Friday, April 05, 2013

AVETRA 2013 day 2 afternoon

After lunch, closing keynote with Dr. Gavin Moodie  from RMIT on ‘ the discourses constructing VET and VET research’. Began with proviso that individuals will process information and project on to it their own meanings. The way we view information disseminated through the popular media, is different from how they deal with information from colleagues, friends or students. This could be because of the 'status' we confer on media. Therefore, media may often influence public opinion. However, not known why public frames media information in certain ways. Media might also influence the way in which the public understands the criteria by which various policies are evaluated. So there is mutual influence between media and the public. Media and the public opinion may also impact on the way politicians operate. Interest groups may also have impact perhaps through lobbying of parliamentary committees. All the influences feed into how public policy is developed. media input, tempered or informed by political contexts eventually leads to policy adoption - fast, slow or no adoption. Introduced an example from recent PhD by Lewis on 'media communication in tertiary education' that depicts VET as meeting economic needs of individual, community and nation and conveys the manual aspect of VET. 
Encouragement for VET to organize sufficiently to made submissions to parliamentary committees. Also to communicate with relevant interest groups but tailor message to each interest group e.g. monograph series put out by the NCVER, keeping the message succinct. Also worthwhile to build up relationship with relevant journalist so that important issues have a public dissemination route. also use online methods as required. In Australia, TAFE staff may not voice opinions to the media wihout institutional permission, therefore onus on VET practitioners with privilege of being able to voice opinions (University researchers) should represent the TAFE voice where required.   Issues around the status of VET / TAFE qualifications is one area where public opinion will take time and effort to change.  

Following the presentation, a panel discussion convened to deliberate on Gavins' presentation.
Off to the airport after conference closes to return to Christchurch.