Science Teacher Education Partnerships with Schools (STEPS)
This chapter describes the background and context surrounding the STEPS project and articulates both the process and goals established at the outset of the research endeavour. The STEPS research responded to a continuing concern regarding primary teachers’ acquisition of scientific understanding, confidence to teach science and persistent questions concerning the effectiveness of traditional approaches to teacher education. STEPS brought together academics from five Australian universities with established, innovative and successful primary science practices involving partnerships between universities and primary schools that engaged pre-service primary teachers in classroom teaching and learning that effectively connected theory with practice. This chapter presents the multiple case-study methodology (Yin in Case-study research: Design and methods, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2009) utilised to examine the experiences of establishing, maintaining and growing these partnerships with each university campus acting as a “site”. Key features and critical success factors required to establish and maintain strong working relationships with schools leading to the development of the interpretive framework are presented.
KeywordsPartnerships Science teacher education School-based Interpretive framework Primary science Pre-service teachers
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