Ms Tara Michelle Winters



Tara has a background in graphic design and has worked as a freelance designer for many years in the areas of print and interactive media. Her main research interests include the study of the more fluid and dynamic forms of representation offered by digital technologies, and an active engagement with art and design pedagogy. Her work takes a critical gaze over the various forms of teaching and learning practices occurring in contemporary art and design education. Recent work includes the development of a structure for facilitating meta-learning in art and design education, and a system for helping international students in the creative arts with orienting to a new academic context.

Publications include work in education research journal The International Journal of Art and Design Education (Wiley-Blackwell), the online journal of the Australian Graphic Design Association Visual:Design:Scholarship (produced by the Australasian organisation for professional graphic designers), and a book chapter in Design:Pedagogy:Research (UK: Jeremy Mills Publishing Ltd, 2008).

Tara has been Undergraduate Student advisor at Elam since 2007, and is also involved in the ‘Let’s Talk Art’ initiative at the school which aims to assist undergraduate EAL (English as a second language) students to engage more fully and critically with fine arts discourse within an informal, supportive, critique-based environment.

Research | Current

  • Visual communication design
  • Interactive media design
  • Art education theory and practice

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Winters, T. M. (2017). Not thinking on purpose: The significance of low-focus thinking in learning to be a designer. Paper presented at Eleventh International Conference on Design Principles & Practices, Toronto, Canada. 2 March - 4 March 2017. Eleventh International Conference on Design Principles & Practices: Design for the Global Village.
  • Winters, T. M. (2016). A developing research-oriented pedagogy for undergraduate teaching in art and design. International Journal of Education through Art, 12 (3), 257-270. 10.1386/eta.12.3.257_1
  • Winters, T. (2016). Art and designs’ developing contribution to the frontiers of contemporary research theory and practice. Proceedings of the ACUADS conference 2015: Art and design education in the global 24/7 Acton, Australia: The Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools.
  • Winters, T. (2015). Facilitating early research experience in art and design using a research-oriented approach to teaching and learning. In M. Baguley (Ed.) AARE Conference Proceedings 2015 Deakin, Australia: Australian Association for Research in Education.
  • Winters, T. M. (2014). How to think, not what to think: Teaching graphic design as a form of practice-based inquiry. Paper presented at 2nd Annual Design Educators Conference: Colouring outside the lines - Teaching for the future to meet the changing needs of the industry, Toronto, Canada. 8 November - 8 November 2014. Design Educators Conference Booklet.
  • Winters, T. M. (2014). “I won’t do anything until I create a Masterpiece”: The role of uncertainty, instability and failure in art-making and learning. Paper presented at AARE-NZARE 2014: Speaking back through research, Brisbane, Australia. 30 November - 4 December 2014.
  • Winters, T. M. (2014). The affective intensity of images: Images as a catalyst for transformative learning. The International Journal of the Image, 4 (3), 1-11. Related URL.
  • Winters, T. (2013). Strengthening critical thinking in design using meta-learning activity in studio education. In C. Brisbin, M. Thiessen (Eds.) Critique 2013. 2013 Conference Proceedings, 307-316. Adelaide, South Australia: University of South Australia. Related URL.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 404
New Zealand