An arts-based learning model: Synergies of artist mentorship, ePortfolio and discovering ‘possible self’


  • Jennifer Rowley The University of Sydney
  • Jennifer Munday Charles Sturt University



learning engagement, education equity, digital narratives, creative arts pedagogy, ePortfolio, identity


A successful learning model was adopted in a middle years' school in regional Australia, where Aboriginal artists are employed to work with students in a mentoring capacity creating original artworks and imparting knowledge of cultural heritage, symbols and techniques. ePortfolio thinking through reflective narratives was added to the art making/learning process assisting students to establish a sense of possible self, both cultural and future thinking. Described here is school-based applied research where the learning model emerged as researchers collected qualitative data to measure the impact of webpages (the ePortfolio) to the art making. Data include interviews with key stakeholders, classroom observations, student art works/stories, and webpages accompanying the culminating exhibition. Results showed that student engagement improved and cultural awareness was raised. Implications for pedagogy and practice include transferring the model to music, dance, media arts.


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Author Biographies

Jennifer Rowley, The University of Sydney

A/Professor Jennifer Rowley (PhD) is Program Leader, Music Education and Deputy Associate Dean (Education) at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney where a key role is co-ordinating the professional experience program for pre-service music teachers and Work-Integrated Learning experiences/internships for musicians into the Arts Industry. With an interest in identity development for teachers and musicians as they transition from expert student to novice professional through the utilisation of authentic learning experiences, her research on the impact of the ePortfolio for fostering enhanced career preparation within a framework of developing a sense of possible future self is well-known.

Jennifer Munday, Charles Sturt University

Dr Jennifer Munday, is an Associate Professor teaching in the disciplines of Creative Arts, and Technology. Jennifer's academic work and contribution are focused on “Developing and implementing innovative curriculum, learning and teaching models." (University Strategy 2022 refocus) She has built a reputation within and beyond the CSU community as progressive in online, flexible, and distance education. Her contributions include publication and investigation in the scholarship of teaching in online learning, particularly in regard to the value of ePortfolios and reflective practice. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


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How to Cite

Rowley, J., & Munday, J. (2022). An arts-based learning model: Synergies of artist mentorship, ePortfolio and discovering ‘possible self’. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 51(1).