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Teacher as Practitioner

The Teacher as Practitioner project (formerly Teacher Artmaker Project) aims to inspire early career teachers to maintain an active practice in the subject area that brought them to secondary education. Given the body of literature on teacher attrition and burnout in the first five years post-graduation, the Teacher as Practitioner project hypothesises that maintaining a connection to subject passion through practice could be one strategy that supports quality teacher retention.

The TAP project began with an intervention at the University of Melbourne with secondary visual arts teachers. The intervention itself is simple; each year the university hosts an open group exhibition and alumni teachers are invited to contribute one or more works. It has since expanded to include science teachers, as well as Bachelor of Education (Secondary) visual arts major teachers from ECU. The exposition allows both science and arts teachers to share artefacts of practice on an annual basis, and a digital presentation allows for works to be shared between Perth and Melbourne throughout the exhibition.

TAP is gathering evidence that this small intervention is having a positive impact on teachers’ perceptions of their teaching quality, a driver for long-term retention in the profession.

Project duration

2017 - ongoing.


  1. Morris, J. & Coleman, K. (2019). Fluid identities in multiple cultural practices: How practice changes becoming teachers’ perceptions of themselves. Journal of Artistic and Creative Education: Interculturalisms special issue, 13(1), 1-14.
  2. Morris, J. E., & Imms, W. (2019). Helping teachers ‘practise what they teach’ could help them stay teaching for longer. The Conversation.
  3. Morris, J. E. & Imms, W. (2019). AARE EduResearch Matters Blog.
  4. Morris, J., Coleman, K., & Imms, I. (2018). Practicing in time: The teacher as practitioner (TAP) report, 2019. Melbourne, Australia: University of Melbourne.
  5. Morris, J., Coleman, K., Toscano, M., & Imms, I. (2018). A case for the impact of practice: The teacher as practitioner (TAP) report, 2018. Melbourne, Australia: University of Melbourne.
  6. Morris, J. E., & Imms, W. (2018). Validation of the TAP tool, an instrument measuring the impact of teacher retention intervention strategies. Education & Society, 36(2), 15-27. doi:
  7. Morris, J., Imms, W., Toscano, M., & Coleman, C. (2017). TAP to TAP2: Research report 2017. Melbourne, Australia: University of Melbourne.


Dr Julia Morris.

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