In New Zealand and internationally, differences in the way schooling and teaching are implemented have been radically reconceptualised, with changes to school building design. These technologically enabled Innovative Learning Environments (ILE) accommodate multiple teachers and are designed to be flexibly reconfigured into teaching and learning spaces, with breakout areas for individual teaching, and small and/or large groups, (New Zealand Ministry of Education, 2016; Shank, 2005). Internationally there has been a reconceptualization of the processes and structures that influence teaching and learning, with changes to pedagogical repertoires that can unlock the potential of ILEs (OECD, 2013, 2015). As Conner and Sliwka (2014) contend these ILE contexts require initial teacher education providers prepare new teachers with adaptive expertise, including the knowledge and skills for collaborative teaching.
Preparing new teachers to work effectively in ILEs necessitates rethinking teacher education programmes to develop innovative models. This must be founded on strong partnerships between universities and schools. This talk focuses on one university’s journey in developing such a partnership. Drawing data from both a national survey and documentation of ongoing consultation we explore the perceptions of 400 New Zealand school principals and teachers on how to prepare pre-service teachers for ILEs, including the knowledge and skills for coteaching. The findings indicate that the breadth of change around ILE within NZ is of such significance that enabling pre-service students teachers to work collaboratively and confidently with teams of colleagues must now be considered a core practice in teacher education.