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Gordon School of Art Teacher Training:

Policies, Procedures, and Costs

Dear Prospective Teacher,

Thank you for your interest in the New Masters teacher-training program. Your interest could not be more timely. The field of the visual fine arts is in the early stages of a movement to revitalize its technical foundation. More and more people are seeking instruction in representational drawing and painting and more and more private art schools in the classical tradition are opening up to accommodate them. It will not be long before university art departments will be forced to follow suit, although most are still committed to modernist and post-modernist principles. It is becoming increasingly rare to find representational drawings or paintings in faculty and student art shows. This is not to suggest that modernism and post-modernism should be replaced by representation, but that they cannot effectively function without a representational base. The same can be said about the graphic design field.

Job Markets

My view of the current job-market situation is that while public school art educators continue to emphasize the modernist path of self-expression through abstraction and/or the post-modernist path of sub-cultural advocacy (multi-culturalism) and moral relativism, the public at large would prefer, if given the choice, a representational approach. I am talking about those who fund the schools, who actually send their children to them and the students themselves. I believe the same can be said of most public education administrators. At a time when art programs throughout the country are being cut back and even eliminated, a teacher with a developmental, technical, representational emphasis will have the edge over the lets-have-fun, art-is-about self-esteem candidates. By far the best job prospects for a New Masters certified teacher at this point - judging from the success of my own local classes and the number of inquiries I have received from people around the world - are the home-schooling and private lesson markets. One of the most frequent questions I have been asked over the years is whether there are any New Masters teachers available in such-and-such an area (the most recent being Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia ). I am also very encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the New Masters methods and philosophy from teachers and administrators in the classical education movement.

Who is eligible for Teacher Candidacy?

The guiding principle of the New Masters System (thanks to Shinichi Suzuki in the field of music instruction) is the belief that anyone is capable of attaining mastery in the visual arts field - if they are willing to work at it. The same principle applies to the teacher-training program. Any adult individual, 16 years of age or older, will be considered for New Masters teacher certification candidacy. Those who have attained teacher certification in any field of learning -- will probably have less difficulty and take less time attaining New Masters certification than those who have not. Art and music teachers with representational drawing skills are ideal candidates. Regardless of their backgrounds, however, all candidates must go through the same training steps to be certified. All New Masters teachers are expected to become technically accomplished artists as well as effective teachers. New Masters teacher candidates are trained in phases and certified one phase at a time. Upon completing the first phase, their own graduation from the New Masters Foundation Course, candidates begin instructing from one to three private students in one-on-one private lessons in their own homes, in the students' homes, or in rented studio spaces. At this time, teacher trainees will also begin their own instruction in the Level 5 course. Instruction will progress in this way, for both teacher and student, from level to level. (The ages of students taught and the circumstances of teaching will vary with each phase.) The following is a list of the certification phases, the students and conditions to which they apply, the training requirements for each, and the current costs of training.

Certification Phases

Phase 1) Foundation Course skills training and teacher manual study. (The Foundation Course covers Levels 1 through 4 in a 10-level curriculum)
During the first phase of New Masters teacher-training, the candidate goes through the Foundation Course as a self-study student following the step-by-step instructions in the teacher manual. It is during this phase that the candidate's own basic drawing skills are mastered and the Foundation Course instruction guides studied and understood. Upon completion of the course work, all worksheets and projects are sent in for evaluation. If the work receives a favorable review, the candidate proceeds to training phase 2. NOTE: If the candidate is a parent teaching a child in the course, Phases 1 and 2 can be carried out simultaneously. It is advised, however, that the parent complete at least the first four steps of the course and have the work evaluated by Gordon School of Art before starting the training of children.
Costs to trainee:
The Foundation Course package - $269.95
Postage and handling - $15.95 in the continental U.S. The Foundation Course package includes a teacher manual, student workbook, an introductory DVD, 5 instructional DVDs, a supply packet with all necessary supplies, two mail evaluation sessions and one year of free telephone support.
Phase 2) Foundation Course introductory practice teaching and Level 5 training.
During the second training phase, the candidate takes at least one student through the Foundation Course, taking them through the steps in order following the instruction guides in the teacher manual and getting telephone support when needed. Additional students from the same family may be included in this phase. Non-family members may be added during the later stages depending upon the performance of the teacher as reflected in the performance of the student(s) to that point.

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