Maintaining ‘a practice’: Visual Art research into teachers as practitioners

Wesley Imms

Date: Tuesday, 10th September, 2013
Time: 5.15 – 6.45 pm
Venue: Frank Tate Room, Level 9, 100 Leicester Street, Carlton
RSVP: by Monday, 9th September 2013
Contact: Gina Grant /


It is sometimes said that to be a good teacher we must also ‘do’; we must keep our passion for our subject alive through active practise. But can newly graduated teachers maintain personal activity in their subject discipline of choice once they enter the classroom? If they do, how does this impact their teaching and career pathways? By not providing strategies during their training period on how to maintain active out-of-school practise, are we underpreparing our teacher candidates?

Ongoing results from an Australian longitudinal study provide some insight into these important questions. The Teacher as Art-maker Project (TAP) is tracking early career art educators’ teaching and art-making experiences. Analysis provides valuable insight into new teachers’ rate of artistic practice, perceptions of the quality of their teaching, and expectations of retention in teaching. These data help us address many complex issues that not only stop practicing artists from teaching, but also opens conceptualise the wider issue of teachers as practitioners.

Wesley Imms is Senior Lecturer and Head of Visual Art Education at the University of Melbourne, Australia. While primarily a curriculum theorist, his multi-disciplinary research conflates issues concerning gender, teacher education, the utilization of new generation learning spaces, trans-disciplinary pedagogy, architecture, applied design, and teacher/artist issues.