University–preschool collaboration in pre-school teacher education in Iceland

Abstract

Developing a third space in preschool teacher education is fundamental for a true partnership to thrive. Strong partnerships between stakeholders in teacher education can empower student teachers and influence their professional development. However, research indicates a disconnection between the theory that students learn and their practical applications in the field, which affects students’ teaching practice. This study shed light on partnerships in preschool teacher education in Iceland, as partnership is the basis on which a shared learning space can develop and grow. The findings from focus group interviews with relevant stakeholders (on-campus preschool student teachers, remote preschool student teachers, university-based educators, school-based mentors, and preschool principals) indicated that partnership between universities and schools regarding preschool teacher education is weak. However, stakeholders seem to be genuinely interested in improving collaboration and establishing a stronger university–preschool partnership.

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Correspondence to Svava Björg Mörk.

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Appendix

Appendix

How are partnerships between universities and the practice field in Iceland formed and sustained?

Opening questions

  • Tell me about your education (where you obtained your preschool teacher education) and where you have worked.

Introduction

  • How did you experience your field practice?

  • Those who work in university/preschool—experience from the field before and how their experience now.

Transition

  • What comes first to mind when you hear the term collaboration?

Key questions

  • What do you think characterizes collaboration between preschools and universities?

    1. o

      Stakeholders are university teachers, mentors, preschool principals and preschool teacher students.

  • What is your position in the collaboration?

  • What affects the collaboration between universities and preschools?

    1. o

      What prevents collaboration?

    2. o

      What promotes collaboration?

  • How would you organize collaboration between stakeholders?

Ending question

All things considered.

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Mörk, S.B. University–preschool collaboration in pre-school teacher education in Iceland. Learning Environ Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-021-09350-5

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Keywords

  • Field practice
  • Partnership
  • Preschool teacher education
  • Third space