02 SES 11 B, Integrating the excluded
This paper uses a practice theory lens aiming to understand vocational education teachers’ practices in supporting integration between the educational institution and the workplace for migrant and refugee vocational education and training (VET) students. As the diversity of VET student populations continues to expand, especially with new cohorts of migrant and refugee arrivals, work-related experiences that complement VET provisions in educational institutions becomes a necessary means for developing ‘work-ready graduates’, that is, those who can easily transition into work. This requires VET teachers to continue learning about specific educational needs of these groups of students to enact specific pedagogies for integration of what is learnt in educational institutions, workplaces and any other sites.
Integration for migrant and refugee students here extends to assimilating and participating in the world of work through actual employment. Svensson, Ellström and Åberg (2004) describe the notion of integration as the “intellectualisation of work associated with modern, integrated production systems” (p. 479). The process is not without challenges. How well students integrate learning at educational sites with that in the workplaces is influenced and shaped by what Kemmis, Edwards-Groves, Wilkinson and Hardy (2012) describe as practice ‘architectures’, prefigured by three types of arrangements: ‘cultural-discursive’, ‘material-economic’ and ‘social-political’. These form the essence of practice theory, a theory we have used to understand the phenomenon of integration in particular practice settings, and the challenges experienced by VET teachers delivering courses to refugee and migrant students.
The task of the VET teachers is two-fold. On the one hand they are charged with educating students to meet the high vocational standards of an occupation. On the other hand, the education they provide needs to equip students with specific cultural competences that help them navigate into their new occupation and transcend thresholds into the labour market. This creates a challenge for teachers when there are tensions between organisational imperatives, vocational ideals and the needs of the students (Wärvik, 2013). Hence, there is a need to find creative pedagogical practices as interventions that recognise and accommodate the students’ backgrounds and enhance the ‘experienced curriculum’ for integration, and promote the social inclusion of these students who tend to be on the margins (Onsando & Billett, 2009). The issues outlined above are common to teachers in Europe, Australia and many other countries experiencing large influx of refugees and migrants. Yet VET teachers and systems in these countries are not adequately prepared for the challenges presented by these groups of learners.
Our aim was to investigate how best VET teachers’ practices can assist integrating migrant and refugee students’ learning in educational institutions and workplaces, thereby inform a curriculum for teachers’ professional development. The following three research questions were used to collect data.
i) What arrangements in VET teachers’ practice architecture enable and constrain the process of integration for migrant and refugee students?
ii) What types of arrangements and strategies will enable VET teachers to better facilitate integration for their students?
iii) What competencies are necessary in a curriculum for professional development of VET teachers to better facilitate integration for migrant and refugee students?
The findings are used to inform the curriculum for professional development of VET teachers as current training programs do not include any specific strategies to support integration for migrant and refugee students. This paper will only report the findings for the first two questions.
Kemmis, S. Edwards-Groves, C. Wilkinson, J. and Hardy, I. (2012). Ecologies of practices: Learning practices. In P. Hager, A. Lee & A. Reich (Eds.). Practice, learning and change. pp. 33–49. London: Springer. Onsando, G. & Billett, S. (2009). African students from refugee backgrounds in Australian TAFE institutes: A case for transformative learning goals and processes. International Journal of Training Research 7(2). pp. 80–94. Svensson, L., Ellström P-E. and Åberg, C. (2004). Integrating formal and informal learning at work. The Journal of Workplace Learning 16(8), pp.479–491. Wärvik, G-B. (2013). The reconfiguration of adult education VET teachers: Tensions amongst organisational imperatives, vocational ideals and the needs of the students. International Journal of Training Research. 11(2). pp. 122–134.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.