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This article was originally published as Kiggins, J, The Underpinning Knowledge Bases of an Alternative Teacher Education Model, The International Journal of Learning, 14(1), 221-228.


From 1999 the Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong has run an alternative model of teacher education known as the Knowledge Building Community (KBC) Project. This program has been acclaimed nationally. What makes this program so unique is its design that abandons the traditional model of teacher education that consists of lectures and tutorials; instead this alternative model of teacher education is based on several underpinning pillars of professional knowledge. The KBC program has been described as a “negotiated evaluation of a non-negotiable curriculum based on a constructivist model of learning and knowledge building”. However, the basic aim of this program is to deal with the perennial problem of contextualising students’ professional learning, by linking abstract theory as closely as possible to the contexts and settings to which it is applied, i.e. the primary school classroom.

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