How front-end loading contributes to creating and sustaining the theory-practice gap in higher education programs
In this paper, I show how Mead’s theory of emergence can prove explanatory in how the theory-practice gap is co-created and sustained in front-end loading university programs. Taking teacher education as an exemplar, I argue that trainee teachers encounter different and oft-times conflicting environmental, social and cultural conditions in the two ‘fields of interaction’ of their training program, namely, the on-campus pre-service program and the in-school experience. The argument draws on interview and focus group data collected via a study of first-year graduate teachers of an Australian pre-service teacher education program. My conclusions are two-fold. First, I argue that role taking and self-regulated behaviour within the two environmental fields of interaction in front-end loading programs inhibit the trainee professional from exercising the power of agency to implement theory learned at university in practice in the workplace. Second, I conclude that Mead’s theory of emergence proves effective in predicting the obduracy of the gap between theory and practice in front-end programs.
Asia Pacific Education Review
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified