The placement of teacher education and training firmly in schools has resulted in a number of university-school partnerships. An area of concern for Universities is how to monitor the quality of the teaching, learning and administrative activities to which student teachers are exposed in their associated schools or school direct hubs. Here are four suggestions to ensure quality assurance in school direct hubs.
Suggestion 1: Monitor procedures by:
1.1. Checking the ongoing effectiveness of current procedures, with a focus on enhancement and improvement.
As a result of checking the ongoing effectiveness of the procedure for debriefing student teachers used by mentors, and to enhance and improve this procedure, I created and implemented the reflective approach to teaching practicum debriefing (RATPD) strategy. The RATPD enables school-based mentors or cooperating teachers to contribute to the development of student teachers’ ability to reflect.
1.2. Check for compliance with agreed procedures
For the person saddled with this responsibility, it involves liaising with partner schools to ensure that they were adhering to all university and programme accreditor’s policy and procedures regarding student teachers. This will include: visiting various schools to meet with senior leaders to get their views of the programme and/or to attend issues raised; ensuring that content, methods of delivery and learning materials are meeting the defined objectives; where appropriate, replacing lost or destroyed copies of relevant documents; examining samples of student teachers’ lesson plans and training school-based mentors to use assessment rubrics designated by the University.
Suggestion 2: Diligently engage in ascertaining and analysing student feedback, course and module feedback and partner and other stakeholders’ feedback.
The key reason for diligence in this area is that feedback informs various reports and future action which ultimately lead to the maintenance of programme quality, standards and student support.
Suggestion: 3 Ensure that people at the hub can access, and know how to access key information in hard copies and/or electronic format.
Information may take the form of student teachers’ course handbook, student teachers’ VLE sites, the university’s website and other relevant documents.
The key reasons for ensuring that people at the hub can access information is that students and mentors are aware of current expectations, but more importantly, this will maintain programme standards. That is, ensuring that the strategies and procedures at the hub, mirror those at the ‘parent’ site.
Suggestion 4: Communicate changes to policies and procedures to hub members.
The key reasons for this are to ensure that students, mentors and other stakeholders are aware and are able to make personal adjustments to accommodate changes to procedures. This also contributes to the quality of the students’ experience.
·Check the ongoing effectiveness of current procedures, with a focus on enhancement and improvement.
·Check for compliance with agreed procedures.
Diligently engage in ascertaining and analysing student feedback, course and module feedback and partner and other stakeholders’ feedback.
Ensure that people at the hub can access, and know how to access key information in hard copies and/or electronic format
Communicate changes to policies and procedures to hub members.