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ERIC Number: ED499664
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 53
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 52
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-921170-02-7
ISSN: N/A
Advancing Equity: Merging "Bottom Up" Initiatives with "Top Down" Strategies. A National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program Report
Figgis, Jane; Butorac, Anne; Clayton, Berwyn; Meyers, Dave; Dickie, Mary; Malley, Jeff; McDonald, Rod
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
The purpose of this study was to identify the factors which help successful equity initiatives that had been seeded in technical and further education (TAFE) institutes through short-term funding to take root and spread. The report concludes that many equity programs remain stuck in the seeding stage and fail to thrive and grow. It suggests that this is because current funding approaches place too much emphasis on starting initiatives and not enough on the development and scale-up of promising ones. Specifically, the study finds: (1) The cause of equity appears to have lost ground during the past decade of vocational education and training (VET) reform. Many are of the view that equity needs to be reinstated as a priority principle in the sector, in line with the social justice foundations of VET established by Kangan in 1974; (2) Funds allocated through short-term pilot equity initiatives have been primarily used to purchase direct support for learners, including a substantial increase in teacher-to-student ratios. This individual support for disadvantaged clients--often with multiple disadvantages--results in good outcomes. However, the initiatives rarely permeate into the institutes to the extent of influencing other practitioners; (3) The most successful initiatives are those which had been established by people in the community rather than by government or government agencies, "outsiders" who had a long-term commitment to the specific equity group; (4) The funding model--"seed funding"--is flawed. One-off pilot projects rarely generate ongoing provision. Furthermore, pilot projects need to be systematically applied in other contexts to test their long-term applicability; and (5) Policy-makers and funding bodies responsible for equity in the VET sector need to rethink the funding mechanisms currently used to stimulate innovative equity practice. (Contains 2 tables and 4 figures.) [This work has been produced with funding provided through the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training. The author/project team was funded to undertake this research via a grant under the National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation (NVETRE) Program.]
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail: ncver@ncver.edu.au; Web site: http://www.ncver.edu.au/publications/index.html
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: Community; Practitioners; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Leabrook (Australia).
Identifiers - Location: Australia