Enabling Group-Based Learning in Teacher Education: A Case Study of Student Experience

Document Type

Journal Article


Edith Cowan University


Faculty of Education and Arts


Office of Assoc Dean Teaching and Learning (FEA)




This article was originally published as: De Jong, T. A., Cullity, M. M., Haig, Y. G., Sharp, S. , Spiers, S. A., & Wren, J. J. (2011). Enabling Group-Based Learning in Teacher Education: A Case Study of Student Experience. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(5), 92-105. Original article available here


“Teacher education ill prepares pre-service teachers for the classroom.” Research conducted in a teacher education program at Edith Cowan University (ECU) responded to this criticism. This longitudinal case study selected group work (i.e., group-based learning) to investigate the quality of its teacher education program. Phase one explored teacher educators' perceptions of group-based learning. Phase two explored preservice teachers' perceptions and experience of group-based learning. This phase used student ‘voice’ (i.e., through focus groups, confirmed field notes, summary sheets) to convey their ideas and experiences when studying in a group and/or implementing group-based learning in the classroom. This paper discusses phase two findings which show the importance of consistency and coherence in understanding group-based learning principles and practices, and the broad ‘conditions’ and ‘actions’ that enable meaningful learning. The research has enabled ECU teacher educators to enhance the quality of the teacher education program.

Access Rights

Open Access