Strategies for co-constructing an initial teacher education curriculum: A school-university partnership
The Ministry of Education is calling for universities to design initial teacher education (ITE) models that require greater collaboration with schools.
A small-scale project sought to address this issue in the central North Island area. Supported by our Central Regional Hub, the Massey University project team explored the theories underpinning effective pedagogies taught at the university and the day-to-day practice of teaching and learning in three Normal Schools in the Manawatu.
Using qualitative methodology, consisting of field notes from meetings, focus group discussions, observations and interviews, the following findings were identified as supporting the effective co-construction of a university curriculum with school partners:
- building trust; growing mutual respect
- making shared professional values visible
- being willing to share power and expertise; making a genuine partnership
- being responsive to the school context; acknowledging the diversity of individual schools
- promoting dialogue; encouraging everyone’s voices to be heard
- setting and resourcing manageable goals; making a plan for what would work and providing the resources
- communicating effectively; establishing and maintaining collegial partnerships.
The project report provides a detailed account of each of these findings. It includes quotes from participants, analyses of strategies and practical examples of what worked and why.
The community-building strategies discussed and illustrated in this report will serve as a guide to initial teacher education institutions in their efforts to work collaboratively with schools and centres to co-construct curricula. These strategies might also serve to inform the development of workplace and tertiary partnerships in applied professions, such as nursing and social work.
The strategies will also work where staff from industry and tertiary education organisations collaborate to review existing curricula or co-construct new curricula.