I don't really know much about teaching in an academic sense. I think the subject is vast and there are so many areas of it which are invalid when talking about teaching art. Art as a subject is much different to academic subjects int he way the work is marked. For example, a student taking a maths test has to answer questions normally with just one answer. The student is either right or wrong. On the other hand, art is much more open to different views and opinions, especially in the field I'm in, which I'd class as entertainment and game art. If I get asked to create a character from a description from a book, and produce what I think the character should look like, who's going to say it's wrong? It's an interpretation. I think this is one of the main problems facing my lecturers and others like them.
One of the ways to overcome this issue and be able to mark each students work appropriately would be to create a specific marking criteria for the type of work they are producing. For example, is I were to paint a cityscape scene in colour, I could be marked on various aspects of the picture. Perspective, colour theory, shapes, stroke quality and mark making. In this sense, a piece of art could be marked fairly easily. I think that the mark for a piece of art could change quite drastically depending on the person marking it. Someone more educated in art may even mark a piece lower than someone that looks at it and thinks 'this is amazing'. I feel the same way about criticism.
Criticism is arguable the best way to improve as an artist. But this in definitely not always the case. I've had my fare share of what I call 'destructive criticism'. Destructive criticism is exactly the opposite of what any improving artist wants to hear. Going back to an earlier point, I had painted an interpretation for a book character based on various descriptions from a book. I received some good criticism from my fellow student outlining various anatomy errors, which is the kind of thing that I could take into account and practice more for future paintings. There was, however, a small group of people who pretty much ripped it to shreds, with no sign of any constructive criticism whatsoever. For me, It seemed like a complete waste of time on there part. Comments seemed to be based on personal views and opinions. This is fair enough, but when the comments are extremely negative it's not very helpful to the artist.
I think trying to mold the artist around the current industry standard is the best way to approach teaching what I do and uni. Teaching techniques and current trends to students that want to work in this area will help then get the job they need. Why waste time teaching someone how to model a character in a way that was done 5 years ago, when really the student should be taught the most up to date way possible. On the other hand, the student needs to be taught the very basics in order to progress and learn the full techniques needed. On my course, the first year was mainly for this reason, trying to bring everyone up to speed and on the same level. In the second year, the student is given more freedom to teach themselves new techniques and practice more refined working methods. The in the final third year, the student is pretty much on there own, able to create and explore creative paths which are tailored to them. I'm really looking forward to the third year because of this. I can't wait.