Learning from Professional Challenges Identified by School and Institute-based Teacher Educators within the Context of School-University Partnership
Over the last decade, in both the Netherlands and England, there have been national policy-driven changes to establish school-based teacher education where the focus is on increased responsibility for schools in initial teacher education. In this research stories were gathered of challenges experienced ‘on the ground’ by teacher educators in these school-university partnerships. The aim was to explore the reality of working within partnerships for school-based teacher education rather than a comparative study between the two countries. Challenges were identified in guiding and assessing student-teachers; professionalism, growth and well-being of student-teachers and teacher educators; collaborative working in partnerships; and in assuring quality of practice. The stories revealed complexities of working in school-university partnerships across institutional borders and with multiple stakeholders involved. Many teacher educators sought their own solution to the challenges rather than discussing them with others in the partnership. Resolution of challenges was sometimes beyond their control and needed to be dealt with on a different level within the school-university partnership. The stories provide authentic teacher educator voices for use as a professional learning tool in developing collaborative practices in initial teacher education partnerships.