Project Partnerships: The Role of Technology in Building Innovative Practicum Experiences

By Merryn Davies, Marcelle Cacciattolo and Bill Eckersley.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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

Teacher education programs rely heavily on the involvement of educational settings to enrich the learning of preservice teachers. Models of practice are diverse across tertiary institutions laying the foundations for cultural and structural interpretations of what counts for good teaching practice. This paper highlights one preservice teacher education program that is currently offered at Victoria University, Melbourne Australia. What distinguishes this model of practice, as opposed to others, is that it seeks to support and underpin learner responsive practices through the use of digital pedagogies. Technologically rich learning environments are shown to provide teachers, school students, pre-service teachers and university colleagues with resources that allow them to access new learning paradigms. A case study documents the experiences of preservice teachers in engaging with themes such as: literacy and information communication technologies, the social role of technology, access to digital resources and bridging the digital divide. The case highlights opportunities provided by such projects for preservice teachers to construct an enquiry- based approach to the practicum experience.

Keywords: Project Partnerships, ICT Rich Pedagogies, Digital Divide, Innovative Learning, Inquiry Based Projects

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.117-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 666.241KB).

Dr. Merryn Davies

Lecturer in Secondary and Post Compulsory Education, School of Education, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Merryn Davies is a Lecturer in Secondary and Post Compulsory Education in the School of Education at Victoria University. She coordinates, and teaches in, the Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. Her research interests focus on access and equity in education. She has extensive experience in the conduct and management of educational research projects at the national and state levels, working as a Research Fellow in the Educational Outcomes Research Unit at the University of Melbourne between 1994 and 2002 and as Manager of the Equity Research Centre in Melbourne in 2004. Her work has involved administration of large scale surveys in Australian schools, VET providers and universities and analysis of resultant data. She has also participated in qualitative research work involving individual interviews and focus group work with principals, teachers, students parents, employers and other stakeholders in schools and training providers in a number of states. In recent years she has worked closely with school clusters as a University Associate, supporting their involvement in DEST’s Values Education Good Practice project.

Dr. Marcelle Cacciattolo

Coordinator, Partnerships, School of Education, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Marcelle Cacciattolo is a sociologist and an experienced lecturer in the School of Education. She teaches in a diverse range of pre-service courses, conducts a range of research projects and supervises a variety of post-graduate research students. Marcelle’s particular research interests are cross-disciplinary involving health sciences and education-based research. Her research focuses are linked to the following themes well being, inclusive education, social justice, refugee settlement and a desire to address community issues. Marcelle’s PhD thesis centred on how women cope with breast cancer and the various resources they draw upon in order to reach a personal state of wellbeing and control. Her work has given her insight into the way in which faith, spirituality and religion can be used in order to deal with challenges and dilemmas. Such insight is central to research projects that examine the role of faith in facilitating positive settlement experiences for refugees. Marcelle’s past research has included a range of diverse projects. Two projects have included the evaluation of refugee settlement and refugee relocation. In both projects Marcelle’s role as a senior researcher provided her with an opportunity in which to work with refugees on a range of issues tied to their settlement.

Dr. Bill Eckersley

Quality Portfolio Coordinator: Partnerships and Development, School of Education, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Bill Eckersley is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Victoria University (Melbourne, Australia). He has been actively engaged in research and teaching in pedagogical innovation at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His other major research interests relate to educational leadership, collaborative partnerships and teacher education.

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