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Successful university-school partnerships - An interpretive framework

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 11:07 authored by Hobbs, L, Jones, M, John KennyJohn Kenny, Campbell, C, Chittleborough, G, Herbert, S, Gilbert, A, Redman, C
This paper presents a research-informed Interpretive Framework (IF) for initiating, implementing and evaluating university-school partnerships in science teacher education. The notion of partnerships between universities and schools is long established, and yet the term ‘partnership’ remains ill defined. The two-year study of five different partnership models within science education course work reported here, led to the development of the IF to help address this issue. The IF exemplifies, contextualizes and summarizes the practices of successful university-school partnerships in science teacher education. It is informed by a multiple case study of five universities comprising questionnaires and interviews with preservice teachers, classroom teachers, school principals, and teacher educators within and external to the universities involved. An iterative approach was taken to data collection and analysis, ultimately leading to the framework presented in this paper. The four-part framework provides a set of ‘Guiding Pedagogical Principles’, a model and set of action tools for ‘Growing University-School Partnerships’ (GUSP), a three-part typology showing different ‘Representations of Partnership Practice’ (RPP), and a ‘Growth Model’ to illuminate how pre-service teacher education is enhanced through effective university-school partnerships. This framework is timely in the current milieu of partnership practice to address long-held concerns about the nature and quality of teacher education. Within the science context it also helps to address equally long-lasting concerns about pre-service teachers’ exposure to quality science teaching during the traditional practicum period of their course. Key to our findings is the importance of each stakeholder’s role within the partnership, as well as a valuing of different partnership types – from connective to collaborative. Since its inception the IF has been used in education contexts outside of science, as well as with industry-based partners. This uptake highlights the need for such a framework to inform partnership work, as well as illustrating its transferability across contexts.


Publication title

Proceedings of ESERA 2015 - Science Education Research: Engaging learners for a sustainable future




J Lavonen, K Juuti, J Lampiselkä, A Uitto, K Hahl






Faculty of Education


University of Helsinki

Place of publication

Helsinki, Finland

Event title

11th Biannual Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA)

Event Venue

Helsinki, Finland

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright unknown

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified

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