How to Become an Art History Teacher

Art History studies visual arts and their place in civilization through time. An Art History teacher will have to teach his students the importance of art-history, with reference to painting, sculpture, photography, architecture and other forms of art, in relation to the political, social and religious climates in which they were created. An art history major can provide numerous career options, allowing careers as an art teacher, art librarian, gallery curator and more, including law, business or advertising.

To become an art history teacher, first of all you will have to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Art History, Fine Arts or Education, concentrating in art or history. However, if you want to teach art-history at the college level, a Bachelor’s degree will not suffice. For college level, an M.A. or a PhD in art-history will be necessary. Also, you will have to pass the teaching competency exams and basic skills tests required by your state, so your can earn a teaching certificate. The requirements may vary from one state to another, but generally teaching licenses will be granted only to those who have successfully completed a Bachelor’s program at an accredited college. So in order to become an art history teacher, you will need to earn the Bachelor’s degree, a teacher’s education degree approved by your state, and, of course, pass all tests required by the state. It may be a good idea to keep copies of all your college transcripts and test scores.

However, you will not become an art-history teacher just because you have a Bachelor’s degree. To become an art-history teacher, you will need to build some strong art skills in a wide range of subject areas, as you will need to show both knowledge and ability in several areas, including history, digital art and design. Important qualities include a great attention to detail, the ability to develop good visual knowledge, self discipline, visual discrimination skills, good people skills, patience, great organization and research skills, critical thinking, writing skills and many others. Being an art history teacher is an important responsibility, and the job is quite complex. But if you love art-history and you want to pass on your knowledge to others, being an art history teacher can be very rewarding.

Besides all your theoretical education in the field of art-history, don’t overlook the new technology. Learn to use it proficiently, because it will come in handy in your lectures. PowerPoint, Flickr or photo-editing packages will allow you to teach art history in a simple and efficient manner.

In teaching art-history, you will have to concentrate more on the study of theories and the history of art, rather than making art. Also, keep in mind that experience is always essential to all prospective employers, so you may want to try a year-long internship or substitute teaching to build a solid professional experience in art history. With a proper professional background, finding a permanent position as an art-history teacher will be easier.

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