Penn State's 30-credit online MPS in art education curriculum focuses on professional advancement in the knowledge area of art educational theory and practice. Each course focuses on helping you to look at familiar teaching situations in new ways while meeting your professional development requirements. Course topics include: The MPS in art education is composed of 18 credits of core courses, an additional 6 credits of foundational courses at the 400 level or above (to be determined during a consultation with an art education adviser), and 6 elective credits chosen from a selection of Penn State online courses. Students accepted into the program may begin their course work during any academic semester. The typical student course load is expected to be 3 to 4 courses per year. At the rate of four 3-credit courses per year, most students will complete the MPS in art education program in about 2 and a half years of part-time study. The master's degree curriculum uses a blend of Web technology, print, and other media to maximize flexibility without sacrificing professor and student interaction. Communication tools, including bulletin boards and e-mail, are used to foster a collaborative environment, providing you with the opportunity to learn from one another. The curriculum and course format will help you develop practical applications of the topics you study. Learn online when it is convenient for you, and immediately apply what you've learned to your job.
Relevant Course Work
Collaborative Experience, Practical Applications
Penn State's 30-credit online MPS in art education curriculum focuses on professional advancement in the knowledge area of art educational theory and practice. Each course focuses on helping you to look at familiar teaching situations in new ways while meeting your professional development requirements.
Course topics include:
The MPS in art education is composed of 18 credits of core courses, an additional 6 credits of foundational courses at the 400 level or above (to be determined during a consultation with an art education adviser), and 6 elective credits chosen from a selection of Penn State online courses.
Students accepted into the program may begin their course work during any academic semester. The typical student course load is expected to be 3 to 4 courses per year. At the rate of four 3-credit courses per year, most students will complete the MPS in art education program in about 2 and a half years of part-time study.
The master's degree curriculum uses a blend of Web technology, print, and other media to maximize flexibility without sacrificing professor and student interaction. Communication tools, including bulletin boards and e-mail, are used to foster a collaborative environment, providing you with the opportunity to learn from one another. The curriculum and course format will help you develop practical applications of the topics you study. Learn online when it is convenient for you, and immediately apply what you've learned to your job.
The following courses are approved foundational courses for this program.
The following courses are approved as 400-level or above electives for this program.
The learning environment
A ED 811: New Media & Pedagogy, like the other MPS courses, will be conducted entirely on the World Wide Web. There are no set class meeting times, but you will be required to complete weekly assignments. Registered students in this course will need to navigate between several environments in the World Wide Web. These include:
There are several ways for course participants to engage in interactivity and generation of content with the A ED 811 course. You will find the following in the leftside menu:
Topics of study
There are 6 themes as indicated under "Explorations" in the left menu of the course, each involving 1 to 4 weeks. Learning activities will be in the form of background reading, explorations and creation with the links and resources provided, and focused discussions as replies to your work posted in ANGEL's discussion forums. By doing this, you will become familiar with the content of new media integration in art and art education. You will also participate in online discussions about how to teach this content at your teaching site. Following the first 5 thematic explorations, you will complete a capstone essay (Exploration theme 6) in which you will construct a speculative fiction of a teaching scenario based on the content of this course imagined in your future teaching site in 2020.
Exploration 1 - Notions of Education and Knowledge (3 weeks)
The main priorities in Exploration 1 are to learn more about you and your beliefs about teaching art, and to imagine possibilities of human-technology interfaces for creating and critiquing art.
Exploration 2 - Identity & Community: Collaborations & Sharing Perspectives (4 weeks)
In Exploration 2, you will select a social networking tool from the course's resource menu to share ideas or resources, or to do a collaborative mini-project. After this introduction to social networking uses in art education, you will create a self-representation online and discuss power relational networks of social, physical, technological, and discursive inscriptions or conditions that either privilege one human representation or material existence over others, or that empowers through empowerment of all.
Exploration 3 - New Media Art and Net Art Multivocal Critiques (2 weeks)
In this exploration we will learn about new media art created with the Internet as the primary medium (i.e., Net art) and strategies to critique interactive Net art.
