The Institute for Education Inquiry (IEI) launched a national artistic and teacher training initiative in 1999, with the aim of introducing a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning in and through the arts in the preparation of teachers in elementary classrooms. High school art programs should strive to educate students to be both consumers and producers of art. The training of visual arts teachers includes the preparation of teachers specializing in art, as well as classroom teachers in general. Courses are usually taught by a professional art educator, who may be a member of an art faculty or a faculty of education.
Arts in education is an expanding field of educational research and practice based on research on learning through artistic experiences. The National Association for Art Education (NAEA) published a new set of standards for the training of art teachers in 1999; the International Council of Deans of Fine Arts (ICFAD) adopted an agenda for teacher training in 1998 and published To Move Forward in collaboration with the Consortium of National Art Education Associations and the Council of Arts Accreditation Associations in 2001.The Council of State School Directors, through its Interstate Consortium for the Evaluation and Support of New Teachers (INTASC), began an initiative in 1998 to establish standards for teacher preparation in the arts, including the visual arts, for teachers in elementary classrooms and elementary school arts specialists. In middle schools that function more like high schools, art classes tend to be organized around media and art forms and are treated as electives. Children discover how art can communicate their own ideas and may be interested in creating increasingly realistic representations and in mastering new techniques.
The IEI project and the initiatives of the Alliance for Art Education have not produced any documents to date, but both have great potential to make significant contributions to improving teacher preparation in the visual arts. The NAEA rules refer only to the teacher specializing in visual arts, while the INTASC rules refer to all the arts, for the teacher specializing in elementary arts and the classroom teacher. The Alliance for Art Education has also addressed the issue of teacher training in the arts by establishing a national working group and holding several meetings dedicated to the topic.In this context, the arts can include performing arts education (dance, theater, music), literature and poetry, storytelling, visual arts education in film, crafts, design, digital arts, media and photography. He defined art education in general terms as the process of teaching and learning how to create and produce visual and performing arts and how to understand and evaluate artistic forms created by others (Arts Education Partnership Working Group, p.
The NAEA standards support a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning in the arts and describe the standards and skills for candidates for art teachers in terms of art content, student knowledge, curriculum development, instruction and evaluation of student learning outcomes, teacher effectiveness, and program effectiveness.