Using metalogue to develop an understanding of cogenerativity and school-university partnerships in initial teacher education

Year: 2017

Author: Heck, Deborah, Willis, Linda-Dianne, Grimmett, Helen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This presentation presents research on the use of 'metalogue' (Bateson, 1972 & 1987; Willis & Exley, 2016) as an innovative methodology to develop an understanding of the concept of 'cogenerativity' (Stetsenko, 2008; Willis, 2016) and the potential of this concept to inform initial teacher education (ITE) school-university partnerships. The development of school-university partnerships to support ITE is now a requirement for the accreditation of ITE programs in Australia (AITSL, 2015). However, the development of productive school-university partnerships remains a contested and complex space for educators. Metalogue as a methodology provides researchers with the opportunity to explore problematic subjects through dialogue or conversations (Bateson, 1972). The presentation explores how the authors used metalogue to engage in dialogical exchanges about the notion of cogenerativity: first, by calling on the literature and second, by looking through the lens of different projects to examine the nature of the concept for developing and sustaining professional experience partnerships. The presentation will discuss the outcomes of the authors' developing understanding of cogenerativity that began with derivatives of the words 'co' - based on collaboration - and 'generative' - to create new ideas (Willis, 2016). The authors illustrate their understanding of cogenerativity by drawing on three different examples of ITE school-university partnership projects in Australia. The first of these professional experience projects drew on the use of participatory approaches in a new Master of Teaching program; the second involved a project of coteaching triads; and the third concerned the development of university, school and system partnerships. The research identified that cogenerativity might be useful for conceptualising why and how ITE school-university partnerships flourish. The knowledge developed may assist educators and researchers not only to create supportive conditions for the development of ITE school-university partnerships but also to [re]imagine the possibilities of such partnerships to realise continual expansive transformative learning for all involved. The authors will discuss how metalogue offered a unique research methodology for them to each explore their experience of school-university partnerships. At the same time, the use of metalogue to illustrate cogenerativity in practice will be highlighted. Finally, the authors will probe possible challenges and limitations that emerged in their research for creating and sustaining cogenerativity in the context of ITE school-university partnerships as part of contemporary teacher education policy.