Teacher Education Programs

Standards for Visual Arts Teacher Candidates

Standards for Visual Arts Teacher Candidates

 Visual Arts teacher candidates understand and respect the unique, individual set of experiences and perspectives their students bring to the art making process. They promote an understanding of the importance of visual arts and their power to cultivate creativity, encourage problem solving and promote global understanding of history through cultural artifacts and customs. “Visual Arts” include historical and contemporary fine arts, crafts, and emerging art media. Visual Arts teacher candidates have knowledge of the content of visual arts that extends to the perception, production, study, interpretation, and judgment of works of art and design from various cultures, historical periods, origins and locations. They know that the creation and study of art are intertwined. Visual Arts teacher candidates understand the way images and forms communicate meaning. Visual Arts teacher candidates have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the goals and objectives of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in Visual Arts.

 The standards reflect important components of art content, including:

  • Design Fundamentals
  • Art Making
  • Art History and Visual Culture
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Program Development


Standard 1: Visual Arts teacher candidates demonstrate an understanding of historical and contemporary theories of visual expression across global perspectives


Visual Arts teacher candidates have knowledge of Western and non-Western fundamentals of art.  They are able to articulate their understanding of these concepts using appropriate vocabulary specific to the field.  Visual Arts teacher candidates demonstrate an understanding of:


  • Art elements
  • Principles of design
  • Composition
  • Conceptualizing


Standard 2:  Visual Arts teacher candidates demonstrate competency in a variety of media, techniques, and processes through the conceptualization and creation of art.


Visual Arts teacher candidates understand that the creation of art involves both process and product.  They develop ideas from concept to product, generate media specific solutions, and produce finished artwork.  Visual Arts teacher candidates demonstrate an understanding of:


  • A variety of two- and three-dimensional processes to communicate innovative ideas, information and feelings (i.e. drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, ceramics, fibers, photography, conceptual art, design, printmaking, digital media and technology).
  • A variety of four-dimensional or time-based processes to communicate innovative ideas, information and feelings (i.e. conceptual art, video, performance, installation, environmental art).
  • How to analyze, access, manage, integrate, evaluate and create art in a variety of forms and combinations of media.
  • How to create and maintain a safe, appropriate, and ecologically conscious working environment through the responsible management and use of media, tools, and equipment.


Standard 3:  Visual Arts teacher candidates demonstrate cross-cultural knowledge and understanding of ancient through contemporary art history and visual culture.


Visual Arts teacher candidates understand that all art develops within social, cultural, and historical contexts.  They understand the contribution of various artists and cultures around the world from ancient periods to the modern era.  They recognize the reciprocal impact of historical and societal forces upon cultures, artists and the work they produce. Visual Arts teacher candidates:


  • Examine and comprehend the interconnections of art and artists through the context of history, culture, society, place, function, purpose, influence, style, and genre.
  • Recognize and differentiate art, artists, style, and genre.
  • Be open and responsive to diverse and global perspectives of art.
  • Explore relationships between visual communication and political, economic, and civic institutions.


Standard 4:  Visual Arts teacher candidates demonstrate an understanding of art through critical and creative thinking.


An increasingly complex world demands the ability to interpret, assimilate and respond to an expanding volume of imagery and visual information. Visual Arts teacher candidates are critical thinkers and problem solvers in their roles as artists and educators. They recognize the role the visual arts play in equipping students with 21st century skills. Visual Arts teacher candidates:


  • Understand the nature of art, inclusive of ideas, subject matter, symbols, metaphors, themes, and concepts.
  • Develop a personal artistic vision for creating art.
  • Understand the role of aesthetic experience in the enjoyment, preference, and appreciation of art.
  • Understand the affective and self-expressive aspects of art for self-actualization and empowerment.
  • Critique art through verbal and written expression, applying various critical thinking approaches, such as description, analysis, interpretation, and judgment.


Standard 5:  Visual Arts teacher candidates develop and manage a program inclusive of the goals, values, and purposes of visual arts education.


Visual Arts teacher candidates have a unique role in the schools to build, promote and sustain a viable art program. They recognize and communicate the vital roles that visual arts play in education and lifelong learning to students, parents, colleagues in other disciplines, school administrators, and the larger community. Visual Arts teacher candidates must have the knowledge, skills and dispositions to facilitate this process.  Visual Arts teacher candidates:


  • Make informed selection of instructional content.
  • Make decisions regarding budgeting, inventory, and their relation to instructional needs.
  • Know the importance of exhibiting and promoting student art as an advocacy tool which reflects the visual arts program.
  • Develop as artists engaging in their own studio work and seeking opportunities to learn more about art.
  • Understand career avenues within the arts in a global marketplace