School Partnerships Literature Review

Project Number
SUG 17/15 TBS

Project Duration
February 2016 - December 2016


School restructuring, which is very much on everyone’s agenda in the new millennium, has given rise to a growing movement for schools to become involved in partnerships with key players in the educational system to enhance the quality of school education and make them maximally relevant in the 21st century (Lee, Lo & Walker, 2004). One such educational partnership is university-school partnerships. At the same time, there is also a call for national decisions to reflect on purposes of schooling such as “to learn to know, to learn to do, to learn to live together, to learn to be” (Hughes, 1999, p.27) which have implications for curriculum, organization and connections as well as teaching staff and students. Despite the recognition of the benefits of university-school partnerships, there appears to be limited understanding of the nature of effective and sustainable university-school partnerships. To initiate our attempt to better understand how university-school partnerships can potentially enhance the quality of school education and the learning experiences of our students, the proposed SUG will adopt a literature review research methodology to explore the definition of university-school partnerships, identify some examples and characteristics of university-school partnerships, and identify the strategies used by teachers, teacher educators and the school system colleagues for evaluating and developing university-school partnerships. A literature review research methodology will be adopted for this SUG study. Secondary data such as existing theoretical and empirical research literature will be searched, screened and synthesised through critical collective sense making and reflection, using an adapted systematic research review process by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI) of the Institute of Education, London (2010). A combination of approaches, such as searching through electronic databases, hand searching of journals, general search engines like ‘Google Scholar’ will be used to locate relevant literature. The articles located will next need to be screened for relevance and quality. After the articles have been screened, relevant information, content and details in the articles will be “data extracted” (EPPI, 2010). All the “data extracted” form the articles will be then presented at a reviewers’ working meetings to critically make sense and reflect on the “data extracted”. A key outcome of the collective reflection and sense making is to synthesise the “data extracted” and generate the reviewers’ narrative of the literature on university-school partnerships across countries.

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