University Of Tasmania

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The limitations of front-end loading in undergraduate university programs

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 10:11 authored by Allen, JM, Sinclair, MR
This paper shows how Mead’s theory of emergence can prove explanatory in how the theory-practice gap is co-created and sustained in front-end loading university programs. Taking teacher education as an exemplar, we argue that the trainee teacher encounters different and oft-times conflicting environmental, social and cultural conditions in the two “fields of interaction” of the training program, namely, on-campus work and in-school experience. The argument draws on interview and focus group data collected via a study of first-year graduate teachers of an Australian teacher education program. We conclude that role taking and self-regulated behaviour within the two environmental fields of interaction in front-end loading programs inhibit the trainee professional from exercising the power of agency to implement theory learned at university in practice in the workplace. Further, we propose that Mead’s theory of emergence proves effective in explaining a major limitation of front-end-loaded university programs.


Publication title

Journal of the World Universities Forum








Faculty of Education


Common Ground Publishing

Place of publication

Champaign, Illinois

Rights statement

Copyright 2011 Common Ground, Jeanne Maree Allen, Mark Richard Sinclair

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Teacher and instructor development