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The Journal of Vocational Education and Training Seventh International Conference Worcester College Oxford, 3rd – 5th July 2009 Conference Programme PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME A PAPER COPY OF THE FINAL PROGRAMME INCORPORATING ANY LATE CHANGES AND ALLOCATIONS TO ROOMS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT REGISTRATION. Friday 3rd July 2009 11.30am Registration Linbury 12.30pm Lunch 1.30pm-2.45pm – Plenary Terri Seddon, Monash University Rescaling VET: Refocusing politics in education and work Work and learning have been reorganised and rescaled over the last 30 years. VET has been central to these developments, supporting skill building for the global economy and managing risk within global capitalism through social inclusion. In all these changes, the pursuit of collective happiness that is based in notions of social justice has tended to fall off the agenda as workers and learners have negotiated changes in their working lives. This paper suggests that these trends are a consequence of global capitalism‘s emerging networked and knowledge-based organization, which create new power geometries within working life. Drawing on cross-national research that entails and documents the rescaling of work and learning within teaching, nursing and social work, I discuss the way these changes disturb worker-learner‘s working lives and also prompt agency in practical ways. Interrogating these processes offers insights into ways of reaffirming social justice in everyday life. I argue that the contemporary politics of learning and work is a complicated politics of knowledge that is enacted through the coordination of relationships; through regulatory texts and also patterns of sociality that anchor cultures. Knowing how to mobilise sociality and texts is fundamental to our work in education and the way we negotiate the politics of lifelong learning and work. It is also a critical contribution to building a secure and sustainable life together on this small planet. 2.55pm-4.25pm – Conference Papers: 1 1.1 The New Zealand National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence; The journey so far. Ian Rowe, Operations Manager, Central Hub Ako Aotearoa In 2006, the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission convened a Teaching Matters Forum to investigate a wide range of issues in the tertiary sector. One result was a recommendation to government that an organisation be formed to foster excellence throughout the various organisations providing tertiary education in New Zealand. Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence was formed in 2007, is now fully staffed and operates from three regional hubs and a national office. The mission is “by focussing on enhancing the effectiveness of tertiary teaching and learning practices, Ako Aotearoa will assist educators and organisations to enable the best possible educational outcomes for all learners”. This presentation will outline the context in which Ako Aotearoa was conceived, describe the structure and staffing profiles, outline the strands of work undertaken, highlight several outstanding projects, discuss some of the political and educational constraints in which we operate, and, outline our development plans for the intermediate future. The presenter welcomes debate and feedback at the end of the presentation. Using adult learning as an innovative approach to organisational change in an Indonesian vocational education context Kate Collier, Ali Rokhman, Sherria Ayuandini and Panca Kurniawan, University of Technology Sydney, University of Soedirman, University of Indonesia and the Indonesian Tax Office This paper is developed from a research project funded by the Australian Indonesian Governance Research Partnership (AIGRP). The research involves both Australian and Indonesian academics working together with the Indonesian Tax Office (DGT). The DGT is presently going through a significant modernisation program that requires not only changes in organisational systems but also in the skills and attitudes of personnel. According to Crane (2002) any change in the culture of an organisation ultimately resides with individual workers. They can choose whether or not to accept management‟s desire for organisational change and embrace it. A key strategy the DGT used to engage personnel in the modernisation process was an extensive vocational training program that used an experiential, adult learning approach. This approach was a significant departure from the traditional lecture-based training previously employed. The new interactive program was designed to target the attitudinal learning needed for modernisation as well as providing the relevant knowledge and skills required for organisational change. This research project focuses on the learning that occurred in the area of customer service, especially in the practice of ethical behaviours, in one vocational training program and considers whether the innovative approach to training was effective in engaging participants in the modernisation process and provided them with the space and confidence to critically explore the impact of change on themselves and their peers. 1.2 Values for money: learning and unlearning professionalism Pete Sanderson, University of Huddersfield & Hilary Sommerlad, Leeds Metropolitan University This paper explores contemporary developments in the management and socialization of professionals, in the light of debates in classical and contemporary sociology about the nature of professions and professionalism. The starting point for the debate is Weber‟s discussion of the antinomy between value rationality and calculative rationality, and the anomaly of their co-presence in the life-world of social actors. Neo-Weberian theories of the professions have tended to belittle the significance of value rationality to the professional project, and this cynicism has been echoed and amplified by the dominance of Chicago rational preference theory over government discourse. The architecture of New Public Management contractualism is consequently predicated on a model of professional motivation which tends to exclude the very possibility of value-based practice. It is therefore constituted by market-based incentives and disincentives, combined with the promotion of a „renegotiated professionalism‟ which is in turn supported by centralised models of functional training. The paper argues, with Durkheim, for the genuine status and significance of valuerationality as a core (if not omnipresent) feature of professional practice, using examples drawn from secondary literature on education, and the authors‟ own research in the field of publicly funded legal advice. Holloway‟s use of McIntyre‟s concept of a „practice‟ is particularly relevant in understanding the way in which values are imbued in the process of professional learning in the workplace. The paper then identifies the way in which the logic of contractual management can serve to steadily unpick this form of learning. Pathways to VET? Engaging adult learners and assessing learner outcomes Darryl Dymock and Stephen Billett, Griffith University Along with most other developed countries, Australia is facing a continuing skills shortage (even with the recent slowing of the economy), and training is seen as one way of improving that situation. For some Australian adults, however, engaging with the education and training system is difficult because of their limited language, literacy and/or numeracy skills and their past experiences of formal education. This paper reports on a research project undertaken by Darryl Dymock and Stephen Billett under a grant from the [Australian] National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Assessing and acknowledging learning through non-accredited community adult language, literacy and numeracy programs. Drawing on interviews with coordinators, teachers, tutors and learners in programs across Australia, it examines the motivations, expectations and outcomes for learners undertaking non-accredited learning in adult language, literacy and numeracy. The research shows there is a wide range of motivations and learning outcomes beyond skills development, and that these are an essential part of the development of many „disadvantaged‟ adults as learners. The conference paper compares these findings with those from selected international projects, and considers how wider learning outcomes might be determined. It includes an exploration of the role of nonaccredited learning in preparing adults for „pathways‟ to vocational education and training and employment, and the implications for education and training providers and for government policy. 