Enhancing teacher education : the School-Community Intergrated Learning (SCIL) pathway
National Australian reviews advocate exploring new models for preservice teacher education. This study investigates the outcomes of the School-Community Integrated Learning (SCIL) pathway as a model for advancing preservice teachers’ understandings of teaching. Thirty-two final-year preservice teachers were surveyed with extended written responses on how the SCIL pathway advanced their understandings of teaching. Results indicated 100% agreement on 6 of the 27 survey items. Indeed, 78% or more preservice teachers agreed that they had a range of experiences across the five categories (i.e., personal-professional skill development, understandings of system requirements, teaching practices, student behaviour and reflective practices). Extended responses suggested they had developed understandings around setting up classrooms, whole school planning processes with professional development, the allocation of teacher responsibilities (e.g., playground duties), parent-teacher interviews, diagnostic testing for literacy and numeracy, commencing running records of students’ assessment results, and the development of relationships (students, teachers and parents). Although a longitudinal study is required to determine long-term effects, the SCIL pathway may be viewed as a positive step towards preparing final-year preservice teachers for their first year as fully-fledged teachers.