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Friday, September 10, 2004

UNCP art professor’s textbook is useful and affordable

Ann Horton-LopezLike students everywhere, students at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke know about textbooks. What they know is they are expensive, some going for well over $100.

With that in mind, UNCP art Professor Dr. Ann Horton-Lopez has written a textbook with a price tag of $28.60. “Preparing to Teach Elementary School Visual Arts,” was published in August 2004 by XanEdu Original Works of Ann Arbor, Mich.

Asked if publishing affordable textbooks is a new trend in higher education, Dr. Horton-Lopez was doubtful.

“I tried to keep the cost down,” she said. “I tried to produce it for under $30 in a market that sells art history books and education textbooks for $80-100.”

She succeeded, and how did it was simple – black and white graphics.

“We watched black-and-white TV for years before color,” Dr. Horton-Lopez said. “I am a photographer, and black-and-white works for me.”

Cover of Textbook“Color would have been nice, but for what I am illustrating, color is not necessary,” she said.

At any price the textbook has a place in the market, Dr. Horton-Lopez said, because it fills a void in art education instruction.

“The text is targeted at elementary school art teachers and all elementary school teachers; I tried to meet the needs of both groups,” she said. “There is no other book on how to set up a classroom and how to buy art supplies.”

“As an art education professor, I wanted it to be especially beneficial for the new teacher, who often is not assigned an art teacher as a mentor because there is usually only one art teacher per elementary school,” Dr. Horton-Lopez said.

There are chapters on every area a teacher needs to succeed, including writing lesson plans and integrating math, reading, science and other subjects into the art curriculum. Special needs children are not left behind, and there are safety tips as well.

The textbook has been thoroughly road tested by the professor’s own students. The reason the book says that it is in its third printing, Dr. Horton-Lopez said is that she used the first two editions exclusively as test models.

“I wanted to try it out on my students to see if it works,” she said. “In fact, many of my students contributed art to the project.”

Dr. Horton-Lopez, who directs UNCP’s Master of Arts Education program, hopes the third printing is just the beginning.

“I want to update it and refresh it with new visuals by current students,” she said.

This could be the start of something, and this should be the start of something.

“Preparing to Teach Elementary School Visual Art” is available at the UNCP Bookstore at or by calingl 1-800-949-UNCP. Dr. Horton-Lopez may be contacted at

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