At the chalk-face: linking theory and practice in a school-based teacher education initiative

Year: 2007

Author: Ryan, Josephine

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Preservice teacher education in Australia and internationally is often criticised as being overly theoretical, too university focussed and out of touch with the actual work of teachers. The innovative project reported here aimed to address these issues by making the site of teacher education the school rather than the university and creating a collaborative program in which university lecturers and teachers worked together to mentor the preservice teachers. Findings from the study show that the initiative was effective in addressing a number of the significant challenges of teacher education. Preservice teachers were introduced to the profession in a gradual and engaging way; lecturers were able to work with pre-service teachers at their point of need. The greatest challenge was involving teachers in the program. Their very demanding work made their involvement problematic. However, the study found that the program worked best when teachers were most involved.