Reconceptualising Pre-service Teacher Education at Victoria University: Putting the Byte into Inquiry Learning

By Fida Sanjakdar, Peter Thomas and Marcelle Cacciattolo.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Teacher educators are always striving to challenge and transform preconceived notions of teaching and learning. In Australia, government reviews of teaching and teacher education strive to achieve two main objectives- develop an innovative capacity in students and a culture of innovation in schools- as the priorities and challenges for Australian education. In response to this, many higher education institutions are developing, trialing and implementing various innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment. One Australian University, Victoria University (VU) is no exception. For many years, the pre-service teaching course offered at VU has had a very successful inquiry based learning and teaching focus. However, significant changes in the use of ICT in teacher education in recent years have called for significant action. Taking into consideration that many of VU’s students are situated in communities with the lowest level of access to ICT, staff at VU set out to redesign the first year Bachelor of Education course to challenge students to engage in inquiry learning through digital technology. This paper reports on how staff at VU have been engaged in conversations about the possibility of digital portfolios as a platform to integrate inquiry learning and digital pedagogy. As the beginning of a series of conversations in this journey, this paper demonstrates how digital portfolios can be used to offer students opportunities to create and recreate knowledge and explore how this knowledge can be translated into effective pedagogy.

Keywords: Higher Education, New Pedagogies, Digital Portfolios, Inquiry Learning

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.125-134. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 605.286KB).

Dr. Fida Sanjakdar

Lecturer in Education, School of Education , Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Fida Sanjakdar is a Lecturer in Education at Victoria University, Australia. She currently teachers in the Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education course. She is a coordinator of this course and also coordinates the Master of Teaching (Secondary) course offered at VU. She is a supervisor of students undertaking research about the impact of cultural transitions in teachers’ professional identity. Her research interests are in curriculum theory, critical pedagogy and higher education. She has published widely in the areas of curriculum development and reform, action research, religious education, sexual health and pre-service teacher education.

Peter Thomas

Lecturer in Education, Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Mr. Peter Thomas lectures in the Bachelor of Education at Victoria University. His interests are in teachers, technology and New Media. He has had extensive experience at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels with the ways teachers and students use and interact with technologies. He has a strong research interest in digital interactive storytelling and also with using Web 2.0 technologies such as Second Life, to enhance Pre-service teacher education.

Dr. Marcelle Cacciattolo

Coordinator, Partnerships, School of Education, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Marcelle Cacciattolo is a sociologist and an experienced lecturer in the School of Education. She teaches in a diverse range of pre-service courses, conducts a range of research projects and supervises a variety of post-graduate research students. Marcelle’s particular research interests are cross-disciplinary involving health sciences and education-based research. Her research focuses are linked to the following themes  well being, inclusive education, social justice, refugee settlement and a desire to address community issues. Marcelle’s PhD thesis centred on how women cope with breast cancer and the various resources they draw upon in order to reach a personal state of wellbeing and control. Her work has given her insight into the way in which faith, spirituality and religion can be used in order to deal with challenges and dilemmas. Such insight is central to research projects that examine the role of faith in facilitating positive settlement experiences for refugees. Marcelle’s past research has included a range of diverse projects. Two projects have included the evaluation of refugee settlement and refugee relocation. In both projects Marcelle’s role as a senior researcher provided her with an opportunity in which to work with refugees on a range of issues tied to their settlement.


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