Dr Deb Neal
Deb received her PhD in 2011. Her research looked at university-schools partnerships, and whether these helped pre-service teachers during their teaching placements. Debbie's is the first study to survey teachers' perceptions of their experiences of partnerships and their practicum education.
Deb's research affirmed that Sunraysia teachers thought that university-school partnerships significantly improved the quality of their placements. 'Pre-service teachers view practicum education as the most important part of their studies. This research will provide a greater understanding of that and it also marks for me a significant opportunity for collaborative research with district schools to continuously improve the outcomes for graduating teachers,' she says. The study resulted in a series of recommendations for improving partnership arrangements, including better communication for a more supportive teaching environment and strengthening ties.
Deb is excited by her findings as they suggest new ways to help teachers learn during their placement, and will help the Faculty of Education to become leaders in supporting the next generation of teachers.
Deb is a lecturer in the Centre for Regional Education.