1.3 Networking on the Edge of Chaos: The Emergence of Informal Networks in the U.S. Workforce Investment Act Program Richard W. Moore, Deone Zell, California State University, Northridge Virginia Hamilton California Workforce Association Research on chaos theory in organizations finds that organizations are most responsive to their environments when they are on the edge of chaotic system (Handy, 1994). In this difficult context adaptive strategies spontaneously emerge from organizations. One such adaptive strategy is the creation of informal networks to solve common problems within the chaotic environment (Kaufman, 1995). The Workforce Investment Act in the United States largest nationally funded training and employment program. The program is delivered through state and local government. In California 50 local areas actually deliver program services. This study conducted a network analysis that included all 50 local programs. This paper reports on a study that used the latest social network analysis methods to investigate how these nationally funded but locally administered workforce development programs in California, informally networked with other workforce development agencies in their local areas and with each other to form powerful regional networks, to exchange information, seek additional funds and attempt to influence policy. The paper will explore implications of these informal networks for workforce development policy in the United States and elsewhere. It will also consider the applicability of chaos theory, complexity theory and social network analysis to evaluation of workforce development programs. „It‟s all right for Saturdays, but not forever.‟ The employment of part-time staff within the retail sector: skills gaps and training needs. Professor Prue Huddleston, Centre for Education and Industry, University of Warwick This paper focuses on research funded by SKOPE (ESRC research centre) which explored skills gaps and training needs within the retail sector and the way in which parttime, in particular student labour, is being used to sustain the sector. Skillsmart (the Sector Skills Council for retail) has raised concerns about the sector‟s poor image and its desire to attract „the brightest and best‟ into a career in retail; it continues to report skills shortages. Employing student labour makes good business sense, but it may mean that the underlying problem of skills shortages is not addressed. Whilst a stop gap expedient it does not deal with the fundamental issue of developing training and qualifications for those who might wish to make a career in retail, who are not just passing through. Similarly, the learning achieved by young people through part-time employment in the sector is not often recognised, either formally or informally. The sector might do well to consider how to capitalise on the skills of student labour whilst demonstrating that it is an environment in which to make a longer term career. 1.4 Initial Teacher Education for Vocational College Lecturers: from policy to curriculum Joy Papier, Director, FET Institute, Faculty of Education, University of the Western Cape, South Africa The historically fragmented and racialised vocational college sector in South Africa has undergone significant policy transformation in the last 10 years since the election of a democratic government. A draft policy on qualifications and development for FET (vocational) college lecturers was published by the national Department of Education in June 2008. This document suggests prerequisites for college lecturers which encompass broadly academic competence, work experience and pedagogic competence. A suite of vocational teaching qualifications ranging from entry-level through higher degrees are set out for initial and continuing professional development. However, these qualifications exist in name only and will have to be designed, developed and implemented by universities and other providers who have responsibility for teacher education. At this time there are very few higher education institutions offering formal qualifications to vocational lecturers, and faculty capacity and expertise for the qualifications development process is limited. This article explores salient learnings gleaned from both local and global contexts, in an attempt to establish the agreed-upon elements of such curricula that could pave the way for South African policy on vocational lecturer development to be implemented. Meeting the employability agenda through an alternative 3rd year module: “maths in the classroom”. Jane Gay, Nigel Atkins, and Steve May, Kingston University Building on its civic mission and in response to the recommendations of the Smith report (2004) related to the shortage of specialist maths teachers, and to the Leitch report (2006) appeal for better delivery of economically valuable skills, a UK University School of Mathematics has developed a final year undergraduate “Maths in the Classroom” module. This gives an opportunity for students to see how pupils work and think in the classroom through firsthand practical experience via a mentoring scheme with mathematics teachers in local schools. An evaluation of the module, through analysis of student profiles and assessments in conjunction with focus groups and interviews with both students and key staff, has found that both specific and generic employability skills can be embedded in the curriculum. The evidence also suggests that, in providing additional insights and skills that are likely to increase employability and career prospects, the module goes beyond its aim of encouraging participants to consider seriously the possibility of a career in teaching. 1.5 Still a subterranean world? Experiences of HE from participants entering from Vocational and Access backgrounds. Robert Eden, University of Birmingham Despite the massification in HE and the much vaunted ideals of widening participation, research suggests that entry (particularly to pre-1992 institutions) is still dominated by students from A-Level backgrounds. Moreover, much research on the „student experience‟ arguably underestimates the fragmentary experiences of mass higher education‟s discrete and diverse student populations. This paper draws upon research into both the pre-entry and on-programme experiences of students who have progressed to HE via „non-standard‟ vocational and Access pathways. The sample consisted of a selection of students from a cross section of higher education institutions. A small sample of students from ‟A‟ level backgrounds were also selected, providing opportunities for comparison. The research draws on qualitative narratives to help portray illuminating accounts of the social world of these participants. The study investigates facets of the social phenomenon including past and present experiences, along with the dynamic of choice. These are moulded together to provide an illuminating account of the participants‟ „social worlds‟ and therefore, better understand their experiences. Preliminary findings from the study suggest that although classed and past educational experiences previously made participants exclude themselves from HE, they are now engaging successfully with university study overcoming hurdles and challenges in the process. What is „higherness‟? Conceptualising „higher‟ education in the context of new forms of vocational HE Ann-Marie Bathmaker, UWE Bristol, UK Increasing and diversifying participation in higher education (HE) are key goals of education policy across a wide range of countries. These goals are closely related to a renewed emphasis on vocationally-related higher education. In England, this has involved Further Education colleges in the provision of HE, and the introduction of two year Foundation degrees. Vocationally-related „higher‟ education, particularly in the setting of a „further‟ education institution, raises questions concerning what is „higherness‟, and by implication, what is „furtherness‟. This paper focuses on these questions, drawing on empirical research from a study funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. The paper explores how institutions, and staff and students within them, constructed understandings of „higherness‟, and how these understandings played out in practice. Whilst the study draws attention to the opportunities that vocational HE may offer, the data gathered raise questions about the use of particular forms of „vocational‟ HE for lower-achieving students, and the relationship between vocational HE and the realities of labour market opportunities. The dilemma considered in conclusion is whether new forms of vocational HE open up opportunities for a more diverse population of HE students, or divert them into less prestigious, and less valued forms of higher education. 