Thursday, April 09, 2015

AVETRA 2015 day one afternoon

After lunch, attend to Keiko Yasukawa's University of Technology Sydney presentation on 'negotiating funny numbers: numeracy practices of the neoliberal workplace'. Based on work completed on workplace literacy and numeracy. Provided brief Australian policy perspective on LNN and discuss the purposes of LNN in workplace as improving productivity or earning an income. Summarised lean production as an example of neoliberal model of contemporary work organisations. Waste elimination identified as a work process across 3 manufacturing plants for study. Uses daily graphs to track whether targets are met and requires workers to interpret these graphs as applying to their work processes. Efforts to meet higher demands not always met with higher enumeration. Recommends the need to negotiate knowledge towards helping workers earn a better living. Used project with LNN of part time academics case study to provide example. 

Second keynote is with Rod Camm, CEO of Australian Council for Private Education and Training ACPET. Rod spoke on the topic of 'restoring confidence in the VET sector: a new era'. Need for good VET research to inform present challenges. Overviewed VET in the Australian context. Present challenge of integrity of qualifications, especially for short courses, based on market design, not delivering even though fees are high. Need for a cogent national skill policy.   There is a start with national entitlement for everyone up to cert 3 but details still vague in the funding models. Have sort of a national approach to regulation. Provided statistics of govt. funding in private vs public institutions. Little difference in outcomes. Govt. policy is to support competition in the sector. Need for research into what skills required now and in the future and back up with good design to provide relevant qualifications at competitive fees. 

Return to the assessment teaching and learning track with two presentations. Firstly from Cheryl Livock on 'walking the tightrope: social responsibility with implications for LNN and inclusive teaching. An action research project in Queensland. Over viewed challenges presented by 21st century social milieu and background on Australian skills policies and funding. Australian quality for education requirements ASQA requires learners to be supported for LNN, assistive technology, additional tutorials and other mechanism like digital literacy to engage with online learning. Provided details of action  research process with nursing Staff and students including observations to establish baseline, 2 interventions with teachers to assist teachers to offer LNN support, collect post intervention data and continue cycle. LNN skills programme developed based on findings from each cycle. 

Secondly with Ingrid Loeb from University of Gothenburg on 'enhancing VET quality: the risk of dumbing down the complexities of VET teaching and learning. The Swedish case'. Began with overview of Swedish education system and VET structure. Action research projects with 96 VET teacher training students during first semester of their learning. 12 VET programmes and 3 higher ex. Prep in higher secondary. Also a foundational programme for students not in VET or hE prep. Vet teachers do 1 1/2 full time equivalent, most via distance and part time as many employed as vet teachers already. categorised projects as to topics and match to learning objectives of programme. Found most students chose general VET rather than specific pedagogical investigations. Eg how to offer flip learning more effectively vs how to teach specific Vet skills like horse nutritional needs, load bearing beams or pattern drafting. 

Last presentation of the day with Adeline Goh from Universiti Brunei Darussalam on 'an exploration of vocational pedagogy: types of knowledge used for teaching'. Arose through helping vet teachers to prepare lesson plans. Vet pedagogy marked by country's history and culture (Avis, 2014) relates to occupations and requires currency to be valid. Content of pedagogy influenced by context and occupation. Vet teaching requires different and wider range of skill and knowledge compared to school teaching. Specialist knowledge needs to be combined with how to teach. In Brunei, there are 7 Vet institutes ( about to be combined into 2) and vet teachers have no practice experience in their specialist area but are educated in the discipline. Led to emphasis on theory rather than on practice. Shift to competency based ed and practice based authentic assessments. Challenge to vet teachers in administration of cba when their workplace experience is limited. 

Day ends with AGM.

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