I have a Children's Art Program built into the pre-service curriculum at
NAU. It is worth the time and effort. I do not have a graduate research
assistant for this course, but rather require that the students enrolled in
the course take full accountability as the "teacher in charge.". From day
one they are told that they are teachers and are in charge of everything
from taking inventory of the supplies, to planning, ordering materials,
teaching, etc., etc. It is a real situation that gives them a taste of
teaching and all the details involved.
I act more or less as a mentor who prompts them to apply what they have
learned throughout their coursework. If I see something that is major that
they are leaving out, I'll tell them. Generally I like to let the students
discover their own errors and correct them.
The way we work the program is that the first five weeks of the semester is
spent preparing for the Saturday Studio for Kids (grade K - 7). The Saturday
program is then taught every Saturday in October (half days). The final
weeks of the semester are used for reflection, editing of lessons, and
sharing. The students leave the course with hands-on experience that is very
similar to what they should expect in their first teaching job. They also
leave the course with lesson plans from their peers.
We advertise our program to the community in the local newspaper, on the
campus radio station, and through the campus website and newspaper. We
charge a nominal fee to cover supplies (usually $25 per child). If a child
cannot afford the fee, we provide a "scholarship." No child is turned away
because of financial issues.
The Saturday Studio is so popular that parents sign up on the last day for
next year's program. The classes are always filled to capacity. It's a real
win/win situation for kids, parents, and the pre-service students.
This year I am contemplating teaming with the theatre ed instructor for some
collaborative art/theatre classes.
Join us in June 2006 for Paris, Avignon, and the French Riviera
Space is limited --- E-mail this address for details
For art teaching resources, professional development, & travel, visit:
For information about the NAU art education program:
Pamela G. Stephens, PhD
Northern Arizona University
P.O. Box 6020
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-6020
928.523.2432 (voice mail) 928.523.3333 (fax)