1.6 Demand for Agricultural Extension Services among Women Farmers in Africa Kathleen Collett, City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development This paper considers the rationale for investigating demand for agricultural extension services among women smallholder farmers in Africa. It is part of a larger research project (still in progress) which seeks, in part, to ascertain what kind of agricultural extension services are demanded by women smallholders, and how this stated demand compares with the perceived demand for agricultural extension by this group among trainers and policy makers. It is widely acknowledged that agricultural skills training is an important part of enabling small subsistence farmers to produce increased and reliable supplies. There are, however, many factors which may prevent farmers, particularly women, from realising the benefits of agricultural extension. Much of the literature dealing with extension services for smallholder women assumes that training which helps women overcome these constraints will be demanded by the pool of potential trainees. This paper presents the argument that a better understanding of the demand for agricultural training among women smallholders can provide more accurate measures of the priorities and perceived constraints of potential trainees, and outlines how a training demand analysis might be used to both stimulate demand and align with it supplies of agricultural training. Designing a New Vocational Educational Curriculum in Georgia- Reflection of a Local Needs and Modernization Anastasia Kitiashvili, Associate Professor, Tbilisi State University, Georgia The aim of this paper is to discuss how the new Georgian vocational educational curriculum reflects local VET needs and at the same time, fits with the contemporary requirements of vocational education. In this paper, the following issues are considered: the policy background of the curriculum reform, procedures that regulate curriculum design, development and implementation, and the main requirements of a new curriculum such as a link with market needs, flexibility and a correspondence to the European educational system (the introduction of a modular structure, ECVET, outcome based curriculum). The study is based on documents, the analysis of the existing curriculum, interviews with key persons responsible for the curriculum development, and questionnaires with VET teachers responsible for curriculum implementation and vocational students. The results revealed that a reflection of local market needs as well as the modern experience is crucial in a new curriculum design, though they also highlighted the importance of more documented findings on teachers‟ and students‟ perspectives about curriculum reform. 4.25pm-4.45pm – Tea 4.45pm-6.15pm – Conference Papers: 2 2.1 Further Education in England: the New Localism, Systems Theory and Governance James Avis, University of Huddersfield The paper explores the changing forms of governance currently being applied to the English further education sector, changes that emphasise the importance of locality. The paper sets the sector within its socio-economic and policy context, examining current policy changes that intend to alter the way in which the sector is managed. It relates these changes to their contextual location and to a set of conceptual notions that derive from a particular understanding of systems theory and what has been described as the new localism. It concludes that whilst these changing forms governance are in continuity with earlier policies that had a regional dimension they remain set on the terrain of performativity and new public sector management. Nevertheless, there remains a residual potential to develop more democratic forms of engagement in these changes. Making managers: career pathways into leadership and management roles in VET in Australia Michele Simons and Roger Harris, Centre for Research in Education, Equity and Work, University of South Australia In a context where VET policies are under considerable flux due to changing government policy agendas, leaders and managers play a significant role in managing complexity and leading change in order to meet these agendas. It is through their work that policies are enacted and ways of working in the changing environment are created to support staff who must work at the coal face with learners. Using data collected in a national survey of VET staff examining career in VET, this paper will examine the pathways taken by respondents who held leadership and management positions at the time of the survey. The paper will pay particular attention to the nature of the different job roles that these staff held prior to their current management and leadership roles with a view to understanding the different ways organisations choose to recruit and develop staff for the demands of management and leadership in VET organisations. 2.2 European Varieties of Competence Françoise Le Deist and Jonathan Winterton, Employment Research Group Toulouse Business School, Université de Toulouse In the past decade, global policy consensus on the importance of competence has become evident in various reports of international and regional bodies (ILO 1997, OECD 1999) and yet the concept of competence remains as elusive as it is pervasive. While it has long been recognized that there are different definitions of competence (Weinert, 1999), recent policy developments have served to highlight and even accentuate the diversity and little progress has been made towards a common competence model, which raises important questions for the development of the EQF and ECVET (Garavan and McGuire, 2001). Policy interest in competence prompted repeated academic attempts to analyse and reconcile the different models. This contribution will outline the EU policy context and explore the provenance of developing a ‗best fit‘ holistic competence model for ECVET and its subsequent role in the EQF. We raise questions as to whether the different competence models are sufficiently compatible to enable a ‗best-fit‘ approach to creating a unified qualifications system throughout Europe, their coherence when applied in practice and their role in developing qualifications frameworks. The authors were closely involved in these policy developments and are continuing to chart developments across the EU through the EUCLID network. Managing learner expectations of e-assessment in vocational education and training Helen Harth, City & Guilds, UK The main aim of this study is to provide clarity around the perceived drivers and barriers to the adoption of e-assessment, which can include computer-based assessments, electronic reporting and portfolios. It will thus explore the extent to which the demands for and expectations of e-assessment have the potential to deliver fit for purpose assessment of vocational qualifications. Data from focus groups and interviews with learners and centre staff pursuing vocational qualifications in the UK educational context are used to provide an up-to-date insight into their views, perceptions, wants and needs of e-assessment, and identify the skills the learners feel they need in order to participate effectively in e-assessment. Given the wide range of vocational training programmes that awarding organisations need to develop, this study seeks to identify the key differences among learners that should be considered when developing e-assessments. Whilst recognising that the e-agenda will become increasingly prominent in educational assessment, over the more traditional forms of assessment, this paper will revisit current thinking on e-assessment and highlight the significant challenge for those involved in vocational and occupationally related qualifications that seek to attest competence. 