Growing Through Partnerships
While partnerships in teacher education are essential for ensuring adequately preparing teachers, the effects of these partnerships are difficult to capture. The STEPS project analysed five models of a school-based approach to teaching primary science education. These five partnership models were developed to give pre-service teachers a supported, authentic experience of teaching science to school children. The effects of these teaching opportunities for pre-service teachers are explored in this chapter as “growth”: where growth occurs, how this is evidenced, and what is needed to enable growth. A series of vignettes documenting the experiences of pre-service teachers, teacher educators, teachers and principals were developed from interview data, from which a series of themes emerged. A meta-analysis of these themes revealed some common elements across the vignettes that seemed to mark the professional growth of the various stakeholders in terms of shaping their identity and confidence, praxis and relationships. Growth must be evident, measured and documented if the effort to initiate and maintain such partnerships is going to be worthwhile. The question of how to measure growth occurring as a result of partnerships is interrogated in this chapter through the use of data and is linked with current research literature. A growth model is presented, as is an accompanying set of variables that can be used to measure the effects of education-based partnerships.
KeywordsPartnerships Evidence of growth Science teacher education Interpretive framework Primary science Pre-service teachers Identity Confidence Praxis Relationships Enabling growth
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