Reconceptualising Pre-Service Teacher Education at Victoria University: Putting the Byte into Inquiry Learning

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Educators are always striving to challenge and transform preconceived notions of teaching and learning. In Australia, Government Reviews of Teaching and Teacher Education strive to achieve two main objectives- developing an innovative capacity in students and a culture of innovation in schools. In response to this, many higher education institutions are developing, trialing and implementing various innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment. One Australian University, Victoria University (VU) is no exception. For many years, the pre-service teaching course offered at VU has had a very successful inquiry based learning and teaching focus. However, significant changes in the use of ICT in teacher education in recent years have called for significant action. Taking into consideration that many of VU’s students are situated in communities with the lowest level of access to ICT, staff at VU set out to redesign the first year Bachelor of Education course to challenge students to engage in inquiry learning through digital technology. This paper reports on how staff at VU have been engaged in conversations about the possibility of digital portfolios as a platform to integrate inquiry learning and digital pedagogy. As the beginning of a series of conversations in this journey, this paper demonstrates how digital portfolios can be used to offer students opportunities to create and recreate knowledge.


Keywords: Higher Education, New Pedagogies, Digital Portfolios, Inquiry Learning
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: , Reconceptualising Pre-service Teacher Education at Victoria University


Dr. Fida Sanjakdar

Lecturer in Education, School of Education 
Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, Victoria University

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr Fida Sanjakdar is a Lecturer in Education at Victoria University, Australia. She currently teaches in the Bachelor of Education (Prep. to Year 12) and Diploma of Education courses. She is also a supervisor of students undertaking research about the impact of cultural transitions in teachers' professional identity. Her teaching focus is English, Psychology, Social Studies and Student Diversity. Her educational interests are the development of responsive teacher education, inclusive curriculum practices and school-based research. She has published widely in the areas of curriculum development and reform, action research, religious education, sexual health education, moral and values education.

Peter Thomas

Lecturer in Education, Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, School of Education
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Mr Peter Thomas lectures in the Bachelor of Education at Victoria University. His interests are in teachers, technology and New Media. He has had extensive experience at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels with the ways teachers and students use and interact with technologies. He has a strong research interest in digital interactive storytelling and also with using Web 2.0 technologies such as Second Life, to enhance Pre-service teacher education.

Dr. Marcelle Cacciattolo

Coordinator, Partnerships, School of Education, Victoria University
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr Marcelle Cacciattolo is a sociologist and an experienced lecturer in the School of Education. She teaches in a diverse range of pre-service courses, conducts a range of research projects and supervises a variety of post-graduate research students. Marcelle’s particular research interests are cross-disciplinary involving health sciences and education-based research. Her research focuses are linked to the following themes  well being, inclusive education, social justice, refugee settlement and a desire to address community issues. Marcelle’s PhD thesis centred on how women cope with breast cancer and the various resources they draw upon in order to reach a personal state of wellbeing and control. Her work has given her insight into the way in which faith, spirituality and religion can be used in order to deal with challenges and dilemmas. Such insight is central to research projects that examine the role of faith in facilitating positive settlement experiences for refugees. Marcelle’s past research has included a range of diverse projects. Two projects have included the evaluation of refugee settlement and refugee relocation. In both projects Marcelle’s role as a senior researcher provided her with an opportunity in which to work with refugees on a range of issues tied to their settlement.

Ref: I08P0254