International Research, Policy and Practice in Teacher Education
Encouraging, strengthening and in some countries mandating, school-university partnerships is a policy strategy used by governments globally to drive teacher education reform. The past decade has seen a rapid move by the Australian federal government from initially fostering partnerships to now mandating partnership agreements with schools. Shortly, all initial teacher education providers will need to demonstrate their formal partnership agreements in writing, tied to accreditation purposes. Within this policy environment, teacher educators (particularly university-based) are instrumental in what the design, development and implementation of these mandated partnership models might look like. Many teacher educators however appear ill-equipped for such work and are reluctant to step into these boundary spaces between universities, schools and their communities. This chapter reports on one component of a broader study conducted to better understand the current ‘partnership’ policy implications for teacher education, the possible reasons for resistance in partnership work by university-based teacher educators and the professional learning needs to facilitate such partnerships.