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Australian VET teacher training in the national context: An appraisal of its quality Peter Jansen, RhD candidate, Hunter Institute Newcastle

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Presentation on theme: "Australian VET teacher training in the national context: An appraisal of its quality Peter Jansen, RhD candidate, Hunter Institute Newcastle"— Presentation transcript:

1 Australian VET teacher training in the national context: An appraisal of its quality Peter Jansen, RhD candidate, Hunter Institute Newcastle ( Dr Jennifer Archer, Dr Donald Adams Faculty of Education and Arts University of Newcastle NSW Australia AVETRA Conference Canberra April 20121

2 2 Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions and Registered Training Authorities (RTO) are responsible for providing a significant proportion of trades and diploma based workforce training in Australia. The majority of this training is provided by TAFE institutions. There are approximately 60 TAFE colleges in Australia (AEN, 2010). In 2009 1.7 million students where enrolled in the VET system (Skills Australia, 2010).

3 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 20123 Prior training for TAFE teachers: Prior to 2002 full-time TAFE teachers were required within the first two or three years of teaching to gain diplomas or degrees in education, funded by their TAFE institutions. Considerable cost were incurred by TAFE institutions. Studies indicated that the majority of TAFE teachers held teaching qualifications at the graduate and post-graduate level (Chappell & Johnson, 2003). New competency standards for workplace endorsed in 1992 led to Workplace Trainer Assessor qualifications (BSZ40198) (Clayton, 2009). This was superseded by the TAA 04 Workplace Trainer Assessor qualification in 2004.

4 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 20124 The TAA 04 Workplace Trainer Assessor qualification became a mandatory qualification for all TAFE teachers. Full-time TAFE teachers were no longer required to gain diploma or degree based teaching qualifications. The TAA 04 certificate was intended to give teachers the skills to use industry based training packages. The performance criteria dictate when a trainee may be deemed competent in the workplace (Clayton, 2009). It was also intended to give industry employees sufficient skills to conduct training in the workplace.

5 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 20125 Some researchers (such as Plumridge, 2005, cited in Clayton, 2009) argue that the TAA 04 certificate cannot be considered equivalent to a VET teaching qualification. If the TAA 04 qualification is delivered well, it can provide sufficient entry skills for workplace trainers / assessors. To understand the training package, put its performance criteria into a particular context, and understand the context of the workplace requires specialist knowledge (Mitchell, Bateman & Roy, 2008). Casual as well as full-time VET teachers may lack the skills to deliver effective institutional and workplace learning (Guthrie, 2009). New training demands will require specialist skills (Ferrier, 2005). Smith (2011) argues that VET teachers should have university qualifications.

6 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 20126 The VET sector suffers from a low educational status (Grollman, 2008). Secondary schools are required to have some VET qualified teachers. Teachers can gain TAA 04 qualifications based on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Many secondary teachers lack industry experience. This calls into question the quality of RPL processes (Dalton and Smith, 2004). Boundaries are blurring between VET institutions and universities. Some TAFE institutes are delivering pathways into universities as well as delivering diploma, degree, and associate degrees (Beddie, 2010).

7 AVETRA Conference Canberra March 20127 VET teachers are often lacking the teaching and learning support available in universities (Moodie et al., 2009). VET teachers should know more about pedagogy, foundation areas such as educational psychology, and teaching standards (Wheelahan, 2010). Students aged 35 and above form approximately 25% of the VET population (McDowell, Oliver, Persson, Fairbrother, Wezlar, Buchanan, & Shipstone, 2011). Anecdotal evidence suggests that in many TAFE classes, learners range from 17 to greater than 65, with wide ranges in prior qualifications. VET teachers should have knowledge of age- related teaching practices. The NSW Institute of Teachers is responsible for raising the professional status and quality of school teachers. Teachers must be accredited by the Institute after submitting a portfolio of work (NSWIT, 2007). The lack of similar accreditation of VET and TAFE teachers is of concern.