2.3 The emerging dilemmas and challenges for mentors and mentees in the new context for training in-service teachers for the learning and skills sector Sue Cullimore & Jonathan Simmons, UWE Changes in the requirements for Learning & Skills (L&S) Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses mean that mentors now have a more significant and onerous role which involves the observation and assessment of their mentees. The context for this research is a plethora of policy and consultation on ITE for the L&S sector since the late 1990s and OFSTED inspection findings which identified continuing weaknesses in systematic mentoring and subject-specific support of inexperienced and trainee teachers in the workplace particularly for those on in-service courses (OfSTED 2006 p.2). This research looks at the way this initiative is working by focusing on the experiences of a small sample of mentors and mentees and investigates the changing and complex relationships between mentor and mentee in institutions where both parties are working within the same department as colleagues. The dilemmas and issues are explored through the lens of a common model of mentoring (Wallace & Gravells 2005). Data were collected through the rolling programme of mentor training and support sessions, a questionnaire based survey of both mentors and mentees, focus groups with mentees and a small sample of semi-structured interviews with mentors and their mentees. Breaking the mould: profiles of six trainee teachers Margaret McLay, Consortium for Post Compulsory Education and Training University of Huddersfield Teacher educators are charged with widening the profile of teachers in the sector both for issues of equality and to provide role models to demonstrate that subject/vocational areas are inclusive. Work has been carried out on recruitment from under-represented groups, but this project aims to uncover what happens to such trainees once recruited, looking at their reception by colleagues, management and learners, and at the support they receive to help them feel comfortable in their role as teachers. It looks at six trainees who belong to groups generally under-represented within the teaching profession in general or in their subject/vocational area, whether by ethnicity, gender or disability. The trainees are asked to tell their life stories, with further prompts about reception by colleagues and learners. Emerging themes show that some have made a deliberate career choice, whilst others have entered their subject/vocation by serendipity or by force of circumstances. As mould-breakers they generally demonstrate the strength and experience to overcome any less positive attitudes amongst colleagues and learners, and most feel that they have been helped to settle into their chosen roles. Trainees‟ experiences will provide useful guidance about supporting and retaining those from under-represented groups once recruited to the profession. 2.4 Changing learners‟ lives: The role of transformative learning in VET Steven Hodge, University of South Australia This paper presents new research into learning in Australian VET which indicates that accredited programs for some occupations may induce „transformative learning‟. This kind of learning has been researched by Mezirow (1978, 1991) in the context of women‟s re-entry programs, and conceptualised as a transformation of the „meaning perspectives‟ through which adult learners interpret and anticipate experience. Due to the apparent subjectivity and personal significance of transformative learning, in the VET setting it would tend to be viewed as a form of „incidental learning‟, i.e. a „by-product‟ of the primary activity of delivering vocational outcomes. However, the research presented here has produced evidence that learning to work in some occupational areas may systematically promote the transformation of meaning perspectives in some learners. In other words, there may be VET programs in which transformative learning is not incidental, but rather a crucial aspect of the process of becoming vocationally competent. This finding is examined in the paper, and some implications for Australia‟s competencybased VET system are explored. Social Partnerships in Learning: working across identity and learning boundaries Ruth Wallace, Charles Darwin University, Australia. Developing innovative and successful approaches to engaging VET learners is underpinned by effective learning partnerships and the recognition of diverse knowledge systems as they relate to the worlds of work, community participation and learning. A recent study examined the role of identity in engagement in formal education by socially disenfranchised learners from a regional Northern Australia. Participants‟ identities informed their negotiation of and decision making about risk taking and decision making in education. Theis study‟s outcomes described learner identities and the associated learning partnerships that inform engagement in learning and the ways they function as powerful mediators of learner experience and engagement. These social partnerships in learning are the connecting tissue between learning systems and agents and operate at and across all levels i.e. involving individuals, organizations and learning systems. Social partnerships in learning frameworks are used to examine diverse knowledge systems, recognise a range of learning identities, develop capacity building processes and examine the underlying relationships that facilitate connections, engagement and decision making between government, non-government, enterprise, community, stakeholders and individuals. This paper discusses the key issues in understanding learner identities, developing social partnerships in learning and the implications for VET learning policy, pedagogy and research. 2.5 In a time of financial crisis, what is relevant in postgraduate programs? Marg Malloch, School of Education, Victoria University, Australia Postgraduate programs have been challenged by employers and society to be more relevant to the participants in their work and life spaces. There has been, in the last two decades, development of cross disciplinary and workplace learning focused programs, especially in the United Kingdom. Professional doctorates and masters programs have shifted focus to incorporate work-based learning. This paper discusses, with reference to research into masters and doctoral programs in the USA, England and Australia, the intersections between study and work-based learning. The postgraduate programs focus on education, professional practice, business and work-based learning. This paper considers workplace learning in the context of higher education focussing on the intersection of the individual, their work environment, and their academic learning environment. Key questions include: How do the students bring work into the academic environment to make the linkage between theory and practice? How is academic learning utilised in the workplace? How adults cope within their work and postgraduate academic environments, transforming learning and experience is considered. The qualitative research reported on considers the impact on curriculum, teaching, delivery and research. „Putting Knowledge to Work‟ in work-based programmes: conceptual issues, pedagogic strategies and enduring challenges David Guile , Institute of Education, University of London The aim of this paper is to inject fresh thinking into the long-standing challenge of integrating theory and practice in work-based programmes. Over the years, approaches to this challenge in workplace learning in general and apprenticeship in specific have typically focused on questions of either how learning can be ‗transferred‘ from one setting to another, usually from theory into practice, or have denied the possibility of transfer. Another approach is proposed in this paper: one that acknowledges that forms of knowledge, curriculum design and knowledge utilisation in workplaces and educational institutions are specialist forms of ‗social practice‘, and that ‗moving‘ knowledge between contexts presupposes a process of ‗recontextualising‘ those practices in different ways in different contexts. The paper explores this claim by: (i) drawing in ideas from Cultural-Historical Activity Theory and the work of Bernstein to explain concept of recontextualisation; (ii) exploring the implications of this concept through reference to a case study of a Foundation Degree in Media Practice that was specifically designed to assist aspiring entrants to move into and careers switchers to move into a different part of the Media industry; and (iii) highlighting the implications of this work for VET policy and practice. 