Art is a great teacher — revealing patterns in life, providing a medium of self-discovery, and fostering opportunities to make meaning and envision possibilities.
The teaching of art is also an art form — allowing teacher and learner to co-construct their understanding in visual and embodied ways. Art education is a creative process where the tools of knowledge and experience are used to facilitate opportunities for interaction between teacher, student, curriculum, and world.
Nazareth College is one of the top-ranked schools in New York State for its art education degree program. Our future teachers are taught to present the study and creation of art in exciting and meaningful ways while continuing its lifelong development in their own lives. Our approach to teaching art is not simply to have students follow an assignment or perfect a technique, but to find a reason to make art that is meaningful to them.
As required by NYS, students in our art education major put in 100 field hours of observation and teaching in practicums and student teaching in local schools and in our on-campus Saturday Art School. Our graduates teach in school systems locally and around the country. All are gifted artists and teachers who use their own talents to inspire others.
Education: B.A., Mercyhurst University; M.A.E, Virginia Commonwealth University; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University.
Areas of Academic Interest: The experiences of beginning teachers, maps as a qualitative research methodology, sensory ethnography, curriculum studies, and classroom management.
“I’m ready and eager to get kids to love art as much as I do, to open students up to the possibilities of what they can create.” She credits her readiness to teach to multiple semesters with kids at Saturday Art School and fieldwork guiding a local 14-year-old with autism through a stop motion animation project, which complemented her diverse learners course. Wittels loves that art teaches universal principles and provides successful experiences “for kids who aren’t successful in paper-writing or math. I love to see the spark in a young kid who finally understands something."
This visual arts enrichment program for children, teens, and adults began more than 20 years ago. Sessions are taught by advanced art education majors and supervised by Nazareth faculty.