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ERIC Number: ED507156
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
Regenerating the Australian Landscape of Professional VET Practice: Practitioner-Driven Changes to Teaching and Learning. Research Overview
Figgis, Jane
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Donald Schon once famously pictured professional practice as a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. The high ground is the place of theory and, one might add, of policy. The swampy lowland is where vocational education and training (VET) practitioners meet the learners. It is where the skills, knowledge, and attitudes they wish to see instilled in learners are (or are not) acquired. The problems encountered in the swampy lowlands are messy and without definitive solutions. But, as Schon insists, these are the important problems. The solutions practitioners contrive here make a difference to the learning, to the opportunities and to the lives of real people. This study was of and for the swampy lowlands of VET practice, based on discussions with practitioners and with VET managers responsible for teaching and learning. The changes in pedagogy initiated by concerned practitioners fall into six distinct groups which can be thought of as six trends in the changing practice of teaching and learning. These trends, at least in the hands of the responsive practitioner groups interviewed, were leading to improved learning; improved not only for the clients of the registered training organisations (RTOs) but for the staff involved too. The six trends are: (1) Assigning authentic learning tasks; (2) Peer learning; (3) Using e-learning technologies; (4) Work-based learning; (5) Personalising learning; and (6) Devolution of expertise within RTOs in support of fresh practice. [Funding for this research was provided through the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, under the National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation 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:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia