the human condition that we strive simultaneously to be self-sufficient individuals and effective members of larger social communities. Although we value personal autonomy, we are ultimately social creatures who need each other not only for companionship but also to bring meaning to our lives. It is through our connections with others—our shared decision-making, our common purpose, and our support for each other's growth—that we satisfy our needs as humans.

A growing body of research supports the view that learning occurs best in communities. A learning community is a special kind of community that is created in the classroom or in an educational institution as a whole, and comes into being when everyone involved in the learning process shares a commitment to learning. Because the concept of learning community has been used in many different contexts, it must have a specific meaning before it can be a unifying theme. Our learning community is characterized by the following elements:

Integration of Ideas

Members of a learning community look beyond the traditionally subject-oriented curriculum and think about the interrelationships among and between subject areas. They work with a variety of fields of study and search for unifying themes that cross-disciplinary lines. There is an emphasis on explaining realities and bringing differing kinds of knowledge to bear on dealing with actual problems.

Cooperative Endeavors

In a learning community knowing and learning are viewed as communal acts, and members are encouraged to assist each other to learn and grow. There is a commitment to engage all learners cognitively and emotionally in acquiring knowledge that is personally meaningful. In the process members create a cohesiveness that encourages personal responsibility and commitment to the group and its goals.

Respect for Diversity and Individual Worth

A learning community embraces diversity with respect to ideas, abilities, viewpoints, experiences, learning styles, and cultural backgrounds. Diversity is valued because of the inherent worth of each individual who brings his or her strengths to the community. The ethics of caring and mutual respect are viewed as essential for supportive learning environments that enhance each member's self-esteem and foster risk-taking, creative conflict, and excellence.

Core Values: Professional and Interpersonal Competencies

The School of Education and Department of Art Education in the School of Art are guided by five core values in pursuit of our mission. These values are supported by the Professional and Interpersonal Competencies Candidate Performance Outcomes. (See PDF below.)

  • The holistic ideal: An education of the whole person that balances the social, emotional, cultural, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and aesthetic dimensions
  • Intellectual enthusiasm: A dynamic pursuit of knowledge and dissemination of ideas and information within a culture that nourishes creativity and curiosity
  • Social responsibility: An engagement in service and ethical behaviors in support of human dignity
  • Personal and professional introspection: A lifelong commitment to authentic reflection and continual growth
  • A global community: An inclusive perspective grounded in mutual respect that actively seeks and embraces a diversity of voices.
  • Core Values: Professional and Interpersonal Competencies Candidate Performance Outcomes (PDF)


The facilities in the area of Art Education include a large sunlit classroom with a resource room and supply room/shop attached. The resource room houses a library, tech equipment, samples, curricula, vendor information, and journals. The supply room has an accessible sink, kiln shop, tools, and art materials for students’ field experiences.


Jennifer Combe, Assistant Professor 
Steven Krutek, Adjunct Assistant Professor


  • Elementary School Art
  • Teaching Art I: K-12
  • Teaching Art II: K -12
  • Field Experience: K – 8
  • Field Experience: 9 – 12
  • Seminar: Professional Portfolio