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Art education is an integral part of the academic program of the Department of Art and Art History. UNO students specializing in studio degrees offered by the Department of Art and Art History (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art) have the opportunity to achieve Nebraska state certification in K-12 art teacher education. Students complete major requirements for certification through the UNO College of Education, but complete art studio requirements and art education methods courses in the Department of Art and Art History. Note: Students also have the option of receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a field endorsement in K-12 art education. (See UNO undergraduate catalog for further information.) Further, College of Education students seeking a generalist degree in elementary education enroll in Art 3050: Art in the Elementary School as partial fulfillment of the required course sequence for teacher certification.

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Content explored in Comprehensive Art Education methods courses focuses on, but is not limited to:

A. Discipline 1 of Art Content:

Form in Art, Meaning in Art, Studio Concepts and Media Exploration

B. Discipline 2 of Art Content:

Art History and Modes of Inquiry in Art History

C. Discipline 3 of Art Content:

Aesthetics and Modes of Inquiry in Aesthetics

D. Discipline 4 of Art Content:

Art Criticism and Modes of Inquiry in Art Criticism

E. Connecting Visual Art with Music

F. Connecting Visual Art with Drama

G. Connecting Visual Art with Dance and Creative Movement

H. Connecting Art as Visual Literacy with Core K-12 Curriculum Areas

I. Classroom Management and Safety in the Art Classroom

J. Preparing Students for Future Careers in Art

K. Strategies for Learners:

Individual Reflective Practice and Hands-on Collaborative Inquiry

L. Teaching Styles

M. Art and Cognition:

Multiple Intelligences, Learning Styles

N. Role of Technology in Comtemporary Art Education

O. Developmental Issues in Art Education and Students with Special Needs

P. Cultural Diversity, Gender Issues, and Art Education

Q. Enculturation of Youth in a Political and Social Democracy

R. Stewardship of Schools (Professional Responsibility)

S. Nurturing Pedagogy

T. Access to Knowledge for all Learners

U. Contemporary Theories of Art and Art Education

V. Thematic Basis for K-12 Curriculum Design

W. Advocacy, Leadership, and Professionl Commitment in Relation to Art Education

X. National and State Standards, Assessment, land Evaluation of Student Performance in K-12 Art Education


The UNO art education program, although it does not offer a graduate degree, has also achieved a national reputation for excellence in inservice art education. Specific departmental programs that speak to that excellence include:

Prairie Visions Consortium for Comprehensive Arts Education

Prairie Visions is a nationally recognized program1 that is dedicated to strengthening comprehensive arts education and the preparation of K-12 teachers. In collaboration with the Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska art museums, and with a tradition of support from institutions such as the Nebraska State Department of Education, the Nebraska Art Teachers’ Association, the Woods Foundation, Getty Education Institute for the Arts, and the Annenberg Foundation, Prairie Visions has provided professional development for K-12 teachers to effectively implement comprehensive arts education in their community and school curricula. For the last 17 years, UNO Art and Art History faculty have worked as discipline consultants and pedagogical leaders for the summer Prairie Visions Institutes--designing the content and guiding the development of theory and practice for comprehensive arts education working with a diverse population of K-12 teachers across the state.

Interestingly, the approach to comprehensive arts education developed through the Prairie Visions consortium with the guidance of the discipline consultants from the University of Nebraska at Omaha has focused both on the value of art in a democratic society and the value of art education for raising important issues in the classroom. Drawing on the research of art educator/theorists like Eliot Eisner, John Goodlad, Maxine Greene and others, the Prairie Visions team espouses notions that the arts are unique in what they offer learners about the nature and values of culture, and that the arts are a primary vehicle for developing literacy, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills in students.

CADRE II: The Arts Project (Career Advancement and Development for Recruits and Experienced Teachers)

CADRE is an innovative graduate induction and professional renewal program which pairs newly certified teachers with master teachers in a mentor-mentee relationship. New teachers complete a Master's Degree in the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha through a sequence of course work and field components including a year-long teaching assignment. The CADRE project, begun in 1994, is a cooperative effort of the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Education and area metropolitan school districts. In 2003, the program was recognized for excellence as a recipient of the national Christa McAuliffe Award.

In 1998, the College of Fine Arts, in collaboration with the College of Education, developed the Cadre II: The Arts Program that basically focuses on elementary level teachers interested in the integration of comprehensive arts education into mainstream curricula. The Cadre II: The Arts program, like its original counterpart, has also been nationally recognized. Young Audiences, Inc. in New York recently selected the Cadre II: The Arts program as one of eight exemplary university sites for innovative arts education practice.

As a result of this partnership between two UNO Colleges, and in collaboration with educational philosopher, John Goodlad’s Institute of Educational Inquiry (IEI) in Seattle, art education faculty have developed and revised undergraduate and graduate art education course content so that it emphasizes not only art education and arts integration, but also the role of schools in a democratic context. A, supported This initiative, titled “Arts in Teaching, Teacher Education: Learning in and through the Arts” was supported by a $60,000 grant from IEI that was awarded to the Department in 1998.

Center for Innovation in Arts Education

Because of its active and effective involvement in research and the practice of art education, the Center for Innovation for Arts Education was formed in _________. The Center provides a unique opportunity for arts educators to explore potential avenues of excellence in arts education in Nebraska and nationally. For more detailed information regarding activities and initiatives of the center please visit:

Service Learning

The College of Fine Arts partner with area schools to provide experiential learning for pre-service art education students. Students enrolled in art methods classes at the University of Nebraska at Omaha conduct observations and field teaching in area schools.

Art and Technology Integration

The Art Education Lab at the University of Nebraska Omaha prepares students for teaching with technology by utilizing a state of the art wireless mobile lab, and innovative methodologies for art and technology integration. Students assess online art resources, conduct online research, engage in dialog with artists and national experts in the field, as they explore theories in arts education.

Links to other important websites in Arts Education

ARTnet Nebraska
Getty Education Institute for the Arts
Institute for Educational Inquiry
National Art Education Association (NAEA)-
Nebraska Art Teachers Association (NATA)
Nebraska Arts Council
Nebraska Department of Education (NDE)
NDE K12 Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Frameworks
Nebraska Art Museums:
Joslyn Art Museum
Sheldon Memorial Art Museum
Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA)

1Wilson, B. (1997). The quiet evolution: Changing the face of arts education. Los Angeles: Getty Education Institute for the Arts, pp. 49-50, 247-248.

2Arts for Learning. (2003). New York: Young Audiences, Inc. Available online:

Department of Art and Art History
College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media
University Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182-0011
(402) 554-2420 Fax: (402) 554-3436