Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 review

Have a read through my plans for 2012 and evaluate that progress has been made. In general, it has been a quieter (underground) but more productive (above ground) year. The Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub funded project on improving students’ critical reflective practice in front-office reception skills using net tablet to record role plays and ‘virtual tour’ of hospitality physical facilities has gone well. I am in the process of writing up the report and both Debbie Taylor and Heather McEwan have worked conscientiously with their students through several iterations of each part of the project.

The project with Tony Smith and the manufacturing team was not funded externally, but the CED found a small amount of money to get this going. So far we have interviewed several students who completed their programme in the first semester. The findings have been interesting, showing that students perceive ‘literacy and numeracy’ to be ‘work-task’ focused and only seek to engage with activities that will enhance their work readiness.

Dissemination has progressed well. On-going discussions with Ako Aotearoa led to the offering of the professional development workshops centred around vocational education. So far, 7 workshops have been run, involving over a 100 participants. Several more planned for next year, with one in Tauranga already confirmed. The workshops have been great learning for me as well as (hopefully) for the participants. There are so many passionate educators in the ITP and private provider sector, working to enhance learning for their students.

I have also made some inroads in to the challenging area of journal publication. Two journal articles published:

Perspectives of new trades tutors: Boundary crossing between vocational identities. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 40(4), 409-421.
Using feedback strategies to improve peer-learning in welding.  International  Journal of Training Research, (10) 1, 23-29.

Two are now in review (both from my PhD) and one in process of submission (from the earthquake case study project). I have found the peer review process to be helpful. Critical comments have been constructive and provide a fresh eye on the article’s argument. I now bear in mind the time taken to get the article through the system. So at least two now in progress with one about to be submitted. Will work on a couple of articles through the summer ‘break’ so that they are ready for submission. Keeping the momentum up is a challenge but I now have a large amount of material suitable for re-working into articles for submission.

Completion of the PhD has freed up time for me to catch up with reading pertinent to finding out more about enhancing 'learning a trade'. Several book summaries have had extensive 'hits' on this blog, signalling that is a gap in the information trail for this type of work. One book summary on Lave's critical ethnography of apprenticeship, was reworked into a book review in the journal - Vocations and Learning. I have found blogging to be a good way to draft, sieve through and consolidate ideas.

I have also enjoyed working with several programmes to improve teaching, mentored new trades tutors and taught one of the Diploma in Tertiary Learning and Teaching programme. So overall, a good year with lots of new learning and challenges.

Will now be recharging the soul with a few tramping trips into the NZ outdoors. Back in early January to begin the 2013 year. 

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