Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.
A Bachelor of Education course was developed at Edith Cowan University (ECU) Joondalup in 2002 with a significant focus on creating and sustaining mutually productive relationships with partner schools. These industry partnership links have afforded authentic workplace opportunities for prospective teachers to develop contextually, whilst undertaking field placements and making valid contributions to partner school priorities and children‘s learning. This has involved all stakeholders developing collegiality and professional interaction from a position of trust, respect and sense of contribution to the whole (Marlow and Nass-fuka, 2000). The involvement of industry partners is of a completely voluntary nature and hinges, almost entirely, on a commitment to teacher education and peripherally associated benefits. Sustaining the principles, processes and relationships on which partnerships have been developed is however, a consistent challenge. This paper outlines the development of professional relationships, the provision of service to schools through intensive teaching units and the central role of professional practice in the course, with explicit links between practice and theory. A model has evolved which supports the retention of stakeholders with the partnership at various developmental junctures of their careers that reflects the key elements of interdependency and mutually beneficial relationships for stakeholders within the school-university partnerships at ECU Joondalup. The partnership model affords stakeholders access and re-access points from undergraduate level to post-retirement and aims to retain school/industry partnership commitment, lifelong links to ECU and a sustainability provision for the future.