Monday, April 16, 2012

AVETRA - day 2 - 13th April

Keynote from Tom Karmel, managing director,NCVER, on the topic of research for industry. Discussed role of industry in education, with a need to define 'what is industry' as there is great diversity and made up of many parties, each with different perspectives and focuses. Chose examples from NCVER research to illustrate - value of completing apprenticeship, role of wages in completion rates, value of completing VET qual., match between training and labour market, role of VET in innovation, and VET and workforce development.

Professor Erica Smith from University of Ballarat on - managing apprentices and managing PhD students: Current concerns and transferable tips. There are similarities although both are at different levels and have different objective.

'Practice based research and critical pedagogy - rethinking teaching training for vocational educators' with Lisa Maurice-Takerei and Dr.Helen Anderson from Manukau Institute of Technology. Project on developing a qualification and a model constructed to move beyond technicist competencies towards development of professional knowledge. Literature from Leach (2011) on theory building, identity development (Seddon, 2009) and reflection on practice (Boud, 1993). need for voc. ed teachers to become reflective practitioners. Us of video to enhance critical reflection. Model includes pedagogy, content and transformation feeding into collaboration/theory building, reflection, discourse contributing towards identity, autonomy and theory. video useful for tutors to observe and then reflect on and then analyse towards their own substantiation of practice.

Stephen Billett on ' vocational education: standing and clarification of objectives' summarises one of the arguments that forms his book ' vocations education: purposes, traditions and prospects'. Low standing of some occupations leads to erroneous assumption that teaching and learning for these occupations will be less complex. Begins with overview of worth of vocational education but that it has suffered from low status, negative societal sentiments and unhelpful regulation and inadequate educational provision. Need to redress to secure a better balance amongst factors shaping voc. ed's purposes and practices. occupations arise through social need but vocations from personal direction. to proceed, occupation requirements are not uniform, so national prescriptions alone not sufficient. too much emphasis on the intended curriculum and not enough attention to the enacted and experiences, need to accommodate local decisions about occupational requirements, student readiness, available resources and experiences. those who teach and support learners often best place to make decisions about what should be emphasised. individuals decide how they engage with and learn from what is provided.

'Explicating forms of negotiating through personal work and learning practice'with Ray Smith from Griffith University. Presentation on personal work and learning practices - four forms of negotiation. Negotiation as a means of learning is under theorised and under specified. work and learning is purposeful and goal directed, along a continuum of purpose (deliberate to accidental) and a continuum of goal realisation (resolved to unresolved). Four contingent forms of negotiation can therefore have purposes and goals on vertical and horizonal axis, dividing negotiation into four quadrants. Realised (resolved/deliberate), discovered(resolved/accidental), concealed (unresolved/accidental) and protracted (unresolved /deliberate). provides for ways of categorising workers' work and learning practices as types of negotiations that differentiate processes and outcomes involved; bring a simultaneous focus to what and why workers do their work the way they do it - personalising and illuminating 'how' negotiated practice is enaced. Reduce the generice and taken for granted meanings of the concept and so enable a more expliciit conceptualisation of work and learning practices as negotiation - which is always more than a synonnym for interaction or co-participation.

Keynote 4 with Professor Anne Marie Bathmaker, University of West England (Bristol) presenting 'bringing practice back in: How practice shapes constructions of knowledge in vocational education. stems from a project on knowledge in general vocational education. Using 2 examples from further education in England. connections to work by staff and students was tenuous. In a example from science, the BTEC was seen to be a progression programme from FE to HE. Knowledge seemed to be mainly identifying and listing content and not going further by applying to practice. in contrast, performing arts example had strong linkages with industry, facilities were authentic (used by amateur companies as well as FE). Knowledge was things and skillls needed to practice in the real world, linking theory to practice. Young (2008) on shaping the knowledge in GVE and bringing knowledge back in.

Panel discussion closed the conference with next year's conference in early April in Perth. Panel of Tom Karmel, Berwyn Clayton, Craig Robson, Stephen Billett and Erica Smith, chaired by Llandis Barrett Pugh, discussed the quality of VET research in Australia.

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