02 SES 07 B, Challenges of Workplace Learning
Arising from Australian research, an approach is outligned to bringing vocational education and training (VET) teacher ‘educationalist’ practice into the active explicit realm – more so than being a casual, unconscious, occurrence. Thus, coupled with enrichment of VET outcomes, the status for VET will be enhahnced in the minds of ‘the-many' and an adding to the motivation and empowerment of VET teachers to influence the evolution of VET in changing times.
In taking a position that vocational education and vocational training are different but entwined, with a sense of urgency in the Australian VET context, and cautionary with respect to other country environments, this paper addresses recovering from evaporation of valuing the ‘E’ in VET as reform agendas have over- privileged the ‘T’. In essence, the offered approach is to activate VET teacher latent inclination toward being ‘educationalist’ as a step beyond just addressing knowledge and skill – such opportunity being revealed in much of the VET orientated research of the author and, in the instances of VET and Social Capital exploration, joint research by Libby and Lewis Hughes.
Cognisant that the world of learning and work is an evolving, entwined, arena and that governing agendas and educational research (seeking new knowledge) are susceptible to ambivalent relationship, this paper offers a researching, conversation-based, approach to the diverse stakeholders in VET being awakened to what they, respectively, potentially gain and/or stand to lose according to the attention given to the 'E". In turn, leading to partnering (teachers being at the core) in enriching VET delivery across the education and training dimension. In this way, coupling the valuing of research with the act of researching is, in itself, an initiator of change – hence the research ‘What motivates, aids and/or inhibits VET teachers in drawing upon research and, themselves, engaging in research - i.e. being reflective practitioners?’ (Hughes 2016) contributing to insights informing the establishment of the VET Practitioners Research Network (an Australian initiative – www.vprn.edu.au )
With recovery in mind, in Australia, the turning away from the ‘E’ commenced with deliberate exclusion of ‘educationalist’ input in the late 80s early 90s Training Reform (Pusey 1991). And, more recently, the "E' has been vulnerable in circumstances of quality risk management with reliance upon employer and student feedback. where short term ‘wants’ rather than abiding ‘needs have been the governing factor. Accordingly, this paper is an expansion upon ‘The VET status imperative of meeting client ‘needs’ more so than ‘wants’ (Hughes 2010) – chosen as the March 2013 Canadian Vocational Association ‘Pick of the Month’ and, thus, has added incentive to the author’s sharing of outcomes from researching and supporting VET teachers in, themselves, researching and drawing upon research of others as part of their profesional pratice..
With due attention to VET teacher adverson to the term 'scholarly', this paper posits that an educationalist/ scholarly inclined VET teacher has much value as a bulwark against forces acting to reduce VET to a training for immediate ‘wants’ of the employer and/or student rather than bridging the ‘now’ and the ‘future’ vocational aligned ‘needs’ of the student, employer and community. In taking this position, the author is alert to the counter argument that VET is about industrial skilling in the present time without regard to nurturing vocational resilience as an individual attribute and a global community sustainig imperative. Accordingly, this paper is a Due Attention to the 'E' research activated VET enriching sharing with potential extrapolation to other VET environments.
Angwin, J. (ed) (1998), The Essence of Action Research, Deakin Centre for Education and Change, Deakin University, Geelong Campbell, M. & Manicom, A. (eds.) (1995), Knowledge, Experience, and Ruling Relations, University of Toronto Press, Toronto Engestrom, Y. (2007), ‘Putting Vygotsky to Work: The Change Laboratory as an Application of Double Stimulation’, in H. Daniels, M. Cole & J.Wertsch, (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Hughes, L. (2000), ‘To Live, Inquire and Grow in Interesting Times’ in P. Smith (ed,) Changing Education, Vo. 6, Nos 1 & 2, Deakin University, Geelong Hughes, L. (2007), Applying outcomes of lifelong learning to organisational achievement; PhD thesis, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Australia. Hughes, L. (2010), The VET status imperative of meeting client “needs” more so than “wants” – 2010 VISTA Association of VET Professionals conference, San Remo, Australia. Hughes, L. (2016), Expanding the utility of Activity Theory – The ‘HINGE, ECER 2016, Dublin Hughes, L.B. & Hughes, L.C. (2011), Social capital building within a human capital focused VET system: An Australian case study strengthening the deaf community – ECER 2011, Berlin, Germany. Hughes, L.B. & Hughes, L.C. (2012), Social Capital and VET – Researching Coupling of ‘Want’ to ‘Need’: An Australian comparison with Europe – ECER 2012, Cadiz, Spain. Hughes, L.B. & Hughes, L.C. (2013), VET Learner Acquired Social Capital: resonance with the Australian notion of Core Skills for Work, and much more arising from ‘educationalist, teacher motivations and practices – ECER 2013, Istanbul, Turkey. Maira, A. & Scott-Morgan, P, (1997), The Accelerating Organisation : Embracing the Human Face of Change, McGraw-Hill, New York. Pusey, M. (1991), Economic Rationalism in Canberra: A Nation Building state Changes Its Mind, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Stephenson, J.(1998), ‘The Concept of Capability and its Importance in Higher Education’, in J. Stephenson & M. Yorke (eds.), Capability & Quality in Higher Education, Kogan Page, London. Svendsen, G.L.H. & Svendsen, G.T. (2004), The Creation and Destruction of Social Capital: Entrepreneurship, Co-operative Movements and Institutions, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham Van Der Veer, R. (2007), ‘Vygotsky in Context’, in H. Daniels, M. Cole & J. Wertsch, (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Virkkunen, J, & Newham, D.S. (2013), The Change Laboratory: A Tool for Collaborative Development of Work and Education, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam. Vygotsky, L. S. (1987), Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, Harvard University Press, Cambridge. [Various Government, VET system, and the like documents relating to VET reform in Australia – drawn upon for institutional ethnography purposes]
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