With transition to university a strong focus across most higher
education institutions, undergraduate teacher education programs have been
increasingly scrutinised regarding their (in)ability to adequately prepare students
for the challenging social contexts that they will meet. As a result, there has been
a burgeoning of approaches which initiate beginning students. In the Education
Faculty of a regional Australian university, the FYI (First Year Infusion/For Your
Information) Program attempts to build capacity among pre-service students in a
supportive learning community. In an intentionally created context, the program
provides a Learning Circle approach to student support. Through consciously
infusing the value of “character” into the transition program, there is evidence of
tangible impacts upon students’ interactions in the learning process and their
commitment to course completion. Data are presented that suggest that students’
high quality interactions with peers and academic staff in an informal context are
vital to academic success, and that staff also benefit from this program. It would
suggest that the development of effective partnerships between all stakeholders is
paramount in helping to build capacity.
& Henderson, R.
The Promotion of “Character” and its Relationship to Retention in Higher Education.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(3).