SYMPOSIUM 4: Teaching Learning Consortium - a new development in the professional preparation of teachers.

Year: 1997

Author: Beck, Margie, Gahan, Peter, Glazier, Jan, Howard, Peter, Moran, Wendy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

General: During 1997 Australian Catholic University in co-operation with Parramatta Diocese Catholic Education Office, implemented a pilotprogram which focussed on establishing a model for teacher education students to learn about teaching and learning in the workplace environment of school. Twocohorts involving 40 Year 2 Bachelor of Education [Primary] and 20 GraduateDiploma of Education [Secondary] students across nine primary and four highschools were involved in the pilot. The program took place during Autumnsemester and Autumn/Spring semesters respectively.

PART 1: Development and nature of the Teaching/Learning Consortium

The symposium traces the development of the program during 1996 highlighting some of the negotiating processes between the university staff, students and the education system involved. Changes to the conceptualisation of the venture during the planning stage of development are presented in light of new understandings about the roles of the consortium and the different stakeholders involved in it.

PART 2:From expectations to outcomes

The symposium addresses the stated expectations of those involved at the beginning of the program and compares these to the outcomes identified at the program's conclusion.

The purposes of the consortium include:

- promoting enquiry into teaching and learning in both school and University;
- facilitating link between theory and practice in education;
- enhancing relationships among teachers, teacher educators and beginning teachers;
- increasing the opportunity for structured reflective practice in school and University.

The emerging roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders and the reflective nature of the participants' learning are identified and explored through an analysis of journal entries and other data. The emphasis on collaborative work in schools and new forms of professional learning is highlighted. Stakeholders' perceptions of the implementation of the initiative are presented in this section of the symposium.

PART 3: Benefits, challenges and issues

Finally, the symposium addresses questions related to changes in the roles of university and school staff, students' professional learning in schools and enriching learning environments for teachers and their students are considered. Structural aspects of the program are considered, such as student assessment and workload, and school practices are discussed. In this analysis the benefits of the teaching learning consortium are presented. Implications for the future of such a collaborative venture are raised.