List by Program Name > Master of Arts in Art Education

Program Name: Master of Arts in Art Education
Degree: Master of Arts
Division: Art History and Contemporary Culture
Program Description

The Master of Arts in Art Education (MAAE) prepares students for a variety of roles in the art education sector with a theory-rich academic experience, rigorous research training and a hands-on field-based practicum.

Students specialize in one of three program streams that allow exploration of current methodologies relevant to specific art education practices.

  • Applied Pedagogy in Art Education
  • Museum and Curatorial
  • Community-Based Practice

Applied Pedagogy in Art Education: designed for those seeking advanced knowledge in curriculum development and the teaching of art to a range of age groups including children, youth, adults, and older adults in a variety of contexts such as educational institutions, community centres, and youth facilities. This stream focuses on the development of best practices associated with human development and well-being. 

Museum and Curatorial: designed for those seeking advanced practice and perspectives in the delivery of art education programming in informal educational settings such as art museums, galleries, heritage sites, and other organizations that offer immersive visitor experiences. This stream expands on conventional approaches to public engagement with collections and emphasizes Indigenous and radical curatorial approaches intended to reach diverse groups of visitors.

Community-Based Practice: designed for those seeking advanced learning in responsive art education pedagogy that is grounded in the needs and experiences of communities. This stream focuses on outreach, activism, and contextualized learning about art and culture in ways that support broad and equitable access to educational opportunities and collaborative program development.

MA in Art Education Students

The program will educate innovative artists, designers, curators, and educators while contributing to the creation of a culture that values diverse and creative learners.

To help develop a unique philosophy of teaching in art, students are encouraged to consider their own life experiences and connect their art and teaching practices with pedagogical theory, conceptual understanding and critical reflection. Courses model and develop socially responsible, exemplary teaching practices in and across art education contexts.

NSCAD University’s MA in Art Education is not an approved program towards increasing teacher certification in Nova Scotia.

Program Requirements:

36 credits of course work are required in the program:

Core Courses

  • (MAED 6200/6600/6210, 3-12 credits): MAED students from all streams provide cohesion in the introductory year of study. However, these core courses are not prerequisites and may be taken at any point in the program allowing necessary flexibility for part-time students.
  • Pedagogy Seminar (MFAR 6100, 3 credits) OR Art Education Studio Practice (MAED 6400, 3 credits): MAED students may enroll at any point in the program allowing fleixbility for part-time students.

Streamed Courses (Two 3-credit courses)

Although distinct, the content of the course programming aims to support the inter-relatedness of the 3 streams to better reflect contemporary practice and research.

  • Applied Pedagogy in Art Education: two of: MAED 6330/6630/6410, 3 credits each
  • Museum & Curatorial Stream (MAED 6350, 3 credits, and one of either MAED 6610/6650/6690/6410, 3 credits)
  • Community Based Practice Stream: two of either MAED 6370/6670/6410, 3 credits each

Other Requirements 

  • Practica (MAED 6500, 6 credits)
  • Thesis Proposal & Preperation (MAED 6700, 3 credits)
  • Thesis (MAED 6800, 9 credits)

Program Objectives

  • Introduce contemporary issues in Art Education in local, national and international contexts.
  • Explore topics that impact their personal educational and teaching experiences.
  • Examine and develop a critical understanding of current topics of debate affecting the discipline of Art Education such as effective ways to teach art in an uncertain world, strategies to address diversity and change in educational and cultural institutions, the impact of economics in the delivery of Art Education in a variety of sectors, the rapid growth of digital, mobile and virtual technologies and the effect of learning and art-making, and current understandings of artistic development.
  • Refine critical thinking, speaking, writing, and listening skills through in-depth analysis of leading issues in Art Education.
  • Advance appreciation of the role of socio-cultural values and ethical assumptions in Art Education debates, policy, professional practice, and the structures of educational institutions, cultural institutions and community organization.
  • Provide a setting where students from diverse backgrounds and areas of interest may develop heightened sensitivity and multiple perspectives concerning the complex nature of Art Education.

During their first semester, all MA AE students select a Program Advisor from among full-time or part-time faculty members in any Division. MA Program Advisors are full-time or part-time faculty members of NSCAD University and must be in residence at NSCAD during the residency of any MA AE student for whom they are acting as a Program Advisor.

The Program Advisor remains with the student throughout the duration of the program and performs the following tasks on behalf of the student:

  • Advises the student on course selection with respect to degree requirements and the student’s interests
  • Helps the student prepare for all Reviews, including selecting members for their Thesis Committee
  • Acts as Chair of the Thesis Committee
  • Summarizes and distributes commentary from the Reviews
  • Reviews drafts of the Thesis Statement
  • Oversees required revisions to the Thesis Statement
  • Reports to the MA Director on the student’s eligibility to graduate.

Admission from University or College: Applicants to the Master of Arts in Art Education must have or expect to have prior to program start a Bachelor's Degree in Fine or Media Arts, Art Education, Design, or equivalent. Applicants without the preceding credentials, or those with credentials granted by the NSCAD Visual Arts Certificate for Teachers, must complete a minimum of 12 credits in EDAR or studio-based undergraduate courses. Specific course work will be determined in consultation with the MA AE Program Director. This undergraduate study will be undertaken at the applicant's own expense and does not guarantee admission to the Program. A minimum grade of B must be earned.