Engagement in action: University - School system partnership for teacher development

Year: 2006

Author: Bezzina, Michael, Butcher, Jude, Moran, Wendy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Over a period of over 15 years, the system of schools in the diocese of Parramatta and the Australian Catholic University have built a partnership which is significant for its scope and its penetration. It has involved the individual schools and the system as a whole in a wide range of initiatives with three of the university's schools within the Faculty of Education - Educational Leadership, Education and religious Education. The partnership has touched on innovative delivery of preservice methodology courses on school sites, support for classroom teachers, jointly delivered post graduate courses (and programs), international study tours, extended residential leadership programs, secondments and joint appointments, adjunct appointments, joint research initiatives (including Linkage grants), review activities and innovative school focused leadership for learning programs.

In the context of increasing interest in university engagement, this paper will describe the key joint activities and will seek to determine the factors which have contributed to the evolution of such a rich and textured relationship, which has found expression in so many different ways. It will explore, among other factors, the significance of commitment of key personnel, a sense of the importance of mutual benefit, strong ongoing structures for communication and a capacity to support innovative practice.