Exploration 4 - Game Pedagogy: Cyberhouse (2 weeks)
Our focus of Exploration 4 is free, downloadable authoring programs outside of a commercial economy, which enables the creation of interactive experiences without the need for specialized programming knowledge or database support to introduce your students to graphical programming as creative artmaking. We will also do some activities in CyberHouse, an art education online program for the critique of visual culture, that Dr. Karen Keifer-Boyd has developed as game pedagogy.
Exploration 5 - Critical and Creative Synthesizers: WebQuests (4 weeks)
Explorations 5, involves you creating a socially responsive visual culture WebQuest, which is an inquiry-oriented activity in which learners construct knowledge through interacting with, evaluating, and connecting diverse, and sometimes contradictory, resources on the Internet in order to form new insights that they share in a tangible form intended to make a difference in the world. WebQuests are wrapped around a doable and interesting task that is ideally what responsible citizens do to create a more just world. Your students, when they engage in the WebQuest that you create should be using higher level thinking, which includes synthesis, analysis, problem-solving, creativity, and judgment.
Course Assignments for A ED 811will rely upon a variety of strategies to assess and evaluate participants' learning, including:
You will learn much, network, and have support. The MPS can help you develop a portfolio for the NBTS, and A ED 811 can help you develop your art education program to meet the 2008 National Education Technology Standards (NETS), which are to:
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
(For more specifics about each see: http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf)
It is helpful to protect the time allotted, secure further funding and policy in support of art education by showing school boards, administrators, and parents how you as an art educator and your art education program fulfill all 5 NETS.
Your k-12 students will benefit from the contemporary currency of art educators in the MPS in Art Education program whose teaching becomes inquiry-based, collaborative, and integral to the digital world of their students’ life-span.
Below is a specific example of an Exploration in A ED 811
Exploration 4. Cybergame Pedagogy (2 weeks)
Cybergame Pedagogy Introduction
Studies of computer games that children have created to teach younger children can inform educators concerning children’s perspectives on how they learn. Teachers who encourage student creation of computer educational games can tap into student interests and encourage students to learn by teaching others with their games. Inspired by artists who create computer games as art and from a review of studies on children creating computer games to teach children, I encourage art educators to provide opportunities for children to create computer games as art.
When is a Computer Game, an Artwork?
A broad philosophical and historical definition of games is that games involve mutually agreed upon rules. Twentieth-century philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, took this position in defining language as a game. One entry in Wikipedia defines games as “a characteristic human activity, strongly determined by custom and the frequent subjects of folklore, have been the subject of anthropological investigations. Another entry states, “Many animals play; only humans confirmable have games.”
A computer game typically involves characters, environments, and options from which the player selects. There is a story or activities and choices the player makes, usually for specific goals. Typically, the goal in computer games is to defeat another player in racing, fighting, or some other contest. In fact, competition is often viewed as synonymous with games. The conflict situation in a game may involve conflict over a resource, power, or money. However, artists tend to challenge, subvert, or parody popular culture computer games.
The nature of art is rarely theorized according to its media, although people commonly define painting and sculptures as art, and “new media” references an elusive, ever-changing “media” as critical to defining its nature as art. Art critics since the 1980s have noted that the database has become the new artform. Philosopher James Carse’s (1986) concept of finite and infinite games is useful in looking at cyber-artists’ games built from databases. According to new-media theorist Lev Manovich (2001), new media databases “function as a new kind of mirror that reflects human activities” (p. 235). Databases are the form underlying computer games, and databases are central to the interactive concepts of artists’ game creations. Arthur Kroker (2003) asks in a blog on new media art, “Are data flesh?” The database may be more analogous to everything under the flesh—skeletal framework, operational muscle, and certainly the central nervous system. Computer source code writing, i.e., database creation, is a powerful way to challenge inscriptions of the cultural body. For example, Ka-Ping Yee launched a Web site on July 30, 2005, that reverses gender pronouns and other gendered terms on any Web site that one enters in the search engine, thus calling attention to socially constructed gendered perspectives in the English language. Regender.com produces high-speed revisionist texts of the New York Times, the Book of Genesis, and other worldview representations. Assumptions about gender roles are revealed in reading a regendered text.
