Publication Details

Kiggins, J., Cambourne, B. & Ferry, B. (2005). Re-organising and integrating the knowledge bases of initial teacher education : the knowledge building community program. In G. Hoban (Eds.), The missing links in teacher education design : developing a multi-linked conceptual framework (pp. 75-94). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.


In a Report submitted to the NSW government in 2000, Gregor Ramsay made a claim that should challenge pre-service teacher educators in all Western democracies:

“…it is possible to reorganise the knowledge bases of undergraduate teacher education subjects so that they are more integrated with school and classroom culture, and therefore more relevant, more meaningful, better appreciated by student teachers, with less duplication across subject areas” (Ramsay, 2000, p57)

While such rhetoric sounds appealing, it begs the question of how pre-service teacher educators might realise such rhetoric in practice, given the entrenched transmission of information + practicum model of program delivery inherent in most western universities.

In this chapter we will describe how one team of university -based pre-service teacher educators reorganised the knowledge bases of the primary teacher education course by forgoing compulsory lectures, tutorials and exams to create a knowledge building community which had a strong identity, which was professionally empowered enough to take control of its own learning. We shall describe the “nuts and bolts” of the reorganization process.

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