8 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 20128 Kleinhenz (2007) describes an American framework for teaching standards. Teachers should: Be committed to students and their learning, know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects; Be responsible for student management and learning, think systematically about their practice, and learn from experience; Become members of a learning community’ (p. 6). Framework for teaching standards:

9 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 20129 The NSW Institute for Teachers has professional teaching standards: consisting of seven key elements embedded in the domains of: ‘Professional knowledge requiring the understanding of fundamental ideas, principles and structures of subjects taught. Professional practice encompassing processes of teaching, knowledge and skills gained as a teacher. Professional commitment which requires abilities to critically reflect on teaching practice, commitment to professional development and making contributions to professional communities.’ (NSW Institute of Teachers, 2007). Framework for teaching standards:

10 AVETRA Conference Canberra March 201210 VET teacher training overseas: In Germany VET teachers are required to hold university degrees and often hold masters degrees. Training courses range from four to five years (Bünning & Shilela, 2006; Grollman, 2008). In Denmark TVET teacher training can be completed in 660 hours. In the United Kingdom and Demark teaching certificates and diplomas are held by VET practitioners.

11 AVETRA Conference Canberra March 201211 Current VET training in Australia: In Australia, VET trainer/assessor qualifications can be gained in approximately 10 weeks. This includes approximately 56 hours of face to face delivery and approximately 160 hours of private study. There can be longer training programs. The University of Southern Queensland website indicates a TVET degree course of approximately 2500 hours (University of Southern Queensland, 2011).

12 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 201212 Using mentoring to enhance teaching skills: Current models of teacher development could be enhanced with support of expert colleagues (Gangreat & Gray, 2007). In Great Britain teacher mentoring is built into government policy (Teddy & Lawy, 2009). There are benefits from re-employing retired teachers for teacher mentoring (De Hammer & Williams, 2005). New teachers in Scotland in their probationary period are guided by more experienced teachers called “induction supporters.”

13 AVETRA Conference Canberra April201213 Different approaches to pedagogy: Pew (2007) argues that some pedagogy is excessively teacher- controlled. This leaves little room for students to regulate their own learning. Donahue (2008) uses the term pedagogy to refer to an internalized learning context. Daily (1984) sees pedagogy as teacher dominance, based on assumptions of learner immaturity. The learner’s experience is not valued. Willingham (2009) argues that detailed knowledge in the areas of cognition and the use of appropriate teaching practices can lead to significant improvement in learning. Models of pedagogy (according to Wheelahan, 2010) do not appear to be included within current VET teacher training programs.

14 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 201214 Models of teaching for the VET sector: The VET / TAFE sectors require suitable models of pedagogy. This may be difficult to implement. Rojewski (2009) argues for new conceptual frameworks in the VET/TVET sector because of global shifts have called for new skills in technical and vocational education. Some pedagogical terms tend to be too general and often include components of andragogy. Components within pedagogy are affected by particular contexts: as a result, pedagogy will vary by institutions, subject content, cultural understanding, learner age and subject delivery.

15 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 201215 What should be included in VET teacher training: The TAFE/VET sector encompasses considerable ranges in ages of students. VET teaching models need to address how younger students as well as older students learn. Organisational knowledge and teacher mentoring will be essential components of a teacher training model. Knowledge and application of educational psychology should be incorporated into teaching and learning practice (McCaslin & Hickey, 2001). TAFE students vary considerably in skills, qualifications and learning patterns within the same class. A one size fits all teaching approach will not work.

16 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 201216 Conclusion: Widespread agreement that current VET teaching qualifications are inadequate. VET sectors dealing with traditional trades suffer from low status. Trade related skills and knowledge contribute to national productivity. We need a well trained workforce. If the training of VET teachers/ trainers is limited by policy decisions, training will be affected adversely. There are benefits to VET teachers gaining degrees in teaching. Such qualifications would mean better understanding of students and how they learn and better understanding of suitable teaching strategies.

