Developing effective school and university partnerships for teacher education
Kenny, J and Redman, C and Hobbs, L and Jones, M and Campbell, C and Gilbert, A and Chittleborough, G and Herbert, S, Developing effective school and university partnerships for teacher education, Edulearn 2014 Proceedings, 7-9 July, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 2620-2632. ISBN 978-84-617-0557-3 (2014) [Conference Extract]
The use of school-university partnerships to address the theory-practice divide in teacher education has recently come to attention in international teacher education studies (e.g. Darling-Hammond, 2005; Jones & Ryan, in press). School-university partnerships are particularly important in primary science teacher education as a means to overcome limited opportunities primary pre-service teachers have to observe and practice science teaching during their Practicum. Their opportunities are limited due to a lack of practising teachers who include science in their classroom teaching or who do not feel sufficiently competent to act as science mentors. This is generally attributable to low teacher confidence and knowledge of how to teach science (Jones & Carter, 2007).
This workshop will report on a study which is exploring existing approaches to school-university partnerships in science teacher education at 5 Australian universities. Utilising a multiple case study methodology (Yin, 2009), the project has examined the experiences of establishing, maintaining and developing these partnership and explored the benefits of the partnerships for pre-service teachers, practising teachers and schools.
A key outcome of the project is the development of an "Interpretive Framework" in which partnership practices were exemplified, contextualized and summarized, documenting key phases in the development of partnership arrangements. The Framework is currently undergoing validation with Australian universities. In this paper, the authors present the Framework to an braoder audience for comment and seek to explore its relevance and transferability to school-university partnerships in an international context.