The Teacher as Practitioner (TAP)

Since 2010, The Teacher as Practitioner (TAP) project has offered a community of practice for early career teachers which supports and encourages the continuation of their art making. Visual Art teachers are somewhat unique amongst the teaching fraternity in that they not only teach, but they must also practice what they preach. Many wish to maintain a private art practice in partnership with quality teaching; in fact, a lot of art teachers believe that their own art making is critical for quality teaching. TAP is a significant research initiative which began with a Visual Art Secondary focus, and while that remains its central focus, over the past two years it has begun the process of examining

if and how the idea of practice as elucidated from the experiences of early career art teachers as practitioners might also apply to early career science teachers as practitioners. In late 2017, TAP’s scope was further extended through the invitation of Secondary Science graduate teachers and a science education specialist into this community of practice-based educators. The inclusion of an undergraduate program at our partner institution, Edith Cowan University in Perth, new disciplinary area and team members marked a turn towards a re- examination of the praxis, practice and pedagogy that was already an important feature of TAP.

TAP is an international first for Initial Teacher Education (ITE), providing longitudinal data about teachers’ participation in art production, perceptions of quality of teaching, and expectations of retention in the profession. This information will inform better teacher training and professional development for future generations of practice-based educators. All participants complete an annual survey once they graduate, regardless of their career pathway. A number of volunteers from that group also agree to participate in an annual exhibition/ exposition that provides participants with the goals, motivation, and support group to maintain an active art practice during the early years of their teaching career.

For further information, visit the Teacher as Practitioner website.


  • Associate Professor Wes Imms
  • Dr Kathryn Coleman
  • Dr Maurizio Toscano
  • Sarah Healy
  • Lachlan Stewart

Research partner

  • Edith Cowan University
    Contact: Dr Julia Morris