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The VET-Re-engagement program nexus: views from the inside Centre for the Economics of Education and Training 17 th Annual National Conference 1 November.

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Presentation on theme: "The VET-Re-engagement program nexus: views from the inside Centre for the Economics of Education and Training 17 th Annual National Conference 1 November."— Presentation transcript:

1 The VET-Re-engagement program nexus: views from the inside Centre for the Economics of Education and Training 17 th Annual National Conference 1 November 2013 Dr George Myconos Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Research and Policy Centre

2 ACE/LLs Re-engagement programs Mainstream secondary schooling VET (TAFE and private RTOs) Re-engagement: a shared response headspace and Orygen Job Services Australia Juvenile justice system Drug and alcohol support Centrelink Group Training Organizations Housing/accommodation Youth Connections

3 VET (TAFE and private RTOs) Re-engagement programs Institution-sector overlap

4 Case study: BSL CVCAL

5

6 BSL CVCAL: growth YearStudentsStaff 2009 (Taster) 15 Trainer (0.8 EFT) Coordinator (1.0 EFT) Volunteer aide Part-time arts tutor (0.2 EFT) registered teachers (1.0 and 0.6 EFT) Coordinator (1.0 EFT) Volunteer aide Part-time arts tutor (0.2 EFT) registered teachers (2 at 1.0 EFT; 2 at 0.8 EFT) Qualified wellbeing officer ( 0.6 EFT) Coordinator (1.0 EFT) Administrative assistance (0.4 EFT) Volunteer aide registered teachers (2 at 1.0 EFT; 2 at 0.8 EFT) Qualified wellbeing officer (0.6 EFT) Youth Projects Officer (0.6 EFT) Coordinator (1.0 EFT) Administrative assistance (0.4 EFT) Education Support Officer (0.5 EFT)

7 Youth disengagement: the nature of the problem

8 BSL CVCAL: challenges Reconciling education, wellbeing and pathways support Precarious funding Staff turn-over Coordination with schools Recognition and legitimacy Concurrent modes of education Gauging success and progress

9 Concurrent modes of education Re-engagement programVocational training providers  re-engagement and wellbeing the provider’s raison d'être.  a secure, welcoming environment, a sense of belonging to peer group.  low student teacher ratios, with team teaching/aides etc.  mainly trained secondary teachers.  flexible hands-on curriculum and assessment.  wrap around wellbeing and pathways support.  teaching tailored specifically to accommodate students’ needs.  student led and collaborative learning.  increasingly, profitability and growth is the provider’s raison d'être.  often alien and confusing institutional environments and processes.  higher student trainer ratio.  trainer, often unaccustomed to dealing with ‘at risk’/high needs youth.  adult orientated, with a range of ages among the learners.  limited or no wellbeing support.  limited specialist assistance/remedial skills etc.  book heavy competency based learning and assessment.

10 “…the kind of knowledge that you learn in VET assumes that you’ve been through school; that you’re an adult; that you have a specific skill set already; and that you’re there to further that skill set or develop something new that’s kind of related to what you want to do…So if you put a young person whose 16; severely disengaged…into a classroom with another cohort of people who are completely different to him or her, with a curriculum that doesn’t fit their place at that time, I think that we’ve got a real [problem] on our hands” (teacher) The culture clash

11 “I haven’t been to that [RTO] yet because I was scared…I was just scared to go…I was that scared, I made myself sick and I just didn’t go.” (y11 female) Challenges for the student Anxiety

12 Literacy and numeracy “I could do a book in my two days…[but] I’m not - because it’s worded differently, they’re using bigger words, and it’s like I don’t know what that word is, and I have to keep going back to the dictionary...like it’s taking me extra time to do it, because I’m so confused…like it’s the same as what I’ve done, but it’s just so different. So I’ll read a sentence and I’ll understand two words in the whole sentence” (y11 female)

13 “[the trainer] doesn’t answer the questions that you ask. Like you’ll ask a question, and the answer will have nothing to do with what you asked with...She just – she doesn’t help you with your work, like – and just – like the questions in the unit, like I know it’s not her fault, because she didn’t make the book...all these units are repetitive, like they ask the same questions in every unit, and – yeah. Just a waste of time” (y11 male) Competency based learning

14 “Even other students didn’t understand it. One of the other ladies, she was 24 or something. She didn’t understand the work…And then I go up, “Can I have help...I don’t really understand any of the work.” [trainer...]‘No, you have to do it yourself ” (y12 female) Assistance

15 Access “I was doing bricklaying. I didn't really get my Certificate because I'd wake up…4.30 of a morning just to get there [by 8 AM] because it takes like I don't know, two hours from Frankston train station to Holmesglen. I was supposed to do that for four months or something and I couldn't cope” (y12 male)

16 Gauging success and progress What matters most and to whom? How to gauge success? How to convey what success means?

17 Outcome types Extrinsic Measured & valued by others Reflect on their own health and wellbeing in relation to social norms Identify their need for individual language, literacy and numeracy support Educational success Career success Being healthy Involvement in positive relationships Intrinsic Valued & related to indivs Identify their own strengths from their life story Articulate the next step on their learning pathway Describe longer term goals and aspirations. Seek support when feeling threatened, frustrated or anxious Identify risk taking behavior Participate in decision making processes Connect in a variety of social setting Establish and maintain new relationships. IndividualSocial

