Partners in education: the teacher education done differently (TEDD) project
Hudson, P & Hudson S 2011, 'Partners in education: the teacher education done differently (TEDD) project', paper presented to the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) 2011 Conference, Victoria University, Melbourne, Vic., 3-6 July.
There has been an abundance of education reform recommendations for teaching and teacher education as a result of reviews (e.g., House of Representatives Standing Committee on Educational and Vocational Training [HRSCEVT], 2007; Masters, 2009). 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 restructured its offering of coursework in a Bachelor of Education (BEd) held at Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Caboolture 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, which lead to an Advisory Group and Steering Committee (see Hudson & Hudson, 2008). 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 unit coordinators changed their units to include a stronger praxis development for preservice teachers. Preservice teachers take their learning into schools within programs such as Ed Start, Engaging Middle Years Learners, ICTs in Schools, Move It Use It (Physical Education program), Reading Squadron, and Science in Schools. Primary students also were taught by preservice teachers at the QUT Caboolture campus site in extension programs: Art Works, B-GR8, and Robotics Challenges. Findings showed that more opportunities for undertaking real-world experiences were perceived to assist the preservice teachers’ praxis development. The partnerships between schools and the university provided primary students with opportunities to learn within the university setting, which promoted aspirations for attending a university.