Preparing quality teachers: Bridging the gap between tertiary experiences and classroom realities




teacher education, pre-service teachers, quality teaching, situated learning, tertiary experiences


There are many factors that impact student learning, with quality educators being one of the most important elements for student success. Accordingly, the promotion of quality teacher preparation programs has become a priority for tertiary institutions, researchers, policymakers and practitioners. There is a known disparity between tertiary experiences and the classroom reality that leaves graduate teachers feeling unprepared for the teaching profession. Employing a contextualized learning approach such as situated learning theory in teacher preparation programs can reduce this gap and successfully prepare graduate teachers for the teaching arena. This research project surveyed one cohort (n=154) at the conclusion of a four-year initial teacher education program, and again six months after graduation, as well as analyzed the subject outlines of the core final year subjects. The study found that the final year of the program incorporated the key tenets of situated learning theory, integrated theory and practice, and prepared the graduates for the realities of the teaching profession by effectively contextualizing their tertiary learning. 


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Author Biographies

Corinne Green, University of Wollongong

Corinne Green is a PhD Student at the University of Wollongong, Australia, as well as a Lecturer and Tutor in teacher education. She is currently researching school-university partnerships in initial teacher education programs.

Michelle Eady, University of Wollongong

Michelle Eady is a Senior Lecturer in teacher education at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Her research interests include work-integrated learning, communities of practice, school-university partnerships, and Indigenous strengths.

Peter Andersen, University of Wollongong

Peter Andersen is a Lecturer in teacher education at the University of Wollongong, Australia. His research explores how to empower children and teachers to become environmental change agents in their schools, communities, and homes.


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How to Cite

Green, Corinne, Michelle Eady, and Peter Andersen. 2018. “Preparing Quality Teachers: Bridging the Gap Between Tertiary Experiences and Classroom Realities”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 6 (1):104-25.