Capturing employers' perceptions of the benefits of teacher placements in industry to facilitate education-industry linkages

Year: 1994

Author: Ball, Ian L., Jones, Rosemary

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This study reports the perceptions held by industry personnel concerning the long-term placements of experienced teachers in their organisations. Staff from 55 organisations participating in the Teacher Release to Industry Program (TRIP) were surveyed using a methodology found useful by BP (UK). The benefits of TRIP to the organisation and its impact on the organisation were ranked in priority order as were the perceived benefits for schools and the impact of the program on schools. The 34 respondents also commented about the program from their experiences with the teachers. Subsequently a subset of nine employers were interviewed about the perceived benefits of having teachers on long-term placements in their organisations. In selecting organisations a balance of large and small enterprises and medium-size industry were included.

Of particular interest were the results of the benefits analysis of the value added by participating in partnership programs. It was evident that participating organisations strongly valued the access that TRIP has provided to different resources, the expertise and fresh perspectives of the teachers involved.

An analysis of the qualitative data showed that the Program was achieving objectives in three areas: enabling business and industry better to meet the needs of education, increasing the productivity of the organisation, and providing relevant professional development for teachers. These analyses also reveal the importance of unintended outcomes in education-industry partnerships and that each partner has the possibility of increasing the potential for becoming "a learning organisation".