This paper explores the relationships ofpreservice teachers as they embarked upon an alternative model of teacher education known as the Knowledge Building Community Project (KBC) at the University of Wollongong. The KBC Project was initiated as a response to research that suggested preservice teachers needed more experience with the day-to-day operation of schools, and how the daily work of teachers related to the culture of schools and classrooms. A series ofrevisions since the Project's inception now means that the KBC model is underpinned by four outcomes to support student learning: (i) Community collaboration, (ii) Taking responsibility for own learning, (iii) Professional problem solving using the principles of PBL and (iv) Reflective practice. The research showed that the students involved in the KBC Project benefited from the support ofa community triad (the KBCfacilitators, school based teachers and each other). The data showed that being members of the community triad enabled students to develop friendship and trust, which made working in collaborative school groups advantageous.
The paper demonstrates that there are key components needed in order to implement a KBC in teacher education. The key feature highlights the importance of a structure to promote social interaction between the key stakeholders. When students are given the opportunity and support of the community triad, they can develop an ownership and responsibility for their learning. A key trait is the ability of the students to link theory to practice as well as developing an increased understanding about the culture of schools and the way that they operate.