2.6 Cultures of qualifications – a new approach to qualification systems and frameworks Vidmantas Tūtlys, Vytautas Magnus University Recent economic developments have been characterized by the globalization of the markets, increasing international migration of workforces, changes in the organization of work. These developments have increased the importance of knowledge, skills and their accreditation. Therefore qualifications have become part of the agenda of the World Bank, OECD, EU, and UNESCO and many countries are introducing national qualification frameworks. At the same time, qualifications tend to be understood by governments as standardized forms of recognition of acquired knowledge and skills with little regard for the differences in how qualifications are interpreted by individuals and socio-professional groups. This paper introduces the concept of ‗cultures of qualifications‘ to direct attention to how qualifications are given meaning in the practices of political, economic, and cultural life. In doing this it: defines the concept of a ‗culture of qualifications‘, describes the processes which constitute this ‗culture‘ indicates how ‗cultures of qualifications‘ may develop differently in different countries; suggests how different ‗cultures of qualifications‘ may influence access to education and employment and have implications for the introduction of the national and meta- qualification Frameworks. The paper will draw on a critical review of existing theoretical and empirical studies. “Hybrid qualifications”: their relevance in the context of European VET policy in general and in the German VET system in particular – a critical view Thomas Deissinger and Mariska Ott, University of Konstanz The issue of permeability between vocational and general education has emerged as a major focus of European educational policy including the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). One of the instruments to address both the needs of industry and the educational objectives underlying current EU policy, are structural and curricular reforms that link up VET with a higher education entrance qualification through so-called “hybrid qualifications”. Research questions in this context embrace the following issues: 1. What are the motivations for and against the introduction of hybrid qualifications? 2. How specific are the national circumstances influencing their (potential) implementation? 3. What are the perceptions of learners, employers and lecturers with respect to the nature and value of these qualifications? 4. Is it possible to develop general recommendations for national policy makers with respect to the spread of hybrid qualifications? These issues will be discussed generally but also with regard to the specific features and problems of the German VET system, which – as a typical “apprenticeship country” with firm borders between educational sub-systems – appears less open and less prepared for a policy of “permeability” than other European countries. 7.15pm Dinner Saturday 4th July 2009 8am-9am Breakfast 9.15am-10.45am – Conference Papers: 3 3.1 Increasing participation in apprenticeships: What works and why? Erica Smith, University of Ballarat In Australia, as in some other countries, the combination of a tight labour market during the first eight years of this decade and the decreased attractiveness of manual labour has left the traditional trades with a recruitment difficulty. The entry route to most traditional trades is through apprenticeships. Employers complain that it is hard to find good applicants for apprenticeships, and training providers talk about the difficulties that many apprentices experience in completing some of the more theoretical components of their studies. Governments and stakeholder groups have been working in many ways to improve this situation. Two major initiatives aimed at increasing participation and improving retention have been pre-apprenticeship courses and group training organisations. Although these initiatives are not new, they have been gaining strength in recent years. This paper reports on national research projects in these two areas with which the author was involved, during 2006 and 2007. Using data from the projects, the initiatives are compared, contrasted and critiqued, and some aspects of their impact in relation to the levels of government and other stakeholder investment and attention are compared. “Where are they now?”: Tracking high school apprentices Sheryl Freeman, Alison Taylor, Wolfgang Lehmann, University of Alberta, Canada High school apprenticeship programs have become an important focus of policy makers who are interested in smoothing transitions for youth from school to work, increasing high school completion rates, and addressing shortages of tradespeople. In Canada, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) was developed in the late 1990s to provide opportunities for students to begin apprenticeship training while in high school. However little follow-up has been done with youth who participated in this program. This paper addresses this gap by focusing on OYAP cohorts in a large urban centre in carpentry and automotive/trucking trades. Telephone interviews were conducted with 122 youth who participated in this program between 1999 and 2006 to find out what proportion has continued their apprenticeship training and attained a trade certification. Equally importantly, what have their experiences been like in formal training and on the job, what challenges have they faced, and are they satisfied with their work and education choices? Socio-demographic information about youth was also collected. The proposed paper will present findings from this study with a particular emphasis on factors affecting the outcomes of youth apprenticeship programs. 3.2 What factors do tutors take into account when deciding whether a trainee‟s teaching is „outstanding‟? Ros Ollin, University of Huddersfield In the Office for Standards in Education, Children‟s Services and Skills (OFSTED) inspections for the Learning and Skills Sector (LSS) there is a strong emphasis on the quality of trainees‟ practical teaching as evidence of the effectiveness of initial teacher education (ITE) provision. In the current inspection round, OFSTED will be using criteria for key aspects of trainees‟ performance in lessons, based on four grades: outstanding, good, satisfactory and inadequate. For Higher Education (HE) partnerships offering the Certificate in Education/PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET), this will be the first time the overall grading of trainees has become a formal part of inspection. A major issue for these providers is how to ensure consistency of judgements across the partnership, including a shared understanding of what constitutes „outstanding‟ teaching in the formal learning environment. This paper will report on the findings of a research study on teaching observation judgements made by tutors across a PCET ITE network and how these compare with OFSTED grading criteria. The aims of this study are to develop a working conceptualisation of what constitutes „outstanding‟ teaching and to identify issues related to grading to inform the development of staff and quality systems across an HE ITE