17 AVETRA Conference Canberra April 201217 Research plan: Define the educational knowledge and skills VET teachers /trainers should possess. Approach VET teachers / trainers to ascertain their attitudes towards their training, and their understanding of effective teaching. Effective mentoring as part of VET teacher preparation will be explored.

18 AVETRA Conference Canberra March 201218 Discussion

19 AVETRA Conference Canberra March 201219 References AEN. (2010). "List of Colleges in Australia." Retrieved 30 / 10 / 2010, from Beddie, F. (2010). The place of VET in the tertiary sector. Paper presented at the VISTA Annual Conference: VET, Silver Resort San Remo. Bünning, F., & Shilela, A. (2006). The Bologna Declaration and Emerging Models of TVET Teacher Training in Germany. Magdeburg: UNEVOC. Chappell, C., & Johnston, R. (2003). Changing roles for vocational education and training teachers and trainers: ANTA. Clayton, B. (2009). Practitioners experience and expectations with the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAA40104): A discussion and Issues (pp. 19): NCVER. Dalton, J., & Smith, P. J. (2004). Vocational Education and Training in Secondary Schools: challenging teachers work and identity. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 56(4), 16. De Hammer, M., & Williams, P. (2005). Rejuvenating Retirees: Mentoring First-Year Teachers. Delta Cappa Gamma Bulletin, 71(4), 20 - 25. Dailey, N. (1984). Adult Learning and Organizations. [Report]. Training and Development Journal, 38(12), 64 - 67. Donahue, T. (2008). Cautionary Tales Ideals and Realities in Twenty-First-Century Higher Education. Pedagogy, 8(3), 537-553. Ferrier, F. (2005). How can VET systems meet the challenges of innovation and new skills requirement. An exploration of State and Territory initiatives in Australia, Monash University: 1 -59.

20 AVETRA Conference Canberra March 201220 Grangeat, M. and P. Gray (2007). "Factors influencing teachers’ professional competence development." Journal of Vocational Edication and Training 59(4): 485- 501. Guthrie, H. (2010). Professional development in the vocational education and training workforce: NCVER. Grollmann, P. (2008). The Quality of Vocational Teachers: teacher education, institutional roles and professional reality. European Educational Research Journal, 7(4), 535 – 547 Kleinhenz, E. (2007). Standards for Teaching : Theoretical Underpinnings and Applications: ACER. McDowell, J., Oliver, D., Persson, M., Fairbrother, R., Wezlar, S., Buchanan, J., & Shipstone, T. (2011). Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Epert Panel Paper: Final Report of the Expert Panel 31 January 2011 (pp. 1 to 131): Commonwealth of Australia. McCaslin, M., & Hickey, D. T. (2001). Educational Psychology, Social Constructivism, and Educational Practice: A Case of Emergent Identity. Educational Psychologist, 36(2), 133-140. Mitchell, J., Chappell, C., Bateman, A., & Roy, S. (2008). Quality is the key: Critical issues in learning and assessment: NCVER. NSW Institute of Teachers. (2007). Continuing Professional Development Retrieved 24 / 1 / 2012, from ProfessionalDevelopment/. Pew, S. (2007). Andragogy and Pedagogy as Foundational Theory for Student Motivation in Higher Education. InSight Journal, 2(1).

21 AVETRA Conference Canberra March 201221 Rojewski, J. W. (2009). A Conceptual Framework for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. International Handbook of Education for the Changing World of Work. R. McLean and D. Wilson, Springer Science and Business Media. Skills Australia. (2010). Creating a future direction for Australian vocational education and training: A discussion paper on the future of the VET system. Smith, E. (2011). VET teachers qualifications in education and training: University of Ballarat. Tedder, M., & Lawy, R. (2009). The pursuit of excellence: mentoring in further education initial teacher training in England. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 61(4), 413 - 429. Wheelahan, L. (2010). Literature Review: The quality of Teaching in VET: University of Melbourne. University of Southern Queensland. (2011). "Technical and Vocational Education and Training." 24 / 02 / 2012, from Willingham, D. T. (2009). Why don't student like school? San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

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