The LINKS Program- The complexities of a university-school connection

Year: 2007

Author: Brown, Joanna, Reynolds, Ruth, Williams, Cheryl

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Why does this have to be so complex? Is there no pleasing some people? Will we ever get it right? What is right? Is there only one way to do this? Why is it working in school A but not in school B? Is it preferable to try rather than not try at all? Why the detractors? Why high praise from some? Is this evidence of support? Who are the movers and shakers?

The Links Program, at a regional university in NSW, Australia, involves teacher education students being attached to a school throughout their entire teaching program to enable them to be incorporated into the school culture which will, in turn, contribute to building the levels of confidence and resilience in Pre-service and New Scheme teachers. This program is aimed at providing an opportunity for pre-service teachers to build trust and understanding of one particular school environment. This paper briefly orientates the reader by describing the Links Program, its goals and activities that students may engage in as active participants of the program. It then goes on to illuminate the results of a survey conducted after the program has been running for 18 months through the lens of 'complexity theory'. Identification of such complexities within the Links Program leads to a consideration of the implications for learning to teach, with and by, NSW Professional Teaching Standards.