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Inside Teaching : April 2011
cuSHla KaPItzKe and StePHen Hay report on their initial research on industry-school partnerships in Queensland. Industry-school partnerships Real-world learning through the Gateway Schools Project inside teaching | April 2011 RESEARCH 44 In the last decade, a gradual but significant shift in education has taken place. Schools have transformed from hermetically sealed, impermeable bureaucracies to dynamic and flexible organisations characterised by openness to local communities and connectedness to global issues and cultures. They’re also more responsive to the aspirations of students and parents. A central feature of what Belgian sociologist and educational researcher Christian Maroy has described as the post- bureaucratic era of education has been the relationships formed between schools and other organisations through formalised partnerships. Partnerships have been a significant feature of schooling in Queensland, where we’re based, since the 1980s when schools developed vocational education and training (VET) programs providing alternative pathways from schooling to post- school training or employment. Partnerships that have emerged in recent times, however, have been more structured in their organisation and more targeted in terms of the outcomes they aim to achieve. Examples here have included Queensland’s District Youth Achievement plans that linked schools, business, industry bodies, training organisations and community groups to improve transition outcomes, particularly for young people at risk in their transitions from school to post-school life. Here, we want to describe an innovative industry-school partnership model established in Queensland known as the Gateway Schools Projects. We first explain how this unique model of partnerships was established, and then describe a study funded by the Australian Research Council to investigate the educational implications of the partnerships for teaching and learning. We conclude with a case study of the Wine Tourism Gateway Schools Project, outlining some innovations in terms of curriculum, and the roles of and professional