Thursday, July 05, 2012

Ako Aotearoa professional development programme - enhancing teaching and learning in vocational education

On Tuesday, I had the privilege of presenting the first workshop in a series of nine for Ako Aoteoroa as part of a professional development programme for tertiary teachers. This first workshop was presented at Tai Poutini Polytechnic in Greymouth, on the West Coast of the South Island. A range of trades, outdoor education and 'humanities' subject tutors participated enthusiastically.

The main objective of this series of workshops, is to present to tutors/teaching practitioners, some of the findings from a selection of completed Ako Aotearoa projects. These projects were on first year apprentices experiences; peer learning investigation while learning how to use videos to study trades learning; and students producing eworkbooks using net tablets. In particular, to help tutors contextualise some of the findings to their own teaching practice.

Another objective was to raise awareness of the role of evidence-based research in vocational education and encourage practitioner-led study into trades learning. There still needs to be capability building in this area. However, Ako Aotearoa hub funding which I think is about to be re-launched after a six month hiatus, is useful as seed funding to pay for teaching release time to allow for small studies to occur.

I am looking forward to presenting the rest of the workshops. This first one has provided several items to improve on for the next session. It is a good opportunity to meet the wider trades tutor community as many do not attend various teaching and learning conferences. Trade tutors are well grounded in the needs of their industry and the make a good sounding board for 'academic' ideas on pedagogical and programme design approaches. The important thing is not whether the ideas are framed by scholarly frameworks but whether the teaching/learning strategies will work with their students.

1 comment:

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