- Pre-Service Teacher Education
Pre-service Teacher Education is the education and training provided to
student teachers before they have undertaken any teaching. This article deals with Pre-service Teacher Education at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.
Establishing partnerships with schools is one of the guiding principles of pre-service teacher education at Victoria University.
This means that pre-service teachers who are undertaking their education degree programmes enter into a long-term relationship with schools so that they are contributing to the
curriculum, student learning and general life of the school, at the same time as experienced teachers are contributing to their understanding of the purposes and practices of schooling and teaching. The partnership brings together practice and theory for all participants.
Working with schools
Partnerships are usually established when a team of pre-service teachers is placed in a school and work together with one or more classroom teachers as
mentors. The pre-service teachers are expected to undertake all the duties of their more experienced colleagues and contribute their energy, enthusiasm and new ideas to the daily operation of the school. This work becomes more extensive throughout the duration of the program which is usually four years in Australiafor a Bachelor of Educationdegree and one year for the Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education (where students have already completed their undergraduate degree in a particular discipline).
The meaning of practice
A school-university partnership is designed for all participants to have a closer relationship with knowledge where practice informs theorising and where theorising guides practice. The role of the teacher is not so much to deliver pre-packaged information, but to work with students in project teams to investigate major and challenging ideas, so that a clearer personal understanding is strengthened over time.
All teachers are faced with the problem of which content to select for student projects. This can of course be a collaborative process with students and can take place within a curriculum framework decided by the school community. A general curriculum principle can be that learners should decide what they find interesting and important, while a modified approach involves project teams working with teachers to identify what are suitable topics and how they might proceed.
* [http://vu.edu.au Victoria University]
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