Collaboration between Teacher Educators and Schools to Enhance Development

October, 2016

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 39, No. 4, 452–470, 2016
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examined how collaboration between teacher educators and leaders and teachers can promote development in teacher education, in school and in the collaboration site in school where both parties meet.

The author conducted semi-structured focus group interviews with groups of teachers and leaders at three schools at three lower secondary schools in Norway and with the entire group of teacher educators from one teacher-teacher education (TE) supporting these schools in their school-based development.

The findings show that school-based development is a positive form of continuing the professional development of teachers. The author also found that both structure and culture can lay the foundation for and should interact with each other to foster professional development in school and thus lead to a developing organisation. For example, the teachers had opportunity to develop a trusting environment for their collective learning processes. When the teachers continue to work together, they also advance group processes, making them even more trusting. The author argues that a culture in which teachers collaborate by observing and reflecting together also contributes to teachers’ job satisfaction and their well-being.

Furthermore, the study reveals that the teacher-TE does not have a model for how teacher educators can collaborate with teachers and leaders in school or how they can collaborate at their institution to develop their work in school and research. For example, the author found that the teacher educators’ time for conducting the supportive work together with the leaders and teachers at the schools is restricted, but the reason for not being together with them in their daily practice could also be their lack of methodology competence. Furthermore, the teacher educator group lacks such competence, according to their own statements. The author argues that it seems that there is no strong leadership for teacher educators’ joint enterprises in school and at the teacher-TE.

The author suggests that expansive learning both in the school and teacher-TE could also have taken place if the teacher educators had developed their methodology competence. Furthermore, the author found that the intervention research could have contributed to a more practice-based and researched-based teaching in the teacher-TE. She suggests that if teacher educators developed their methodology competence as a tool in their intervention research, change could have been enhanced both in teacher education and in the school, and the developmental transfer between these two arenas would have been more fully realised, creating new practices at both arenas. 

Updated: Jun. 12, 2018