Do you need to go to college to teach art?

A few years ago while I was speaking to a group of parents during open house a father raised his hand and asked me, “Do you need to go to college to teach art?”  To this day, I am still baffled by his question.   His daughter was a very talented young lady and really enjoyed my class.  Her father, a professional, was more interested in how she was performing in her academic areas but came to visit me at her urging.  He told me, “She likes to draw” neither realizing nor understanding the role of art or the art teacher in his daughter’s education.

Sometimes I am confronted with the realization that some people, colleagues included, do not value the art education.  Art is looked upon as an enjoyable outlet for students, coloring and drawing for fun.  This is difficult for someone like me to grasp since art and art teaching are my passion.  In my classroom students develop critical thinking skills, innovative thought processes and growth through problem solving.  Along with enjoying art and art-making they use their imaginations and develop creativity.   Isn’t that what a good education is all about?

In this particular instance the father didn’t place any educational value on art or art education. Therefore, he equated that same value to my education.

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