Partnership in initial teacher training: a model that optimises the expectations of stakeholders within primary schools within South East Wales
Griffiths, Margaret G.
Cardiff Metroploitan University
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Government legislation demands that schools play an increasingly influential role in the training of new teachers through partnership agreements with higher educational institutions. This study aims to identify key areas of professional satisfaction and dissatisfaction experienced by staff in 231 primary schools engaged in one such partnership, with a view to proposing a model that optimises the views of these stakeholders. The study took as its starting point a largely unexplored issue, namely the investigation of self-determined criteria against which schools consciously or subconsciously evaluate their involvement in partnership. Appropriate criteria were identified by a series of pilot studies that involved a cross-section of the partnership schools, and resulted in a battery of three detailed questionnaires that was subsequently administered by postal survey to all schools within the partnership. The data generated by this survey was analysed using a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques that included the application of non-parametric statistical tests. It was found that the partnership agreement under investigation promoted much commendable practice that generated professional satisfaction. However five key issues, along with several minor irritants that collectively generated dissatisfaction, were identified. These relate to the role of the college tutor, a lack of non-contact time afforded to school staff in order to undertake partnership duties, an inconsistency between schools in relation to the support received and practice promoted, some failings in communication between partners, and the failure of the model to fully embrace all available expertise. It is concluded that any effective model of partnership must fully promote the unique contribution that can be made by each partner, and provide the necessary resources of time and training as prerequisites. Finally, an amended model of partnership that attempts to take full account of the research findings is proposed.
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