How to Become an Art History Teacher

Written by cathryn whitehead
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There is a high demand for art history teachers in colleges around the world. Students need to know the link between the practical application of art and the history of art, and successful art history teachers can provide that link. If you have an interest in art, history or both, a career as an art history teacher may be the one for you.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Earn a bachelor's degree in art history, fine art or education with a concentration in art or history. If your degree isn't in teacher education, you need to complete an accredited education program that includes student teaching. If you want to teach art history at the college level, you'll need to go to graduate school and get an M.A. or Ph.D. in art history.

  2. 2

    Pass your state's basic skills tests and teaching competency exams. Earn your teaching certificate. States have different requirements, but teaching licenses are usually only offered to people who have successfully earned their bachelor's degree at an accredited college, received a teacher's education degree approved by their state and passed tests required by their state. Keep copies of your college transcripts and test scores.

  3. 3

    Build a good range of art skills. Art history teachers should show knowledge and ability in their subject area, including history, design and digital art. They should also have qualities such as attention to detail, the ability to develop visual knowledge and discrimination skills, self-discipline, an interest in working with people, good organisation and research skills, the ability to communicate and critical thinking and writing skills.

  4. 4

    Learn to use new technology. You will be using technology to teach art history, such as PowerPoint, Flickr and photo-editing software packages.

  5. 5

    Concentrate on the study of theories and the history of art, rather than making art. Cultures express themselves through art, so teaching art history will include the politics, economics, religion and literature of the place and time the art was created.

  6. 6

    Try a year-long internship or substitute teaching to find a permanent job as an art history teacher. Experience counts a lot with prospective employers.

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