New media art, especially new media activist art typical involves what is referred to as “reverse engineering,” that is the “decompiling and dissembling of redistributed code” (Kroker, 2003, ¶x). Reverse engineering extends Dadaist collage and other social critiques using assemblage artforms. In reverse engineering the source code or data is rearranged in a new database as critiques of institutions, governments, and newsmedia to reveal power structures that control cultural narratives or worldviews of a society that privilege some and oppress others.
Historically, artists have been fascinated with games. For Duchamp, chess was the perfect art form. Today, Mel Chin, Gabriel Orozco, Sophie Calle, and Net artists teams such as ActionTank, aux2mondes, and Playskins create games intended for players to emotionally experience issues, such as biotechnology. Artists are intrigued with Web-based games as an artform partly because players experience a transformation in playing the game, and thus the power of art is highly effective in such work. Making a computer game is an interdisciplinary enterprise, often best achieved through collaboration.
KNOWMAD, a creative team of artists, includes Rocco Basile, Emil Busse, Mel Chin, Tom Hambleton, Brett Hawkins, Andrew Lunstad, Jane Powers, and Chris Taylor. Their installation KNOWMAD/MAP: Motion + Action = Place (2000) incorporates a physical space of a temporary home in the form of a tent and a virtual simulation of travel. In navigating the pseudo-arcade game, one’s journey is an exploration of the changing cultural meanings of carpet designs found in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The symbolic meanings transgress fixed national identity and geographical origin, and change according to context and social use. Thus, the game/art perpetually displaces a fixed form of knowledge and communicates that meanings change according to context.
Natalie Bookchin describes her cyberactivist goals in her co-created Web game MetaPet in the following excerpts from an interview with Mia Makela:
I wanted to set up the conditions to lure people away from their duties and make it convenient for them to play at work. The Situationists and their interventions into daily life as well as their slogans against work and for play have not escaped my game design methods.
The Metapet is more of an active agent that one may initially recognize. Players’ positions in the game are also instable. Winning and losing, the “goals of the game”, and the satisfaction attached to each scenario are not as linear or clear-cut as one might assume. Winning may be a rather dull scenario, and it may be more rewarding to subvert the system. (Makela 2003, ¶ 7 & 9)
The Progressive Dinner Party, inspired from pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago’s art installation, The Dinner Party (1975-79), is an assemblage of feminist hypertextual literature on the Web (Guertin and Luesebrink 2000). In hypertexts, a term and concept introduced by Theodor Nelson in 1965, the reader creates her own pathways through the text; and as poststructual feminist Wendy Morgan posits, the author does not control the viewpoint or authority of the text (2000). In game studies, The Progressive Dinner Party, would be placed in the Interactive Fiction sub-genre, and viewed as text adventures. Photographer, Esther Parada’s (2002, 1996) constructive hypertext, such as “Transplant: A Tale of Three Continents,” has an interactive fiction game structure through archival photos and real life stories formed by the players’ choices.
Implications for Art Education in the 21st Century
I conclude with a list of what I propose are important areas in art education in the 21st century. Of course, this is not an exclusive list—but addresses some areas of study and experience that are relevant art education.
1. computer games, like museums, present and interpret culture
2. collaborative artmaking experiences
3. interdisciplinary studies
4. familiarity with learning theories
5. explorations of simulations and games as constructivist story creation
6. knowledge of inclusive and infinite game design
7. experience in working with databases as an artform
8. consideration of human-technology interfaces
9. historical roots of computer games as art based in conceptual art, Dadaist collage, assemblage (reverse engineering), Situationist constructivist story, activist art, museumism art, contemporary issues, and popular culture.
WEEK ONE (March 23-30):
Cybergame Pedagogy background audio and written texts. Select one or more from 6 text options below as background reading.
