Redefining partnerships in teacher education: the experience of being in a partnership
Over a period of two years, two cohorts of Early Childhood Education students have worked with a partner school in a core course that has as its focus teaching and learning in the early years of school. Although the desired outcome was to refine and further develop this course, this pragmatic goal soon became coupled with preoccupation with the essential nature of working in a partnership. The question 'What is it like to work in a teacher education partnership?' thus underpinned the study. Phenomenology presented as an appropriate research methodology for exploring the ontological (What is it like忩 question as well as delivering information that would allow staff to refine and enhance the course. Considerable data was gathered over the two years, from journals, reflections, written comments and feedback, conversational interviews and observations. Critical reflection was the main tool for analysis, with the analysis being guided by the four existentials through which humans experience the world - lived space, lived body, lived time and lived other. The time period of two years allowed for several cycles of reflection, with the experiences continuing to gather meaning through various interpretive acts and reflection. The collective experiences of students, university and school staff have provided a deeper understanding of the significance and meaning of partnerships in teacher education, as well as giving staff important information for using the partnership to enhance the learning of future students.
Reimagining Practice: Researching Change