Teacher education partnerships: Analysing national practice in the supervision of preservice teachers

Year: 1994

Author: Smedley, Lea

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Mid-1993 a national survey was undertaken into innovation and practice in the supervision of preservice teacher education students. The principal aim of this research was to provide a comparative framework for a postgraduate study of the development of teacher education partnerships within the Macquarie University teacher education program.

Over the past 25 years at Macquarie a model of teacher education has evolved in which school- and tertiary-based partnerships have been fostered by means of three key strategies: parallel school experience and curriculum study, school visits by curriculum staff, and Master Teacher (co-operating teacher) meetings. The goal of each strategy is effective joint supervision of student growth and development.

The extent to which these and other partnership strategies have been introduced into preservice teacher education throughout Australia is revealed through analysis of the national survey. Through the provision of a clear overview of practice and innovation, the survey serves as an important first step in the documentation and evaluation of change in approaches to the practicum, a vital component in our teacher education work. The extent and pace of change revealed serve as a reminder of the constant need to share with both school- and tertiary-based colleagues our understandings of the theoretical underpinnings which support and inform our approaches to practicum experiences.