"School-University Partnership Scheme" has strongly attracted the attention of educators and teacher trainers in the 1990s, despite the fact that the key concept of partnership is still unclear and varies considerably.
The Chinese Section of the Department of Curriculum Studies, The University of Hong Kong, has conducted a partnership in teacher education scheme with 3 local secondary schools in the year 1996- 97. There were 6 student-teachers, and more than 20 teaching staff involved in this scheme.
This exploratory study, funded by the Department of Curriculum Studies, aims at studying the conditions for a successful running of a SchoolUniversity partnership scheme in the local context in which the culture of partnership in teacher education is rather weak. Data collected for analysis included audio tapes, video tapes, log files, diaries, interviews and questionnaires. Special attention has been paid to 3 aspects: (1) Administrative arrangements; (2) Human and material support to studentteachers; and (3) Personal and professional growth of student-teachers. This paper, as the first of a series, will focus on the administrative dimension only. Although it is found that all parties involved agreed that the result of this new partnership project is favourable, yet its implications for resources, time, human and other factors must not be overlooked. Other recommendations concerning administrative arrangements to streamline the operation have also been suggested.
In the ECR7 (Education Commission Report No.7, 1996), it has been pointed out that attitude of a professional teacher is also important for teacher education institutions to act on. In fact, the PC Ed Committee ( Postgraduate Certificate of Education Committee) of the the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong also mentioned in the working paper (1996) that,"we noted from the Studenfs Evaluation on full-time teaching practice, more emphasis should be placed on the support provided by tutors."This wind of change to adopt a more vigorous and effective model for training student-teachers has been echoed by many teaching staff of the Department of Curriculum Studies of the University of Hong Kong. And with the support from the Department and Faculty, the Chinese Section has launched a project on teaching practicum for full time student-teachers in Chinese language education, namely "an exploratory study on SchoolUniversity Partnership in Teacher Education". The main objective of the study is to look into the possibilities to set up a mutually supportive relationship in which teaching staff from the partnership schools and our Department can help one another in order to improve the quality of teaching of student-teachers as well as beginning teachers.
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