partnership. Vocational Students‟ experiences of in-service ITT Anne Samson, The Westminster Partnership CETT Since 2000 teachers new to Further Education (the Lifelong Learning or Learning & Skills Sector) are expected to undergo teacher training. More particularly, since September 2007, this training is to be at levels 4 and 5/6 with an initial 30-hour course mandated to take place in the teacher‟s first year of teaching (at level 3 or 4). This has put a great burden on teachers of practical skills who, for whatever reason, chose not to continue with an academic career and subsequently the ITT team which supports them. Premising in-service ITT as work-based learning, which it in effect is, opens up a range of possible alternative approaches to curriculum design and assessment, to better meet the needs of learners, employers and validating bodies. In addition to these suggestions, the research sheds light on a number of widening participation agendas, including return to formal study, reactions to deadlines and bridging courses. It further addresses reasons why practical skills experts choose to enter teaching. The research is based on formal and informal interviews with vocational or practical skills teachers who completed their training over a three-year period, interviews with their ITT teams and assessment of external examiners‟ reports. 3.3 Why Abiturienten do an apprenticeship before going to university: the role of “double qualifications” in Germany Matthias Pilz, University of Education Freiburg, Germany In Germany, a remarkable number of young people leave school with the qualification required for entrance to higher education (Abitur) but do not actually go on to university. Instead, these young people – known in German as Abiturienten – start an apprenticeship within what is known in Germany as the Dual-System. Indeed, the numbers of Abiturienten with both an apprenticeship qualification and a university degree have grown considerably and now make up a significant minority of school-leavers. From an international perspective in particular, this pathway through the educational system is puzzling: why would someone with the qualifications to go on to higher education decide to acquire what the Germans call a Doppel-Qualifikation, known in English as ―double qualifications‖? The presentation explains the transition process from secondary education to the apprenticeship system and higher education. It also tentatively identifies factors that may account for the motives of these particular school-leavers: for instance, Abiturienten undertaking an apprenticeship may rather be more risk-averse than other, less academically able, students. In such cases, an apprenticeship provides practical experience and allows students to keep their options open. The findings of an empirical study in banking and insurance apprenticeships will support the argumentation and explain details in the transition process of Abiturienten. Pre-vocational education in Germany and China - A Comparison of Curriculum and its implications Jun Li, Pedagogische Hochschule Freiburg The preparation of young people for the School-To-Work (STW) transition is an important education task during secondary education. In order to fulfill the task successfully, many countries have taken measures in a relatively early stage of the education process. Pre-vocational education, which introduces the participants to the world of work and prepares them to enter further vocational or technical programs during lower-secondary education, takes different forms in different places in the world. The question, what kinds of education objectives should be addressed in pre-vocational education, a component of general education with vocational education characteristics, would be studied in this research. Through comparing the curriculum in Germany and China, the author attempts to find some common development trends of pre-vocational education in the era of globalization. Firstly, the historical developments of prevocational education in both countries are briefly described. In the next step, by doing content analysis both curricula are analyzed and then grouped into different categories according to Lothar Reetz‟s curriculum development theory, which divides the principles in the selection and determination of curriculum objects and contents into three categories (namely discipline principle, situation principle and personality principle). Some conclusions can be drawn from the analysis and comparison process as to what the guiding principles in pre-vocational education in both countries are and what kinds of curricula potentially function well. 3.4 Vocationalization and Globalization: A Discourse Surrounding Citizenship Education Ryan Bevan, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, Montreal, Canada Is education an economic investment? In this paper, I explore the effects of vocationalizing the discourse of schooling and its consequences as far as creating citizens prepared for participation in a pluralistic, globalized society. I explore primarily various conceptions of citizenship education that have greatly influenced recent educational policies and discourse, such as deliberative democracy (Gutmann and Thompson, 1998) and liberal pluralism (Galston, 2001). I then examine how the peripheral aspects or values of citizenship that are overshadowed by the vocationalization of educational discourse, when brought to the forefront as considerations of alternative versions of „good‟ citizenship, shed new and interesting light on the question of whether or not education should be viewed as an economic investment. I conclude that these alternative perspectives on what constitutes „good‟ citizenship do not eliminate the economic imperative of vocational education, but rather expand the conception of the term to include a more reflective dispositional component based on a virtue-oriented approach to learning. This provides a more challenging framework for education that encourages students to engage with a more „thick‟ conception of citizenship in a globalized world. „Teachers or Lecturers? You choose………..‟ Allison O‟Sullivan, Glyndwr University The aim of the paper is to critically analyse specific Government policies affecting those working in further education. It sets out to explore whether the current training of FE lecturers provides the necessary skills and knowledge to deal with the increasing numbers of 14-16 year olds being taught in colleges. The research is set within a Welsh context but will be of significant interest to teacher educators, policy makers and colleagues working within a professional education and training setting, across other nations. The investigation charts the development of the Learning Pathways initiative and the plethora of external interventions which have affected FE teacher training within the sector. The paper explores the notions of professionalism and managerialism and identifies the part they play in the teaching of 14-16 year olds in college settings. The results suggest that FE staff are currently under-trained and ill- equipped to deal with these students, and if current curriculum developments for 14-16 years are to be effective, there needs to be a radical change in the way we train secondary school teachers and FE lecturers, to facilitate working across educational boundaries. 