Situated Learning and the Integration of Theory and Practice through a School / University Partnership Project: Improving Pre-Service Workforce Education through a Partnership Model

By Brett Moore.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article investigates how a school / university partnership involving pre-service teachers, teacher mentors, teacher educators, and school students has impacted instructional practice, participant engagement, and learning. Centred on the conceptual model of ‘Situated Learning’ (Lave & Wenger, 1991), the article (which is an extract from a broader PhD study) investigates the extent to which a site-based model of PST education has enabled the integration of theoretical knowledge with professional practice. The partnership continues to raise further questions about what learning looks like in a contemporary school setting, either by enhancing a culture of continuous learning and new knowledge or through collaboration, innovation, and reflective practices. The author demonstrates that the school / university partnership has enabled all stakeholders who participate to learn: the school students through the developing contributions of pre-service teachers (PSTs); the PSTs as they work in authentically demanding practice; and the teachers whose professional understanding and practice is developed when they take on the primary mentoring responsibility of PSTs. The study examines the purpose of an educational partnership in the context of strategic school improvement.

Keywords: Site-based Pre-service Teacher Education, Partnership, Teacher Professional Learning, Mentoring, Quality Feedback, Collaboration and Reflective Practice

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 20, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.9-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.566MB).

Brett Moore

Principal, PhD Student, Sunbury Downs Secondary College, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Brett Moore has 28 years’ experience as an educator and eight as a secondary school principal. He has taught students from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds in both government and independent schools. From 1992, Brett spent five years in the Northern Territory teaching Indigenous students and liaising with traditional elders in remote communities. During this time, he developed cultural partnerships between his school and the remote communities from which many students travelled through visual and performing arts projects. Whilst living in Darwin, he contributed to numerous art exhibitions and completed a Master of Visual Arts. In 1999 and 2000, Brett was the Principal of Education Services at the National Gallery of Victoria. He has worked on a number of successful educational policies and programs to provide a range of pathways for the students in his care and to promote a positive learning community around the schools in which he has worked. Brett has been Principal of Sunbury Downs Secondary College since July 2006, a school which has undergone cultural and instructional transformation. In the last three years Brett has worked in partnership with Victoria University to implement a successful site-based model of pre-service teacher education.