It is necessary to trace the history of Arts Education Department from its academic “ancestry”, namely the University of Calabar, for posterity’s purposes. The University, having metamorphosed from the campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, became a full-fledged university in 1976 with Faculty of Education as one of the faculties.
Five years after, in 1981, the Faculty of Education gave birth to two departments; Educational Foundation and Administration, and Curriculum and Teaching. At that initial time, Curriculum and Teaching started off with three programmes- Education Art, Education Science and Education Social Science. Later, some other programmes such as Elementary Education, Business Education, Special Education, Agricultural Education and Physical and Health Education which were introduced into the department and have been accorded their full departmental status; namely Department of Vocational and Special Education in 1997. However, Elementary Education programme still remains with Curriculum and Teaching.
For 33 years (1981-2014), the Department of Curriculum and Teaching steadily hosted Education Art, Education Science and Education Social Science programmes. Other programmes such as Social Studies, Environmental Education and Educational Technology- the last two both at consultancy and regular modes.
Since the department had these many courses, programmes and students to handle, the University Of Calabar at its 200th Senate meeting of 13th November, 2014 approved the split of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching into five full autonomous departments made up of Arts Education, Science Education, Environmental Education, Social Science and the new Curriculum and Teaching.
The Department of Arts Education came into full existence on 1st February, 2015 with four programmes – Education/English, Education/French, Education/History and Education/Religion,staff strength of eight (8) academic and four (4) non-academic staff at inception. There are also many academic and non-academic staff from the students’ electives (English and Literary Studies, Modern Languages and Translation Studies, History and International Studies and Religious Department), and other departments in the Faculty of Education.
The department has been positioned to train and retrain highly qualified professional teachers, both at undergraduate and graduate levels.