Teacher Education: The times they are a changing

Year: 1999

Author: Butcher, Jude, Howard, Peter, Nettle, Ted

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The world of teaching is undergoing rapid and radical changes for what is seen by many to be a conservative profession. Significant changes are occurring in school curricula and assessment practices, together with an increasing emphasis on inclusive education. At the same time teachers are responsible for providing quality teaching and learning programs for an increasingly diverse and at risk student population.

During a time of diminishing resources teacher educators, along with other providers, are grappling with the need to integrate university based theoretical learning with relevant and effective field based learning. In response to this changing context new forms of partnerships and collaboration have emerged or have been pursued between universities, school systems and teachers.

This paper provides a history of the changing vision, shape and contexts of teacher education within the School of Education (NSW) at Australian Catholic University. Traditional models of relationships between schools, school systems and universities are examined in light of the evolving partnerships and alliances that are being pursued by Australian Catholic University and key educational and community agencies. These partnerships are promoting a climate of shared ownership within a framework of field based learning. Integral to these partnerships is the student teacher who not only benefits from but also enriches the work of the other partners.

The paper includes an evaluation of some of the current field based learning initiatives and presents models and principles for extending these partnerships and initiatives in the future.