Progress in Artistic Teaching

Centuries ago, many people learned a trade by being an apprentice. They worked with someone who was skilled in a craft and that craftsman passed on the necessary basic knowledge. Once the basics were learned, the apprentice was promoted to journeyman status. This applied to many crafts that are now considered art. Ceramics, pottery and blacksmithing are all considered part of the world of artistic endeavour. Journeymen travelled and learned new skills from different tradesmen in their craft. Eventually, they could be promoted to master status. At that time they could take on their own apprentices and pass on their own set of knowledge.

The apprenticeship method of teaching has given way to more formal learning techniques. Basic schooling in reading, writing, mathematics and science are now required in many school districts. Students must master these subjects before learning a craft or trade. Teachers are also required to learn how to teach in many school districts. Not all masters of crafts were able to pass on all of their knowledge because they lacked this important training. Formal schooling has changed the way students learn and has enabled them to learn more in a shorter period of time.

Schooling in the arts today is done in many different arenas of learning. Community colleges and state universities generally offer a small art program for students. They concentrate on the basics of a college degree, and it is up to the student to seek advanced learning at an art academy. There are a growing number of colleges and universities that teach more advanced knowledge of the arts but they specialize in only a few types of artistic knowledge. Artists are taking the time to acquire teaching credentials and trading self-employment for a steady pay cheque and benefits.

Centres of learning offer a variety of incentives for those who have mastered their artistic discipline. For those who have an excellent reputation as an artist, it is difficult to consider leaving a fulfilling and lucrative career to teach, yet these are the people learning centres want to hire for their students. They have successful careers and passing on this knowledge is important for the next generation.