Vocational teacher education : bridging the teaching divide toward lifelong learning
conference contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by S Darwin
This paper explores debates emerging in the VET sector around the impact of competency based approaches (and more recently training packages) on the capacity of VET to assist in developing lifelong learners. It considers debates around the assumed ‘conventional’ training paradigm of VET (that is focussed on task reproduction for work) and to what extent this is maturing into an appreciation of the need to cultivate capacity for ongoing learning in a rapidly changing vocational environment. A key issue in this debate is the mediating role of the VET teacher and their capacity to foster learning environments that are learner centred and focussed on building an ongoing individual capacity for lifelong learning. Specifically, the paper analyses a significant re-orientation of VET teacher education programs at a major TAFE provider, which sought to create a constructivist model for teacher education based on the Biggs’ (1999) notion of constructive alignment and Brookfield’s (1995) model of the critically reflective teacher. The underlying intent of this strategy was to enhance the capacity of VET teachers to adopt pedagogies that accelerated this move from a purely training paradigm to one focussed on (lifelong) learning. Though not without its challenges, this reorientation may provide useful insights into the process of building lifelong learning via VET teaching and learning.