Teaching Medieval Art History to Art Students

Teaching Medieval Art History to Art Students

By Susan L. Ward

SMART: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, Vol. 3:1 (1992)

Synopsis: The author shares her advice and experience on how to teach medieval art history to fine art students.

Introduction: Teaching medieval art history effectively to fine art students presents unique pedagogical challenges. It requires an understanding of what such students are like and an adaptation of teaching methods and materials to deal with their unique characteristics. I have taught classes of art students for five years, first at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently at the Rhode Island School of Design. Through these experiences I have discovered much about the learning habits of young artists and developed pedagogical strategies for effectively teaching such students about the Middle Ages. While these strategies were initially developed at the School of the Art Institute in classes composed entirely of art students, it is hoped that they may be useful to medievalists in dealing with single fine art students who appear in their courses.

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We thank the editor of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching for their permission to republish this article.

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