Every artist has a creative spirit inside that cannot be shut out. It is that creative force that is desperately needed in education today.
For an art educator, the classroom becomes another type of studio where artistic inspirations translate into engaged learning and expressive art making. MAT classes are held in spaces that lend themselves to working with children and youth, at MECA or on location in schools or community-based organizations. Teacher candidates are required to continue their own art making in the Fall Term by enrolling in studio courses or Continuing Studies classes.
I had never experienced group collaboration in a positive way until entering this program. Working with my classmates has helped me to really open up my thoughts.
Meaningful collective inquiry is a key to learning. Candidates participate in reflection and critique of works-in-progress for their lesson plans, papers, and their own studio artwork. In turn, they also learn to instill a positive sense of reflection and critique in their students, selecting age-appropriate techniques to foster discussion and the realization of artistic visions. Likewise, we collaborate with school and community partners to offer dynamic and engaging art experiences.
\e-klek-tik, i-\ deriving ideas, styles or methods from a variety of sources.
Effective teaching requires the ability to apply or adapt a wide variety of strategies to address student learning needs and interests just as a wide palette gives a painter many choices for expression. Our coursework offers teaching opportunities to explore and experiment with the best contemporary practices in art education. When existing techniques do not work, teachers need to invent new methods to engage students. That’s where teaching artistry becomes play!
Benefits to Program Participants
Our setting in the small, yet artistically vibrant town of Portland, Maine adds to the close-knit feeling found among candidates, faculty and our community partners. Candidates benefit from working closely with peers who have very different backgrounds and ideas to share. The small class size and dedicated faculty insure individualized attention, and positive peer interactions help to develop bonds that support each other’s goals.
The MAT Program emphasizes learning by doing. Our connections with the Greater Portland community of public and private schools, galleries, professional artists and community centers, coupled with MECA’s own resources – a vibrant visiting artist program, the Joanne Waxman Library, the Institute of Contemporary Art – make our program an exceptional pathway to a teaching career in visual art.
Teacher candidates carry a full course load with extensive observation hours and formal readings to connect theory to practice. Demanding, real world deadlines and extensive practice writing lessons and improving upon them through detailed feedback prepare candidates to meet our expectations for creatively incorporating and interpreting state and national standards. Online portfolios document the progress being made toward reaching these high expectations for teacher preparation.
Ten months of dedicated, full-time learning allows candidates to complete the MAT in time for Spring and Summer employment opportunities and job interviews. As a 2015 graduate wrote in May, “I had my first interview today. It was actually kind of fun and as I was driving home I realized how prepared I was for this. I just want to thank you both so much for that. There wasn’t a question that I didn’t feel ready for. It helped so much to be interviewing fresh out of school, having just shared my philosophy, action research etc. during our exit interviews. In the interview I even got to explain my action research Impressionist lesson and showed them my presentation with the different results!”