In 2008 the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Department of Education (TasED) entered into a high-level Partnership agreement. The Partnership in Teaching Excellence, funded by the Federal Smarter Schools National Partnerships – Improving Teacher Quality agreement, included higher education funded places for teachers wishing to complete a Master’s degree, and at the other end of the profession, an innovative alternative teacher education pathway for final-year pre-service teachers (PSTs), run as a competitive scholarship program. The intent of the program was threefold, to assist PSTs in becoming quality reflective practitioners with the capacity to work in high needs schools, explore ways of improving mentor teachers and PSTs’ reciprocal relationships, and increase the retention of teachers in TasED schools. Begun at a time of intense industrial action, the Partnership program appeared rather one-sided with little apparent benefit conferring to the University and was at all times highly contentious.
Using Kagan’s six stages of collaboration as a framework, and drawing on interviews with the first cohort of scholarship PSTs, and a range of personal files documenting the beginnings of the Partnership, including minutes of meetings, PST results, and unpublished reviews commissioned by the TasED, this chapter explores the beginnings of the Partnership, as together those on the ground worked out what “Partnership” meant. It presents an evaluation of those initial successful first years, including the learning outcomes of the PSTs and discusses the lessons learned for establishing future university/school Partnership. The Partnership program continued to 2013, when Federal funding for the project was discontinued.
Oerlemans, K. (2017), "Breaking the Apprenticeship of Observation through Collaboration: A School-University Partnership in Teacher Education for High Needs Schools", University Partnerships for Pre-Service and Teacher Development (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 10), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 127-146. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120170000010011
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