Sunday, September 06, 2015

INAP conference - Day 2 - 2nd September 2015

Day day begins with announcements for best conference paper awards and short presentation from AVETRA to garner more members. Four awards: best paper English speaking author and best paper non-English author, plus highly commended for each category as well. Best paper English to team of four (Kira Clarke, Malgorzata Klatt, Nicky Dulfer and Emlyn Cruikshank) from University of Melbourne on school based apprenticeships and traineeships for young Australians. I win the  award for highly commended English speaking authors' paper!! Best paper non English speaking to Ursel Hauschildt (University of Bremen) on governance and financing in the dual systems and highly commended to Magnus Fjellstrom and Per Kristmansson on learning as an apprentice.

Professor Stephen Billett provides the day's keynote on 'reconciling two distinct conceptions of apprenticeship: guidance and learning'. Need to remember the learning aspect of apprenticeship, not just as a system of education. Individual's learning the main key to human development. When we learn, we remake and transform practice. Learning arises through experiences but education is the provision of experiences. Overview of how apprenticeship became a model of education through importance in preparing young people for occupations. Listed current models and characteristics of apprenticeship as educational model. Dual in Germany, Austria; 3rd space in Switzerland; school based in Sweden etc; work based in Australia, NZ;  2 + 2 in Norway and ad hoc in UK and USA. However first model is across human history, with only a very small time in human history when learning is schooled. Learning occurred through mimesis, including imitative processes and active engagement. Root of apprenticeship is 'apprehending knowledge' and learning is 'stolen' (see Downey). used China as an example of long period of innovation whereby production moved from craft to mass production without formal learning for occupations. Much not capable of being captured through declarative knowledge. Learning is embodied, need to be attuned to haptic qualities and dispositional influences etc. apprenticeships models include curriculum where apprenticeship is a way of life, deliberate access to /structuring and ordering of experiences. Curriculum models include foe learning, pathways, parallel practice and as work conditions allow. Pedagogic practices include story telling, verbalisation, pedagogically rich activities, guided learning/proximal guidance, direct instruction, indirect / distal guidance, heuristics and mnemonics, partially worked examples etc. pedagogically rich activities examples include nurses' handover, doctors' on mortality and morbidity. Personal epistemological are important, how they view themselves and how to act in their own context. Finished with reconciliations and implications for school based and work based models. Important to view apprenticeship as primarily learning supported by educational processes. 

First concurrent session with Professor Bonnie Watt from University of Alberta with 'skilled trade worker to a teacher of high school youth: a little bit of luck and a lot of courage'. Provided overview of context. Each year people with trades qualifications embark on BEd to become school teachers in area of careers and technology Studies (CTS). Used Bourdeiu's habitus as grounding concept to understand the persistence, resilience and optimism required to complete.  Social, vocational (not the same as occupational) and occupational identities involved. Need for people from non-academic backgrounds to negotiate classed occupational and educational structures. 

After morning tea, at presentation by Nicholas Wyman and Joanne George from Skilling Australia Foundation on 'associations between adaptation of German style vocational education models and impact on apprenticeship pathways in regional American labour markets'. See book Jobs U for more details - need for apprenticeships in USA. Innovative a resource on apprenticeship from Dr. Bob Lerman. Currently a prime time to revive apprenticeships in USA. Compared the capabilities which are outcomes of German vocational education system and how USA needs to ramp up quality and spread of apprenticeships to stay competitive in high technical level manufacturing e.g. Cars, machinery etc. companies have had to work with schools and communities to train to the skill levels required. 

Another presentation on informal apprenticeship with Ansa Liebenberg from MerSETA presenting on 'a quest for social justice: exploring the possibility of expanding the South African apprenticeship system to allow for informal apprentices'. South African constitution and Bill of Rights 1996 set up values for transforming society to achieve social justice and social inclusion. 20 years hence still work in progress. Challenges include high unemployment (25%), poverty, rural migration, shrinking mining and manufacturing etc. the informal sector recognised as a job creator and represents opportunity but also difficulties in corralling. To bring things together, people, policy, planet ( sustainability), profit need to work towards sustainable social justice. Need to contextualise national systems to ensure social justice goals are reached.

After lunch, a plenary session on World Skills with apprenticeship ambassadors. The panel included Troy Bennett, Jyothi Forman, Ashlee Hodson and Patrick Janes facilitated by Mark Callaghan. The theme was 'beyond the classroom: promoting apprenticeships as viable career pathways to industry and society. All panellist were members of Australian Worldskills representatives ( the skillaroos) and Australian apprenticeship ambassadors. Each presented on their pathway into work, apprenticeship / traineeship experiences and future aspirations. Great to hear viewpoints from a personable group passionate about their work and keen to promote the advantages of apprenticeship. Worldskills standards now regarded as goals to aspire to for increasing standards world wide. 

Then two papers centred around COMET (see book) with presenters from MerSETA. First up, Patricia Jacobs on 'creating pathways to enhance college to work transition using COMET.' Linked needs for 21st century conceptual age work requirements with a way of assessing the competencies. cOMET allow a range of outcomes to be recorded on spider diagrams, allowing tracking of progress as outcomes are reached. A dynamic tracing is therefore possible providing trainers and learners with information on aspects to be worked on. Conceptual age workplaces require design not just function, stories, symphony, empathy, play and meaning (Pink, 2005). Offered a rework of the traditional COMET diagram to layer on the conceptual age approaches. 

Next, Helen Brown with 'competence measurement in South Africa : teachers reactions to feedback on COMET results'. Objective to assist TVET teachers to understand their status in moving from educational to vocational pedagogy. Focus groups with 14 teachers of over 800 students, across 5 occupations. Teachers also took the test. Teachers' and students' radar graphs were compared in each occupation revealing similarities between teachers and students. Themes were teachers could not identify their best student problem solvers, there was teaching to the test, practical mastery was diluted I favour of theory and vocational identity of VET teaching was identified. Teachers recommended teacher cooperation, sustained work integrated linkages, qualification with learning design, bridging programmes, practical mastery prioritised, professional development for teachers. 

Conference closes with plenary where there are brief report backs from topic rapporteurs providing overviews and themes emerging from of presentations. Dr. Mike Brown, Professor Thomas Dissinger, Dr. Annette Foley, Dr. Bob Lerman and professor Bonnie Watt present on their highlights and learning through the conference. 

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