The purpose of this study was to add to the knowledge base of school-university partnerships by exploring such partnerships in terms of policy implementation. 16 teacher educators working at eight universities were interviewed about their work with schools in a national initiative to improve secondary schools. The study uses a qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews.
Findings suggest that to achieve a joint understanding of roles, focus and work in the partnerships based on the schools’ needs and scholars’ competence was crucial. This was a process that was not easily achieved in all partnerships. Conflicting expectations were part of the process. Although they were demanding, the partnership arrangements also represented opportunities for the university scholars to learn.
The findings suggest that partnership arrangements require parties that understand the implications of this collaboration and that respect, mutual trust and joint understanding are needed. It is likely that bringing different parties together will create conflicts that must be resolved. If unfamiliar to the parties, the use of partnership arrangements is itself an implementation that has its own process that operates in parallel to the work in focus.
Midthassel, U.V. (2017). University-school partnerships as arrangements in policy implementation. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 2 (3), 134–145