Friday, July 13, 2012

NCVER day 2

Day 2 begins with keynote from Robym Archer 'on hands on and hands up: the place of arts training in higher education'. Basically argued for the value of the performing arts in society and the need to ensure people are provided with opportunities to train in this area. However young artiste consider university degrees as a pathway to performance arts but apprenticeship is still the best wat to learn. Perhaps TAFEs retaining the master/apprenticeship model may be a better fit.

Concurrent session follow and I attend sessions on youth transitions.

Dr. George Myconos, Brotherhood of St. Laurence, presents on 'Navigating VET: experiences of at risk youth. Provided evidence of the difficulties faced by students who have dropped out of school due to personal challenges and how enrolment in VCAL as run by community organisations instead of school to lead to Community VCAL (CVCAL) may provide some assistance. CVAL consists of class room tuition, vocational learning usually at TAFE or similar and work placements.  However, supportive class room tuition in community organisations not alwats followed through with appropriate pastoral care at TAFEs or workplaces. Suggest approach of 'small spaces in big places' to help integration. This requires all three to work together towards shared objectives, consistent pastoral care guidelines, PD for staff to provide appropriate care and flexibility in institutional processes.

Then Cain Polidano (University of Melbourne) presents on 'impacts of school VET programmes in Australia', a quantitative study using data sets from OECD, PISA 2003 and longitudinal survey of Australian youth survey 2003. Found taking VET course with workplace learning leads to higher likelihood of completing school but negatively impacts on changees of attaining higher ed. qualifications.

A VCAL 'influence on shcool leaving' project then presented by Sheldon Rothman from Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER). A quantitative study using statitstics from Ontrack, the Victorian high school students' destination survey of 2010. Provided background on VCAL structure of foundation, intermediate and senior. The study focused on the intermediate and senior levels. Completing VCAL senoir tends to lead to apprenticeship and employment. Higher level trades prefer student to have completed VCAL senior whereas trades like hairdressing and hospitality were accepting VCAL intermediate.

Last concurrent session with Mani Nallsamy from Box Hill TAFE on a mentoring project to improve teaching with teachers who had high technical abitlity but were unfamiliar with Australian cultrure and education systems. Provided mentor support through English classes, teacher training and class room observations.

Conference ends with panel session on 'quality of research: The experts' view. A broad discussion of reseach aspects including data interpretation, rigour in applied science research, multi-method approaches, engagement and policy and reviewing research. Panel members were Tom Karmel, Lorraine Dearden (University of London), Gerald Burke (Monash), Anne Edwards (former vice chancellor), David Finegold, Barry McGaw (University of Melbourne) and Robin Ryan (Flinders).

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