Thursday, July 08, 2010

NCVER 2010 day two morning

A later start today, which allowed me to get into town to the local Apple store (beautiful layout) to try to get an ipad. Alas, none available, so put in my registration to be on the list. Not likely I will get one by the time I leave on Saturday. Will have a trawl around the other prospectives this evening if I can fit it in.

First keynote at 9.30am by Trevor Gale from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Ed. at the University of South Australia who spoke on 'Has equity's time come for VET? How can we embed it into the system. He provided the guidelines between difference & similarity. These include the following myths, difference being innate, social difference is the result of hard work & commitment, difference is everything, difference, difference is about equality:treating everybody the same. Much has been changed but much still stays the same :( VET in Oz has not received the same attention from policy makers on equity issues as compared to schooling. In thi, there is perhaps a clear difference between NZ & Oz, where NZ has for a longer time, had policies to support Maori & Pacific peoples. He proposed 10 equity observations & principles. These 10 equity policies may form a foundation for the development of VET approaches to equity. A thought provoking presentation which covered key principles related to issues of equity.

Then three presentations this morning relating to VET teacher training or teaching. First up, Hugh Guthrie from NCVER on initial teacher training. Research undertaken in late eighties, early nineties and later half of the nineties. Since then, not much done, hence this piece of research. Currently, VET teachers need to have a qualification over & above the level at which they teach & the Cert IV qualification. Also, VET teachers need to also keep competency & currency in the their specialise area. Plus the need to build skills as a teacher. NCVER stats show large number completing Cert IV (26,000) but only small numbers go further (800!) & perhaps 400 complete HIgher Dip. in Voc Ed.There seems to be very few Higher Ed. institutions offering further Voc. Ed. qualifications (only 14). Advocates individual organisations should offer PD relevant towards upgrading VET teachers. Perhaps too many expectations placed on Cert IV & there may need to be recognition of alternative approaches. One reason being that Cert IV tends to replace a need for organisations to put in place their own PD programmes.

Next, Emma Curtin from the L.H. Martin Institute at University of Melbourne on the quality of VET teaching. Emma provided an overview of the project including the conceptual model used. Also provided the context, project phases & some themes. This research is to eventually makde recommendations on quality of VET teaching, VET teacher quals & continuing PD (CPD) & the impact this has on student teaching. Project one of 3 concurrent, the other two mapping existing VET teacher prep programmes (Hugh Guthrie in presentation just before this one) & exploring perceptions of recent Cert IV grads (Berwyn Clayton from yesterday's pecha kucha). Literature review available on ACE website. Data collection mainly completed, data analysis to continue with final report due end of 2010. Initial findings include Cert IV a starting point but needs to be extended further with mentoring / expert guidance for new tutors, CPD needs to be formalised with opportunities for maintaining industry currency, attaining pedagogical knowledge with quals. & CPD as being interdependent. Mixed responses to how quality in teaching can be quantified. there seems to be need from some to recognise VET teaching as a profession - pehaps registration or accreditation? Some thoughts raised by initial data - one size does not fit all, may need to rethink structure of profession, more research needed on VET pedagogy.

Last session before lunch, by Susanne Francisco from the Canberra Instititute of Technology on 'how novicel TAFE teachers learn how to teach' based on her proposed doctoral research. This is a very under-researched area which has implications on VET quality of delivery etc. There is demand for TAFE teachers to have an increasingly sophisticated pedagogical repertoire (Guthrie et al, 2006). Focus of project on finding out how novice teachers learning how to teach through their practice both within and outside of TAFE. Uses Schiatzki which proposes 'bundles of practices & material arrangements'. Practice is made up of 'actions & structures which consist of know how, rules, teleogical - affective structuring and understanding. Also uses Kemmis (2009)who premises practice as doings, sayings and relatings.