1. Jenkins, H. (2007). From YouTube to YouNiversity: Learning and playing in an age of participatory culture. International Journal of Communication, 1, 145-146. (1:19 minute audio lecture)
2. Fromme, J. (2003). Computer Games as Part of Children's Culture
3. Keifer-Boyd, K. (2005). Children teaching children with their computer game creations. Visual Arts Research, 60(1), 117-128.
4. Select an article from the MacArthur 2008 series on digital learning (all the articles are freely accessible at http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/browse/browse.asp?btype=6&serid=170).
5. Go to http://www.gamesforchange.org/play and play a game from the list. Keep these games in mind as you read Wasik, B. (2006). Grand Theft education: Literacy in the age of video games. Harper's Magazine, September, 31-39. Consider how these games that you just played support or refute the positions taken in the article.
6. See http://www.archimuse.com/mw2009/speakers/ for articles on Museums and the Web 2009, particularly these 3 papers:
- Learning In The Wild: What Wolfquest Taught Developers and Game Players
- Fictional press releases and fake artifacts: How the Smithsonian American Art Museum is letting game players redefine the rules
- City Treasure. Mobile Games for Learning Cultural Heritage
WEEK TWO (March 30-April 6):
Explore free, downloadable authoring programs outside of a commercial economy such as Korsakow System, which enables the creation of interactive experiences without the need for specialized programming knowledge or database support; and Scratch, developed at MIT Media Lab to introduce children to graphical programming. Here are two open source or free game creating software programs: SQUEAK, GameMaker. Others that could be used include: Alice, Ethos, Flash, StageCast, StarLogo, and MicroWorlds.
Explore cybergame pedagogy in CyberHouse, an art education online program for the critique of visual culture that I am developing. CyberHouse players explore perception, production, and dissemination of images as cultural practices in terms of inclusion and exclusion from power and privilege. Like the air we breathe, we are immersed in visual culture and, therefore, are usually not aware of how power and privilege operate in works of art and other forms of visual culture from past and present times. CyberHouse is designed to expose ideologies of power conveyed by images, to help youth and adults examine privileged as well as neglected perspectives expressed or silenced through visual culture, and to participate in self-representation with their own visual creations and the choices they make in their interactions in CyberHouse.
After checking out readings on digital game play as education, and ways to create games as art education, develop a lesson plan for your teaching site that involves cybergame pedagogy. You are experienced teachers and know that lessons need a motivational hook and the purpose needs to be clear to students. The form of this lesson can be in narrative form, or traditional lesson plan form, or a lesson form you find useful (or is required) in your teaching site, or the form can even be a more visual and creative presentation of the lesson idea such as in a comic strip format. Post your lesson plan in ANGEL at the forum folder titled, "Cybergame Pedagogy."
A ED 812: Diversity, Visual Culture, and Pedagogy
Dr. Patricia Amburgy, Associate Professor of Art Education
This course examines diversity, visual culture, and pedagogy in various settings: the artworld, popular media, and cultural settings such as schools and museums. Diversity pertains to gender, sexual identity, social class, ethnicity, ability, age, and other attributes that shape our identities. This course pays special attention to issues of power and privilege in relation to diversity and visual culture. It examines ways that various forms of visual culture, situated in various social contexts, teach us who we are, what is "normal" in our society, and how we might change oppressive social conditions that currently exist. As defined in the course, visual culture includes paintings, sculptures, prints, and other forms of fine art as well as advertisements, news images, scientific images, television programs, and films. It includes toys, comic books, children's art-and more. Visual culture includes all manifestations of cultural life that are significant for their visual features. Pedagogy refers not only to formal methods of instruction, such as teaching and learning in classrooms. It also includes informal instruction through the arts, the media, popular forms of entertainment, and other social practices. Pedagogy includes being positioned by, or addressed in certain ways by various forms of visual culture. It includes the ways we actively interpret, use, and recreate forms of visual culture in our lives.
