This research, funded by a seed grant provided by the QUT Faculty of Education, explores the complexities of professional practice from the perspective of the academic placement supervisors. As the first point of contact between schools, pre-service teachers (i.e. students), and the university, academic staff involved in the administration and supervision of practicum placements have significant insight into the experiences of students. While anecdotally, there has been recognition of the issues impacting student experiences, there has not been a targeted approach to understanding ways that the university, students and host schools can work together more effectively to support student wellbeing prior to, during, and after the placement. It also identifies the emotional and institutional support required by these academics in order to maintain their own wellbeing while assisting students. The findings have significant implications for future innovations in practices within universities (and education community more widely) in understanding student experiences of placement through a wellbeing lens and determining the implications for practice. In doing so, the experience of PEx for both students and staff, may be better supported and innovative approaches revealed.
Jenna Gillett-Swan (QUT-Education)