Concordia University

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Message from the Chair

The world today is facing rapid social, technological and environmental change, and art educators are innovating to meet these challenges. New learning experiences empower young children and adults in public schools and community centres to meet the challenges of tomorrow. If you are interested in making a positive impact on the lives of others through art—whether it is teaching art in a community centre, public school, or researching art education—then the Department of Art Education at Concordia University is for you.


Juan Carlos Castro Juan Carlos Castro, Chair, Department of Art Education

Art changes lives—it changed mine.

As a high school student, I did not have much interest in my education. It was not until a friend of mine invited me to help him build puppets and paint sets at a local community art centre that I experienced the social power of art to connect me to others in positive ways. The artists I worked with demonstrated a way of living and experiencing the world that finally made sense to me. I always enjoyed drawing and started taking art and photography courses in high school. There I was lucky enough to have two inspiring, smart, and committed art teachers who pushed me to think in new ways and make art I cared about. I went from someone who contemplated dropping out of school to completing an art degree. Throughout my BFA, I reflected on how my experience with art in my community and school changed the course of my life. This is why I chose to become an art teacher.

During my time teaching art and photography in high school, I had always been interested in how my students learned. I was curious about their creative practices in and outside of school and wanted to know how my teaching could connect the two. My curiosity spurred me to pursue a Ph.D. to explore questions of teaching and learning in the visual arts. Through research, I have come to better understand my former students, myself as a teacher, and the broader implications of the cultural practices of young people—specifically in how they use mobile phones to make art and learn from each other. Doing research enables one to investigate significant questions that can further impact people’s lives.

Concordia Art Education is unique and the most extensive Art Education program in Canada. Our home is the Faculty of Fine Arts, which is recognized as one of the best in the world. We are home to one of the only BFA Community-based Art Education degree programs in Canada. Additionally, our BFA Specialization, which leads to teacher certification in Quebec and transfers across Canada is unique.

Our MA in Art Education offers two professional pathways. In the thesis option, you can pursue a scholarly thesis, a studio arts-based thesis, or a teaching-based thesis. The courses option is designed to enhance your professional standing. Each option can serve as the foundation for pursuing a doctorate in art education.

Our Ph.D. in Art Education is world class. ARTE PhD graduates are teaching all over the world in prestigious universities. We are the only doctoral program with multiple award-winning students of the prestigious Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Award three times in the past five years. Our students bring a wide array of experience and expertise and provide a stimulating and supportive peer group.

Art Education faculty are accomplished leaders in the field. We count among us an author of multiple books and international expert in arts-based research; a Research Chair in Socially Engaged Art and Public Pedagogy; an expert in art museum education; a National Art Education Association Distinguished Fellow and expert of the artistic development of artists; a researcher of performance art and theory, an expert on mobile and social media learning; and an expert on the creative cultural practices and the author of how to write a graduate thesis.  The diversity of faculty expertise makes it easy to find a graduate supervisor who can support you. Their credentials have been recognized through numerous teaching and research awards, research grants, and distinctions.

Our part-time faculty are equally outstanding: an experienced community-based art educator, an award-winning elementary art teacher and writer, and an accomplished researcher of indigenous art education. We also host many studio-based part-time faculty who enrich the education of our undergraduate BFA Major and Specialization students.

Montreal is one of the most culturally vibrant places in North America. It is the best city to be a university student in the world. Canada is the best country in the Western Hemisphere and number two in the world. The arts are celebrated and valued in Montreal, which will provide you with rich learning experiences outside of the classroom. I can’t imagine a better place to study art education.

The world today is facing rapid social, technological and environmental change, and art educators are innovating to meet these challenges. New learning experiences empower young children and adults in public schools and community centres to meet the challenges of tomorrow. If you are interested in making a positive impact on the lives of others through art—whether it is teaching art in a community centre, public school, or researching art education—then the Department of Art Education at Concordia University is for you.

Bienvenue and welcome,

Juan Carlos Castro

 

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