18 Formal (evident) outcomes Attendance (inc exits & length of engagement) Class-based work: literacy/numeracy VET progression via units of competency, hours and/or course completion VCAL progression and/or graduation SBATs, employment

19 Progress in social and emotional skill development The absence of what might have been Lack of anxiety, the ability to trust and build relationships Persistence Informal (obscured) outcomes

20 “Yeah...I can sit down and have a conversation with an adult, and like not feel like they’re going to just be like, no you’re wrong, because you’re a child and stuff like that”. (former student/female) “I was probably a back of the room person, now I am at the front of the room and I don’t care if I get in front of the class and talk to the whole class. At the start of last year I wouldn’t have done it but now it is like, yeah.” (y12 female) Confidence

21 “I’m more considerate...I used to be kind of a bully...got here and saw that everyone’s different [but] like a small little family...Without this program I wouldn’t be where I am; without this program I would probably be on the street and probably being bad...not listening to anyone. Just so glad I came here.” (former student/female) “I think I’ve become a different person since coming here...I think I’ve become more ‘in the know’ of what I want to do... I have a straight mindset of what I want to do and how I want to do it and when and where.” (y12 female) Self awareness

22 “Here, they praise you for helping each other, like [for] taking initiative to work with one another...they praise us because we actually learn to work along and work as a team” (y12 male) Collaboration

23 “I’d come back if I could. I would. I’d redo my whole schooling here. I’d do it all again. I loved it … because we could trust our teachers as much as we could our friends. We could trust each other with everything …you could trust everybody—we’re all like family here.” (former student/female) Trust

24 “like I’ve got a different personality. I am not what I used to be at high school getting in to trouble and mucking around. I actually do my work…I get it finished. …I just feel like I’ve got a whole new personality inside me which is good. I feel like a whole new person” (former student/female) Personal growth

25 “Well it’s very hard to describe, but it made me more mature and more aware of how I approach things, so I don’t just say things out loud or say something stupid. I think about what I say before I say it so I don’t offend anyone or make anyone feel bad.” (y12 female) Maturity

26 Respite and safety “I just like coming in here...I feel safer here than I do at my own house. It’s just that I feel more support around me” (y11 male) “I think the kids that got bullied at high school, they’re relaxed [here]. They’re in this sweet environment where they’re sweet...when I got here I looked at everyone and I thought – you can tell half of youse are here because youse are being bullied” (y12 male)

27 Calm “I get anxiety and I can hear…it gets really tense and everything gets louder and louder. Here they sort of understand it more. At that other school if I like cracked it and went mental or something, then I would get in trouble but here they understand that it’s not that I’m doing…what I’m doing, I’m not doing it on purpose or anything, it’s because I can’t really cope with what’s happening.” (y12 male)

28 Focus “Well, I haven’t been playing up like I was when I left high school. I have an education that I actually have now that I didn’t before, which feels good, because I don’t feel like an idiot. And just things I know that I’ve learnt, and I think like I’m more ready to leave school now and that like I’ve got a pathway that I didn’t have and that I wouldn’t have got if I was going to [ex school] still” (y12 male) “I concentrate more. I don’t sit there – concentrate for five minutes and then change and do something else. I sit and concentrate until they finish talking” (y11 male)

29 “What’s most important [about the program]? I could say the VCAL certificate, but it’s not. It’s my confidence, my personality...[it] made me grow as a person...to get where I am now, successful and with a job, wanting to go further, knowing where I want to go, and planning my steps’” (female graduate) Ultimately…

30 On the importance of anticipating false starts, u-turns, failures, and just hanging in there. And from the staff

31 Formal / evident Informal / obscured All pre-conditions for learning Symbiosis

32 System immaturity? Contending professional cultures Workforce readiness Flexible pedagogies System complementarity Nuanced understanding of success Acknowledgement and legitimacy Adequate funding and accountability

33 At enrolment‘At exit’ outcomes Post exit, medium term outcomes Post exit, long term outcomes for individuals and society Young persons’ experiencesFormal / Informal Bringing into view

34 Young persons’ experiences ‘At exit’ outcomes Formal Informal Poor literacy/numeracy School disengagement Truancy and suspension Disability Family issues Mental/physical health issues Bullying and alienation Low self esteem Financial problems Substance abuse Homelessness Carer responsibilities Criminal behaviour Completions of units within each VCAL strand. VET course completions Completions of intermediate year and progression to senior level. Senior graduation and certificate completions Attendance No anti-social behavior Literacy and numeracy Changing and learning Critical curiosity Meaning making Creativity Strategic awareness Resilience Relationship building Disposition Physical and mental wellbeing …at exit

35 Post exit, medium term outcomes Formal Informal Post exit, long term outcomes for individuals and society Formal Informal Further education or training Employment/income Literacy/numeracy Financial stability Secure housing Free of substance abuse No criminal behaviour Stability Resilience Participation Disposition Quality of civic life Social skills Physical and mental wellbeing Family issues Further education or training Employment/income Housing Access to services Stability Resilience Participation Disposition Quality of civic life Social/parenting skills Physical and mental wellbeing Family issues …and over time


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