School - university partnerships: An exploration of the perceptions of teachers concerning involvement in teacher education

Year: 2000


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Much has been written about the nature of existing partnerships in teacher education which go far beyond the limited involvement in practice teaching that was once the norm in teacher education. However, because most partnerships have been designed by university based teacher educators and school administrators, the classroom teachers' voice has largely been absent. On the few occasions where the teachers' voice has been heard, it has been at best ambivalent.

This paper attempts to give teachers a voice by asking the question: how do teachers perceive preservice teacher education and their role within it? One hundred and seven teachers in six primary schools in the Parramatta Catholic Diocese of Sydney were surveyed. They were asked four broad questions about their perceptions of: recent changes in teaching; possible changes in teacher education; their role within teacher education, and the possible benefits of involvement in teacher education for themselves, their class and their school. The results of this initial exploration have relevance for the planning of school - university partnerships for the professional development of both preservice and practicing teachers.