The Value of Work-Integrated Learning for Preparing the Future Teaching Workforce

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Work-Integrated Learning Case Studies in Teacher Education: Epistemic Reflexivity


It is essential that initial teacher education curricula address the pragmatic needs of graduates for professional practice in the school classroom. Work-integrated learning (WIL) is a pedagogical strategy that contributes to supporting the transition into work by engaging students in workspaces and practices during their higher education studies. This chapter takes a broad overview of WIL, tracing its origins and impact, to argue for meaningful integration of WIL into initial teacher education curricula. It explores the strategic development of WIL in Australia across national strategies, research projects, and networks to frame the emergence and governance of WIL in the context of the Australian higher-education landscape. It highlights three important ways WIL can affect student learning: through enhancing employability, career development learning, and reflections on pre-professional identity. The chapter argues that by scaffolding various models of WIL across the initial teacher education degree, educators can foster opportunities for initial teacher education students to contemplate their careers, values, identities, skills, and knowledge, to best prepare them for the future teaching workforce.

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