Objectives of the course include understanding diversity as defined in relation to various forms of visual culture; understanding the complex interactions of ethnicity, class, gender, sexual identity, and other aspects of diversity in visual culture; understanding issues of power and privilege in relation to visual culture; and understanding pedagogical issues related to visual culture, including forms of address and interpretation, as well as pedagogical practices such as teaching and learning in classrooms. By the end of the course, participants should be able to critically examine social constructions of race, class, gender, sexual identity, and other aspects of diversity in visual culture through both written and visual analyses. Participants should also be able to develop and implement units of instruction related to visual culture, and reflect on their own and others' teaching practices in schools and museums.
This is one of the required courses for the M.P.S. in Art Education. It is offered every other year with a maximum enrollment of 15 students.
1. Identity and community (2 weeks)
2. Dominant and disruptive representations in visual culture (5 weeks)
3. Visual culture as public pedagogy (4 weeks)
4. Diversity, visual culture, and pedagogy in schools and museums (4 weeks)
Major topics to be covered with an approximate length of time allotted for their discussion
1. Identity and community (2 weeks)
Introduction: Various aspects of our identities: age, religion, gender & sexual identity, geography, family, class/economic identity, political identity, recreation, race/ethnicity, occupation, health & body (1 week).
Dominant/stereotypical representations versus disruptive representations of identity communities; representations, power, and social privilege (1 week).
2. Dominant and disruptive representations in visual culture (5 weeks)
Representations of gender and sexual identity in visual culture (2 weeks)
Representations of race and ethnicity in visual culture (2 weeks)
Representations of class in visual culture (1 week)
3. Visual culture as public pedagogy (4 weeks)
Representation, forms of address, and making meaning (1 week)
Gazing at “others” and the exotic (1 week)
Watching movies, playing video games (1 week)
Consumerism (1 week)
4. Diversity, visual culture, and pedagogy in schools and museums (4 weeks)
Final research projects: course participants develop, implement, present, and reflect upon units of instruction related to visual culture (4 weeks)
A ED 813: Contemporary Art and Public Pedagogy
Inquiry into the public pedagogy of contemporary visual culture for relevancy to museum and K-12 art education contexts. (3 credits)
This course prepares art teachers to become producers of a socially just world by becoming critical public art pedagogues who extend their teaching environment. As defined in the course, critical public pedagogy of art, as an educational and artistic practice, is a critical stance concerning socio-pervasive artifacts, processes, and interfaces that acculturate and assimilate values, beliefs, and sensitivities.
Public pedagogy is the use of a public medium and/or space such as the Internet, films, television, magazines, shopping malls, and sports arenas to influence behaviors and beliefs. Public pedagogy enacts societal curricula that are easily consumed because of its ubiquitous nature. Awareness of consumption of public pedagogy is important because of its global reach. Educators need to be versed in how to facilitate investigations of public pedagogy and how to guide students to develop critical public pedagogical practices.
From spheres of influence radiating from art to a multidirectional layered matrix of sensibility, this course explores contemporary art that addresses and enacts public pedagogy through (inter)actions of cultural interfaces such as humans, technologies, localities, and politics. Such artworks are performed networks of relations. Contemporary artists’ praxis involving intertextuality, palimpsest, remix, code-switching, double-coding, subversion, and hypersignification is explored through video, installation, performance, and other contemporary art forms.
Objectives of the course include understanding processes of consumption and production of public pedagogy, and understanding contemporary art practices. By the end of the course, participants should be able to develop and implement units of instruction related to contemporary art and public pedagogy, and reflect on their own and others’ teaching practices in schools and museums.
This is one of the required courses for the M.P.S. in Art Education. It is offered every other spring semester with a maximum enrollment of 15 students.
By the end of the course, participants in the course should:
Evaluation Methods--Achievement of the objectives described above will be assessed through:
Assignments will be weighted in proportion to the amount of time spent on major topics in the course. (See the outline of major topics above.) Participants’ units of instruction, reflections on their own teaching, and feedback on others’ pedagogical research—i.e., the final project, completed during the last 4 weeks—will be worth 25–30% of the final grade in the course.