Arts in Education
In the Arts in Education (AIE) Program you will explore the many roles the arts play in educational settings — in and out of schools and for learners of all ages. The flexibility of AIE offers you the ability to design an individualized course of study based on your interests and needs. You will develop analytic skills and reflective practices, forge powerful creative partnerships, and explore the relationship of the arts to other sectors in education.
You will join a diverse cohort of visual artists, museum educators, nonprofit arts advocates, teachers, and writers who believe that the arts not only have intrinsic value, but also multiple and diverse roles in education and society.
Senior Lecturer Steve Seidel, faculty director
This one-year, full-time program is ideal for self-directed learners who want to leverage the remarkable breadth of HGSE course offerings to become effective advocates for arts-based education initiatives, both in and out of schools. The strengths of AIE include:
- Internships and Fieldwork – There are many progressive arts in education organizations and advocacy groups in the Cambridge and Boston area. For-credit internships through the Field Experience Program are one cornerstone of the AIE experience, offering hands-on opportunities to work with local artists and youth in school and afterschool settings.
- Cohort and Community – You will form strong bonds with the other members of your cohort through a yearlong seminar required of and limited to AIE students. Outside of class, students share their artistic work during AIE Cabaret nights, concerts, film screenings, and campus art gallery expositions. Students have found it energizing and inspiring to be surrounded by so many creative artists and educators working together to make an impact in the lives of others.
AIE is one of the most flexible and self-directed graduate programs at HGSE. Apart from the sequence of two required seminars, you are given significant freedom to design your own unique academic pathway based on previous work experience, creative interests, and professional goals. This interdisciplinary approach prepares you to be an "education entrepreneur," making new connections between the arts and education at the classroom, school, and community levels.
AIE program director Steve Seidel teaches the two-course sequence of core courses, with the help of three teaching fellows — often themselves graduates of the AIE Program. You will complete eight courses (32 credits) in total. Two required core courses:
- S300 The Arts in Education: Philosophical Dimensions and Reflective Practices — Part One (fall)
- S301 The Arts in Education: Philosophical Dimensions and Reflective Practices — Part Two (spring)
At least three (3) of your elective courses must be either explicitly arts-related or provide adequate space to explore an arts-related
- A117 Implementing Inclusive Education (fall)
- HT123 Informal Learning for Children (January)
- S121 Art and Understanding (fall)
- S305 Active Learning in Museums (January)
- T201M Writing Workshop (January)
- A027 Managing Financial Resources in Nonprofit Organizations (fall or spring)
- A101 Native Americans in the 21st Century: Nation Building (January)
- T550 Designing for Learning by Creating (fall)
- S316 Art, Design, and Learning in Public Spaces (spring)
- HT500 Growing Up in a Media World (fall)
- A111P Public Narrative: Self, Us, Now (fall)
- A320 Building a Democratic School: School Design Workshop (spring)
- H810F Children's Literature (fall)
- H810G Adolescent Literature (spring)
- T211J Museum and Object-Based Learning (fall)
HGSE consists of a faculty of the whole and students can work with and take courses with faculty throughout HGSE and Harvard. The faculty that AIE students most often work with include:
Fieldwork & Internships
An internship with an arts-related organization through the Field Experience Program can also count toward your requirement of three arts-related courses. Examples of internship sites include:
- Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
- Harvard Art Museums Graduate Student Teacher Program
- Boston Day & Evening Academy
- Boston Lyric Opera
- Boston Museum of Science
- Critical Explorers
- Museum of Fine Arts Boston
- Project Zero
- Urbano Project
- VSA Massachusetts
There are so many ways to customize an AIE education that no two transcripts are alike. To better understand what an individualized AIE program looks like — courses, internships, and extracurricular activities — read through some of our student pathways from recent years:
Alumni & Student Profiles
Many AIE students are trained and working artists in a variety of disciplines. Some are experienced educators who want to incorporate the arts more effectively into their students' learning experiences. Others come with specific academic or professional interests in arts integration, museum education, curriculum development, arts policy research, after-school arts programming, or the use of the arts with incarcerated populations, Alzheimer's patients, and parties engaged in conflict resolution. AIE alumni are making an impact as leaders, educators, and social entrepreneurs in communities across the U.S. and the world. Learn more about AIE alumni and students: Career Trajectories and Publications.
A look at a student teaching spoken word in schools.
The Intellectual Contribution Award recipient for Arts in Education reflects on her time at HGSE and looks toward the future.
Connect with Admissions
More information about our admissions application requirements and instructions, tuition and financial aid, and answers to frequently asked questions is available on our website. If you have additional admissions-related questions, please contact Youlim Yai or call 617.495.3414.