3.5 Female Students in Australian School-based Vocational Programmes John Polesel & Veronica Volkoff, The University of Melbourne When we enter the realm of vocational education and training (VET), we enter a domain in which “culture and practices… remain masculinised” (Butler and Ferrier 2000). How then do young women fare in school-based VET – a relatively recent curriculum initiative in Australia and one with a mixed history in creating opportunities for disadvantaged populations? Gendered subject selection persists in schools and this continues to prematurely affect career options of women. Discriminatory views also remain, as do lower levels of mathematics and science literacy for girls worldwide. Meanwhile, schoolbased VET struggles to achieve parity of status and sometimes appears merely a response to industry requirements, while concerns regarding the paucity of its knowledge base have also emerged. This paper examines the participation and performance of young women in school-based VET in Australia. It tests the proposition that VET is less effective for females than for males. It analyses enrolments in school-based VET and considers evidence that male and female students have significantly different outcomes in terms of study and labour market transitions. It also considers a recent school initiative in Australia – the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning. Project Career Learning in CBE Annemie Winters, Marinka Kuijpers, Frans Meijers Career competencies have become an important part of a good qualification for the labour market. Research evidence shows that a career dialogue is a central part of any powerful learning environment for career learning. In vocational education and training, there are three important parties in this dialogue: the student, the teacher and the mentor from practice. The communication between these parties in secondary vocational education and training in the Netherlands is investigated and stimulated in our ongoing research and development project Career Learning in Competence-Based Education, aimed at defining good practices as an inspiration for the broad field of vocational education and training. In this contribution the communication between these parties is investigated in secondary vocational training in the Netherlands. Results suggest that the potential of the dialogue (or trialogue, as it concerns three parties) is hardly utilised: the communication between student, teacher and mentor from practice is not dialogical and only discusses the most successful way to a degree, but not to a career. 3.6 Student Success: What keeps students in class? Helen Anderson, Manukau Institute of Technology, New Zealand Higher education has been seen as potentially transformational and enabling. In many education organisations, retention of students is variable and completion rates are of concern internationally. Where students leave programmes early or fail, the effects of higher education may become diluted or negative. Research into student success has often focussed on identifying “at risk” factors in students, it has described the extent of retention and completion issues and it has considered how to “rescue” failing students. There is also a thread of research which considers how to build the engagement of students through identifying and strengthening those aspects of programmes that promote student success. This current study focuses on the latter approach. A case study design was developed to investigate 18 programmes in an urban polytechnic with regard to programme strengthening interventions and subsequently replicated with a group of 13 programmes. Outcomes of the initial and replication cases demonstrated significant improvements in retention and success measures, positive responses in the qualitative data from lecturers and in survey data from students. The implications for organisational policy and resource allocations are considered. Twenty-Five Years of Competency-Based VET: A genealogical analysis Steven Hodge and Roger Harris, University of South Australia 2008 marked the 25th anniversary of competency-based training (CBT) in the automotive section at Croydon Park campus of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) in South Australia. The implementation of this new approach to VET occurred some years before CBT became a national imperative in the late 1980s, and well ahead of the major reforms to VET in Australia in the 1990s. However, as the national training reform agenda played out in the broader VET context, the learner-centred vision of CBT that animated the pioneering work of the early 1980s succumbed to a revised understanding of CBT that now permeates Australian VET practice. Using the development of CBT over 25 years at Croydon Park TAFE as a reference point, this paper dwells on the way CBT mutated in this setting. Because this development is marked by shifting priorities, reversal, and competing knowledge claims, the authors have looked to the „genealogical method‟ of Foucault as a strategy to make sense of the changes. This approach makes intelligible the suggestion that the mutations of CBT witnessed in the context of Croydon Park TAFE do not represent the progressive evolution of an educational philosophy so much as a succession of reconfigurations influenced by the dynamics of power. 10.45am - Coffee 11.15am – 12.30pm – Plenary Phillip Brown University of Cardiff Globalisation, Corporate Strategies and the Future of National Skill Formation. The economic downturn has reinforced the idea that Britain‘s future prosperity depends on winning a competitive advantage in the global ‗knowledge‘ economy. This view is reflected in the central role of vocational education and skills in national economic and social policy. Not only are they seen to hold the key to a competitive economy but to the foundation of social justice and social cohesion. This keynote will challenge these policy assumptions drawing on key findings from a major ESRC funded study of global corporate strategies and the future of skills, involving leading transnational companies and policy-makers from seven countries: China, Germany, India, Korea, Singapore, United States and the United Kingdom. It will examine some of the latest trends that are shaping the global supply of university graduates and the demand for ‗knowledge‘ workers. It will also examine the rise of the high-skilled, low-waged workforce and its implications for education national skill formation in the developed economies. It will also be argued that the human capital assumptions on which the current policy consensus rests are historically contingent and increasingly redundant in the early decades of the twenty first century. 12.30pm – Lunch 1. 45pm – 3.15pm Conference Papers: 4 4.1 A statistical analysis of factors affecting success in NVQs P Bidgood and N Saebi, Kingston University The Foster review of the future role of FE Colleges (Foster 2005) and the Leitch report (Leitch, 2006), which were commissioned by the Government, each stated that there was a need to increase skills levels in the UK. This study looks at factors that may affect students‟ success, achievement and retention rates in National Vocational Qualification (NVQs) at Further Education (FE) Colleges in England. Statistical analysis shows that student-centred factors, such as gender and ethnicity, are linked to success, but the emphasis of this paper is on what subject students take, in the form of Area of Learning (AoL) and how this might affect success. In a previous study (Bidgood et al), we showed that AoL was a highly significant factor in success rates at a particular FE College. However, this might be because of local considerations, for example the teaching staff or facilities. Here we consider the national picture and show that there are considerable differences between the different subjects, both in their popularity and in the success rates achieved. The role of the Centres for Vocational Excellence (CoVE) and their relationship to the AoLs will also be examined. The Role of Self-Evaluation, Competence-Based Assessment and the Impact on Employability as Perceived by the Secondary School Students in Malaysia Rahimah Adam, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Self-evaluation, an element of self-regulation, is an integral meta-cognitive strategy applied when accomplishing tasks (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990; Zimmerman, 1990). This paper focuses on the Form Five Malaysian secondary school students‟ perceptions and evaluation of competence-based assessment (CBA) in the subject of Basic Interior Decorations (BID) and the impact on their performance and behaviour. A mixed-method approach was employed across all 19 schools in the country offering the subject of BID, resulting in 320 completed questionnaires, 76 interviews, 93 observations and 190 student portfolio reviews. One of the main outcomes of the study was students‟ understanding of the concept of „competence‟ as developed through the BID tasks. To them, the notion of competence consists of BID-related knowledge, skills, and essentially their engagement with the school activities. This three-fold operational engagement involved students‟ behaviour, emotion and cognition, and appeared to provide them with the tools to utilize self-evaluation in overcoming certain difficulties when carrying out BID tasks. Students‟ perceptions of competence are further discussed in relation to the concept of employability which could be of interest to academics, assessors and professionals in developing competency standards in their respective assessments. 