Practice-based education (PBE): Teacher Educators’ understandings, applications and implications for future practice

Deb Clarke, Angela Hennessey

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


    Practice-based education (PBE) has potential benefits for all stakeholders, including the prospect for students to apply, enrich and refine their discipline, operational and interpersonal knowledge, build networks, and source future employment (Billett, 2001; Boud, Cohen & Walker, 1993; Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989; Harvey, Geall & Moon, 1998). While PBE is applied in a variety of courses throughout institutional contexts, academics’ understandings of the term will implicitly influence how they design curriculum and facilitate PBE opportunities for their students. The aim of this paper is to explore Teacher Education academics’ understandings, and applications of the term PBE at a regional NSW university. Using the qualitative lens of phenomenography (e.g., Marton, 1986; Svensson, 2007), a sample of purposively selected academics were interviewed to identify their understandings of the term PBE and investigate where and how PBE opportunities were positioned in their subjects. Semistructured interviews were conducted by telephone, interviews transcribed and data analysed using inter and intra-textual thematic analysis (Mayhurt & Morehouse, 1994). The findings indicate that participants perceived PBE to be related to students engaging in workplace-relevant learning activities that assist in preparing them for their “day to day practice” as teachers. Results also showed that teacher educators applied PBE throughout their subjects through demonstrated lessons, case studies, web quests, electronic portfolios and learning tools. With the call for teacher education to be (re)focused on practice (e.g., Ball & Foranzi, 2009; Reid, 2011), PBE may be one pedagogical approach employed in tertiary settings to prepare students for the world of teaching.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGoing for gold: Reshaping teacher education for the future Australian Teacher Education Association
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2012

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