The number of students earning a college degree in education is at an all-time low: 4.2 percent of incoming university students plan to major in education, down from 9.9 percent ten years ago. This decline, compounded with the increasing number of retirees, is creating a large pedagogical void, which in turn is leading to the recruitment of people with less traditional credentials.
For example, someone with a degree in painting could be hired to teach art to 500 elementary school students once a week. But without an art education background, that person might not be equipped to teach a broad range of art mediums. In artroom supply closets, kilns gather dust, unfired since their predecessors left long ago. Sadly, these kilns will remain cold and dusty unless we, as a ceramics community, build community networks and connect with local educators and businesses to support the growth and development of clay in local schools.
We—ceramists of all backgrounds—can help revitalize programs and improve the quality of the ceramics experiences for students by supporting teachers’ development in the medium. We know the value of ceramics in everyday life and have an opportunity to share this appreciation, fostering it in the hearts and minds of our local educators....