School-university partnerships in Australian teacher education in policy and practice

PhD Thesis


Nailer, Sarah Eileen. (2022). School-university partnerships in Australian teacher education in policy and practice [PhD Thesis]. Australian Catholic University https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8yz09
AuthorsNailer, Sarah Eileen
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy
Abstract

This thesis is a study of School-University Partnerships in Australian teacher education. I have explored School-University Partnerships in policy and practice drawing on several key Foucauldian concepts. I show that School-University Partnerships have been an enduring feature of Australian teacher education and that in the past two decades, they have increased in prominence, particularly in initial teacher education. I present evidence that the discourses of School-University Partnerships produce them as everything and nothing. I also argue that in the area of initial teacher education, School-University Partnerships are circulating as a “regime of truth” (Foucault, 1977/1980b, p. 131). From these findings, I identify the limiting effects on teacher education and argue for the need for further critique.

This methodology utilised in this thesis is Foucauldian genealogy. I use Foucault’s notion of genealogy to construct a “history of the present” (1975/1991, p. 31) of School-University Partnership in Australian teacher education. The prominence of School-University Partnerships is identified as a problem of the present and genealogy is used to de-naturalize it. I engage in a form of poststructural policy analysis to identify the “problems” constructed in policy. I also conducted interviews with a purposive sample of thirteen participants in School-University Partnerships including teachers, teacher education academics, principals, and policy makers.

My main claims are that School-University Partnerships have been discursively constructed as everything and nothing across teacher education whilst at the same time circulating as a regime of truth in initial teacher education. I identify the circulation of School-University Partnerships as a regime of truth in initial teacher education as a productive effect of power with subjectification effects. I argue that the discourses of the “real” and “experience” that are dominant in School-University Partnerships in initial teacher education, together with a policy context that sets partnerships up as “formal” and “agreed in writing” (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2015) create the conditions for a model of learning to teach that sees the solution as mere time in schools.

This thesis contributes a theorisation of School-University Partnerships by identifying the discourses of partnership in policy and practice. I show that School-University Partnerships continue to function as an “empty signifier” and that attention is needed to an agreed and working definition in policy and practice. I identify the discourses of the “real” and experience as central to perpetuating School-University Partnerships as a regime of truth in initial teacher education. This thesis has contributed to knowledge of School-University Partnerships by identifying the way power circulates and showing the subjectification effects. This research shows that further critique of partnerships is needed and that a Foucauldian conception of power in partnerships offers theoretical tools for a productive future for School-University Partnerships.

Keywordsschool-university partnerships; teacher education; Foucauldian concepts; policy analysis
Year2022
PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8yz09
Page range1-228
Final version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online06 Apr 2023
Publication process dates
CompletedOct 2022
Deposited06 Apr 2023
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8yz09/school-university-partnerships-in-australian-teacher-education-in-policy-and-practice

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