Thoughts from outside the box on promoting the development of preservice teachers

On my mammoth trek out the the DEC offices on Wednesday, I had time to reflect upon the teaching and learning process which is involved in gaining an education degree, and thereafter finding employment in the education sphere. As usual, being the cynic that I am, the first thing which stood out to me was the complete removal of our university course from the realities of teaching. First of all, none of us were given any information about our DEC interview (we weren’t even told about the DEC information day that was held at the uni) despite the fact that it is compulsory to gain employment in the education sector and our practical experience reports are completely geared towards their presentation to the DEC.

Secondly, upon reading the selection criteria which is used by the DEC to assess candidates, I realized that the majority of my answers to the possible questions I could be asked were not gained from university study, but were instead a result of information I’ve been given, resources which have been shared with me, or areas which I have been directed towards researching myself via my PLN on twitter. I felt so well prepared for the interview that I didn’t even need to rehearse, write myself notes or “study”, I felt confident in the wide knowledge base which was a result of so many wonderful and experienced teachers sharing their experience with me virtually.

I think Twitter (and social networking with other professionals in general) needs to become a compulsory part of any education course in order to get pre service teachers into the habit of sharing resources with others, seeking assistance, and constantly innovating and being inspired to try new things and take risks with their students. Right now it seems to be something which is covered in technology subjects at university, but needs to be integrated into mainstream methodology subjects.

I have been considering how this could be facilitated, and thought perhaps the NSWIT model could be used here; “mentoring” in this model could include online mentoring, for example an experienced teacher (and experienced tweep) could take a preservice teacher tweep under their wing, and introduce them to the ways in which they can use twitter effectively in their professional development. This way teachers who are currently stretched for time can still offer their expertise to others, and recognition can also be given to the potential of social media for professional development.

And then I was thinking, hey! Perhaps this is something we can facilitate ourselves!

If you are an experienced teacher, I would love to hear how you would you feel about being part of such an arrangement?


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. A tale of two projects (or, why geography is a terrible model for collaboration) « Mind the Gap pingbacked on 6 years, 7 months ago
  2. Twitter, pre-service teachers and creating networks « The Weblog of (a) David Jones pingbacked on 6 years, 7 months ago
  3. Dragging the universities up to speed. | lforner pingbacked on 6 years, 6 months ago
  4. A PLN: Friends…with Benefits | Chat with Rellypops pingbacked on 6 years, 5 months ago
  5. Thinking about the Preservice teaching networking (#pstn) project « The Weblog of (a) David Jones pingbacked on 6 years, 4 months ago
  6. Lessons learnt from week 1 as a teacher | lforner pingbacked on 6 years, 4 months ago
  7. Project #pstn: engaging pre-service teachers in the Twitterverse | Chat with Rellypops pingbacked on 5 years, 11 months ago


  1. This is very good Lauren! I completely agree with you. I normally interact with DEC colleagues on Maang, which is another social networking tool available to DEC employees. I have posted a link to your blog here because I think is noteworthy. I hope we can communicate often either here or on twitter. Good on you!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
  2. About a year ago I had started drafting a project to work with BEd/BTeach lecturers to do exactly this – get students networking using Twitter (the proper way, not just ‘tweeting about your unit’ way), blogging (as actual reflective practice as you are doing here, not just ‘blog your assignment’) and so on. Your mentoring design above was pretty much what I had in mind. Long story short, other projects happened instead, but I’d definitely be keen to dust it off again and help make some stuff happen. If you’re up for some collaboration count me in :).

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
  3. * ihsprojectreal says:

    Great blog, I am coming from the perspective of someone who has interviewed grads and I recognise your frustration regarding adequate advice and direction prior to the interview; however, one of the key skills I look for is a graduate who can reflect on their practical experiences and offer a personal insight into their professional learning to date. Aside from standard questions related to the professional teaching standards and syllabus understanding, teaching is a community and your membership of a viable PLN obviously enhances your understanding and will prove to be your greatest asset in ‘downtimes’ and in sharing your successes. Knowing some of your PLN, and having read their blogs, you are in great hands and I wish you all the best in this wonderful career.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
  4. * Mrs K says:

    Hi Lauren
    You sound like you will fit into DEC beautifully. I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that DEC has a social networking space of it’s own called Maang (message stick), where you get 1000 character post limits 🙂 and wiki spaces, and with active groups for new scheme teachers and all kinds of technology and KLA specialties. You will get a mentor at school, but on Maang you will have many more of all ages and experience, more than happy to help you in any way necessary. Of course you will want to keep wider contacts too, but it’s nice to have a ‘home’. You will automatically have membership as soon as you get a DEC portal log-in. Looking forward to having you with us.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
  5. I was glad to see you on Twitter tonight and must say, it’s been a marvelous social networking site giving heaps of ICT links for educational use by the hundreds each and every day. Not knocking Maang(eled) but it’s not as user freindly as Twitter. This is an excellent article you have written and I’m sure you will make an excellent teacher. And yes, you can pick my brains when it comes to ICT and Technology 🙂


    | Reply Posted 6 years, 7 months ago

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