Art on Trial-Strategies for Teaching Secondary Art History and Art Criticism

Janet Rentz
This online course helps participants to teach art history & art criticism for years 7 to 12, employing analogies from the practices of forensic science making it loads...
Target Audience
Teachers of Visual Arts, Photography, Digital Imaging and Video Years 7 to 12
48 reviews

Learning Areas

General Description

This course helps participants to teach art history and art criticism for years 7 to 12. For Years 7 to 10 they employ analogies from the practices of forensic science and crime detection to investigate what art historians and art critics do and how artworks deliver meaning to audiences. They explore strategies to assist students in their art historical and art critical writing. For senior students, the course includes approaches for deeper learning and writing of art historical/art critical narratives. It addresses content for all Australian visual arts syllabuses and the Australian Arts Curriculum. Ideas will be explored in the following areas – European Classical to 19th century art, Modernism, Postmodernism, Indigenous, Australian, American, Pacific, African, Asian and Islamic art. Participants will receive pictorial teaching resources as well as summaries and tables.


Teachers of Visual Arts, Photography, Digital Imaging and Video Years 7 to 12

Available Delivery Formats

Format Description

Do you have a team of teachers interested in this course,
but don’t have an Unlimited Online Subscription Package?

- Purchase a single online course for an unlimited number of teachers

- All teachers must currently teach at your school campus

- All teacher’s details must be supplied within 30 days of order

PRICE: $990 + GST


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Teaching Standards

2.2.2 Proficient Level – Content selection and organisation
2.5.2 Proficient Level – Literacy and numeracy strategies
3.2.2 Proficient Level – Plan, structure and sequence learning programs
3.3.2 Proficient Level – Use teaching strategies
6.3.2 Proficient Level – Engage with colleagues and improve practice

Are you in NSW? If so, this is relevant for you

Completing this course will contribute 10 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 6.3.2, 2.2.2, 2.5.2, 3.2.2 & 3.3.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

TTA (Teacher Training Australia) is endorsed to provide the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development for teachers accredited at Proficient and Lead Level Teacher.

This course contributes to 10.0 professional development hours.


Introduction to the course

30 minutes

Summary of course, introduction of facilitator and participants. Navigating the site and how to use software.

Planning the Defence – A Framework for Teaching Art History and Art Criticism

1 hour

Participants will be introduced to course objectives and course outline. They will have access to a glossary resource that ensures that everyone is using the same terms. They will consider ‘typical problems address when teaching art and history and art appreciation’. Finally, participants will outline a scope and sequence for addressing art historical content.

Setting the Scene – Art and Context

2 hours and 30 minutes

Understanding context for teaching art history, appreciating how beliefs, attitudes and viewpoints inform artmaking practice and the functions and purposes of art. Addressing strategies for teaching art history and art criticism.

The Contemporary Scene - Modernist and Postmodernist Practice

1 hour and 30 minutes

Understanding how the last two centuries and historic events, politics and beliefs have informed artmaking practice. Addressing strategies for art historical and art critical arguments.

The Perpetrator – Who are Artists and What do They do?

2 hours

Appreciating how time and place influence who are artists and what is their artistic practice – their choices and actions and ideas communicated in artworks.

Hard Evidence – Art Historical Facts, Art Critical Claims and Audiences

1 hour and 30 minutes

Addressing art historical and art critical practice with a focus on audiences and meanings delivered to them.
Constructing art historical and art critical accounts.

Closing the Case – Bodies of Work and Case Studies

1 hour

Exploring artists’ bodies of work in presenting case studies. Creating art historical/art critical narratives. Closing the case.

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About the team

Janet Rentz


Janet Rentz has been an art educator for thirty years, having completed undergraduate and Masters degrees in design and art education and embarking on PhD study. Starting as a classroom teacher, Janet then headed up departments in two NSW secondary schools. Following this, Janet became an educator for museums and galleries, devising art programs for school students. After this Janet became the NSW Visual Arts Consultant for DET, implementing the new visual arts syllabus, training teachers and developing support resources. She has lectured in art education at UNSW College of Fine Arts and UTS. She is currently writing art programs for distance education and giving workshops for NAS HSC students.