Despite the known affordances of Arts-Based Research Practice within the international education environment, its use remains relatively uncommon in Western Australia. The reasons for this are likely the contested nature of quality criteria by which Arts-Based Practice is evaluated as well as the challenges as well associated with the dissemination of research findings. Mixed-methods research is increasingly recognised as an appropriate and practical approach for education phenomena, and within this domain, inquiry that combines traditional qualitative and arts-based strategies offers the education researcher advantages that are not readily available through other approaches. As professional artists and researchers we share our experiences in employing our visual arts specialism within a qualitative approach. Our focus for inquiry was a “Digital Sabbath” intervention (a practice of regularly unplugging from all technology/devices with the aim of increasing social connectedness and mitigating stress) with seven early career visual arts teachers whose voices and experience of the digital disruption might otherwise have remained silenced. The importance of the study was both that we trialed a well-being intervention, but also that we innovated our methodological research repertoire by combining traditional and contemporary elements of the Qualitative paradigm.


early career teachers, arts teacher/s stress, arts-based education research, arts-based research methods, mixed-methods inquiry

Author Bio(s)

Lisa Paris, Ph.D. (Corresponding Author; Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Curtin University. Lisa is the Arts Education Coordinator at Curtin University and served as the Academic Lead for the Curtin University School of Education Professional Learning Hub 2018-2019 inclusive which provides continuous professional learning to the WA in-service teacher community across all subject disciplines. She worked as a K-12 visual arts specialist teacher and Head of Learning Area (Arts) in WA schools over 20 years and was President of the Art Education Association of WA for 3 years before her appointment as a Senior Lecturer within the School of Education at Edith Cowan University Perth in 2004. She won the ECU Vice Chancellor’s Award for “Programs that Enhance Post-Graduate Education” in 2008. Lisa is the joint recipient of significant funding for research projects including an Australia Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant in 2011. Her research interests encompass pre-service arts teacher education, mentoring of beginning arts teachers, as well as the role of the arts in facilitating inclusion for vulnerable individuals/populations. Please direct correspondence to lisa.paris@curtin.edu.au.

Dr Julia Morris, Ph.D. (Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley, Western Australia) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Course Coordinator for Visual Arts Education (Secondary) at Edith Cowan University, and an Honorary Fellow with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Her main research interests are engagement and evaluation in applied education research, with an emphasis on developing and utilising evidence-based measures to improve educational practice. Since 2015 she has published over 35 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers and research reports, and has had numerous non-traditional research outputs. She is currently supervising eight higher degrees by research students, with a specific focus on supporting students to apply research methodologies in innovative ways within educational research. Please direct correspondence to j.morris@ecu.edu.au.

John Bailey, M.Ed. (Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia) has over 35 years’ experience in the education sector. He has extensive practical classroom and administrative experience in developing, managing, and teaching programs for children having a wide range of special needs. He has worked in state and private schools in the primary and secondary sectors in Australia, England, Canada, and China. He lectures at Curtin University in the areas of educational psychology, inclusive education, special needs, and behaviour management. In 1995, John established a private consultancy practice and since then has combined teaching and lecturing with consulting. He advises in most areas of special needs provision and his special areas of interest include giftedness, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and behaviour management. John provides professional development to teachers and school executives and consults with parents of children who have special needs. John has a B.A., B.Ed., and M.Ed. (UWA) and spent 12 months as a visiting scholar at Cambridge University reviewing education provision for gifted students. He has presented extensively at the local, state, national, and international levels and his audiences include teachers, school administrators, other professionals working in the field, and parents. Please direct correspondence to john.bailey@curtin.edu.au.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.







To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.