Project Details

A two-year project to investigate whether visual art education expertise found within cultural centres can effectively develop newly-trained primary school teachers’ confidence in teaching visual art. A collaboration of Victoria University of Wellington, Raroa Normal Intermediate School and Pātaka Art + Museum.


The project aimed to:

  • establish community support for provisionally registered teachers (PRTs) in the curriculum area of visual art
  • utilise the existing visual art expertise within the community as a support network for PRTs to enhance confidence and teaching skills
  • provide a model for the ongoing support of PRTs through the opportunities for relationship-building within the networks of community-based visual art expertise.


The project's methodology included:

  • eight workshops involving 12 provisionally registered teachers, supported by four cultural centres
  • survey data, interviews and focus groups to measure the impact of the workshops on a teacher’s confidence in teaching visual art.


victoria university

Ian Bowell

Victoria University of Wellington

William Taylor

Raroa Normal Intermediate School

Margaret Tolland

Pātaka Art + Museum.




$26,312.00 (excl GST)

$26,312.00 National Project Fund

Key Findings

  • Developing confidence in teaching visual art required hands‐on experience in visual art activities.
  • Effective communities of practice encouraged reflection about visual art teaching practice and enhance expertise.
  • Visual art supported the teaching of other curriculum areas.
  • Visual art in the classroom helped to develop children’s creativity.
  • The critical role cultural centres can play in the ongoing professional development of teachers across a range of disciplines, including the teaching of visual art.

Key Recommendations

Research the role of cultural centres further | Greater emphasis should be placed on the role cultural centres can play in the professional development of teachers. To do this, further research is needed to gain a greater understanding of the role played by cultural centres in supporting teacher development and teaching and learning.

Link teaching expertise to expertise in the community | Provisionally registered teachers should spend time developing their expertise as teachers in the community and by linking to expertise found outside schools. This learning could be an extension to their teaching qualification and perhaps a structured pathway to a higher qualification.


Community Engagement Enhances Confidence in Teaching Visual Art

A report prepared by Ian Bowell, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington.

(PDF 2.57 MB, 29-pages).

  • 16 July 2012
Read more