Partners in education : the teacher education done differently (TEDD) project

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Conference publication

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There has been an abundance of education reform recommendations for teaching and teacher education as a result of national and international reviews. A major criticism in education is the lack of connection between theory and practice (or praxis), that is, how the learning at university informs practical applications for teaching in the classroom. This paper presents the Teacher Education Done Differently (TEDD) project, funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). It outlines how it has re-structured its offering of coursework in a Bachelor of Education (BEd) held at an Australian university campus to embrace praxis. Establishing partnerships was crucial to the development of this project. TEDD initially gathered a reference group of educators, which included university staff, school executives, and other key stakeholders, who formed an Advisory Group and Steering Committee. These groups formed a collective vision for TEDD and aimed to motivate others, foster team work, and create leadership roles that would benefit all stakeholders. The paper presents how university units changed to include a stronger praxis development for preservice teachers. Preservice teachers take their learning into schools within lead-up programs such as Ed Start for practicum I, III, and IV; Science in Schools, and Studies of Society and its Environment (SOSE). Findings showed that opportunities for undertaking additional real-world experiences were perceived to assist the preservice teachers’ praxis development. Additional school-based experiences as lead-up days for field experiences and as avenues for exploring the teaching of specific subject areas presented as an opportunity for enhancing education for all.