4.2 Using learning network theory to unravel managers‟ attitudes to work-based education about depression Lisa Davies, University of South Australia More than 800,000 Australians every year are affected by depression. Despite evidence that depression is manageable, that people can be successfully treated in individually appropriate ways and that earlier identification and treatment are associated with more rapid recovery, depression appears to be poorly recognised and misunderstood by managers in some workplaces. Moreover, people with depression are often marginalised, being regarded as non-productive and an expensive burden to business. In my investigation into managerial attitudes towards government recommendations that organisations conduct education about depression in workplaces, I conducted semistructured interviews with managers in eight organisations within the deregulated Information and Computing Technology sector in South Australia. I undertook a qualitative, interpretive analysis of the interview data. In this paper I utilise learning network theory to examine some work based learning factors which emerged as associated with managers‟ beliefs that work-place education about depression was not clearly work-related, was not a high priority and was assumed to be not of interest to engineers. This reticence about undertaking work-based mental health education is characteristic of the low uptake of training activities by managers and employees in many SME enterprises in this country. Learning, Work-based or Workplace: Is there a difference and does it matter? Len Cairns and Margaret Malloch This paper argues that there is a difference in the underlying approaches as well as operating procedures and impact encapsulated in the terms work-based learning and workplace learning. Basing learning on work experiences and activities but placing the learning site and control external to the work site through courses on the work and associated learning is, we argue, a very different matter from learning through work as we propose in workplace learning. This paper suggests that as we have progressed to a deeper understanding of work, place and learning in the 21st century it is evident that what is needed in this field is more than programmes partially based on work experiences. Whilst drawing on work experiences for more traditional ‗formal‖ qualification programmes in tertiary education institutions has been a significant step in the learning agenda, incorporating workplace plans, actions and engagement as learning experiences and seeing the many worksites as more central learning venues, leads to learning through work actions as a more useful approach. We conclude that the difference is not just semantic whimsy but rather a significant step in the development of the field towards a more lifedeep learning experience in addition to lifelong and lifewide conceptualisations. 4.3 Reflecting on the Reflective Practitioner: muddled thinking and poor educational practices Dr Roy Canning, University of Stirling, Scotland The paper will present a critique of „reflective practice‟ and its use as a pedagogic model for VET teacher training in the UK. I will begin by discussing the original concept put forward by Donald Schon in his text „The Reflective Practitioner‟. I will then show how the very notion of „reflective practice‟ lacks conceptual clarity. This will then be followed by a discussion of the epistemology of „reflection‟ within the history of philosophy, which will offer a critique of reflective theory. In the final section I will identify how reflective methodologies can result in poor educational practices and suggest alternative approaches for the development of VET teachers. Training teachers for further and technical education 1950 - 1982: staff perceptions of changing demands and policies. Karen Gomoluch, University of Bolton This paper aims to create a picture of aspects of the working lives of some trainers of technical and further education teachers in a specialist teacher training college in Bolton, Lancashire, from the 1950s to the 1980‟s. There is little reference to technical teacher training in the literature on teacher training in the second half of the twentieth century. With this gap in mind, this paper sets out to record some memories and impressions of staff involved during these years. Using data from a series of semi-structured interviews, the discussion centres upon their perceptions of their work: of their students, the working environment, the curriculum and their relationships with the technical colleges for whom they were training teachers. The paper has three sections. It begins with a brief discussion of the issues arising from the choice of research methods. The second section contextualises the study and traces the history of Bolton Technical Teachers‟ Training College from its establishment through to its merger with the Institute of Technology in 1982. This is followed by the presentation and discussion of the interview data. 4.4 Human resource management in vocational education and training providers in Australia Andrew Smith, University of Ballarat, Australia This paper reports the results of a national research project into the impact of human resource management practices on teaching and learning performance in vocational education and training providers in Australia. The research and literature on human resource management and, more recently, on high performance work systems has suggested strongly that the implementation of more sophisticated policies of human resource management will result in higher levels of organisational performance. This research projects tests this theory in the context of vocational education and training. The research examines the formulation and implementation of human resource management practices in both public training providers (TAFE institutes) and private training providers. The project involved a survey of training providers which established the form and extent of human resource management in training providers and a series of case studies investigating the impact of human resource management on teaching and learning and other aspects of organisational performance. What do impact and quality mean in VET research? Roger Harris, University of South Australia, Adelaide and Berwyn Clayton, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia ‗Quality‘ and ‗impact‘ are notions that are not very well understood in research. They float in murky water and attempts to dive into it are proving tricky! Within the higher education sector, impact and quality have been bandied about within such frameworks as the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in the UK, the New Zealand PerformanceBased Research Fund (PBRF), and in Australia, the Research Quality Framework (RQF) and now the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). Vocational Education and Training (VET) research is not immune from these movements. Increasingly, VET researchers need also to be keeping a weather eye on the impact and quality of their research. This presentation will explore these twin notions using as its case study the work of the Australian VET research consortium, Supporting VET providers in building capability for the future. The establishment of the consortium was a new approach in Australia to the funding of VET research – a brave experiment by government and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. So how did this brave experiment go? How can quality be demonstrated? What evidence can be produced for its impact? 4.5 Learning, Jobs and Productivity K.V.Pankhurst, Centre for Studies in Education and Work, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Although many attempts have been made to conceive and measure the broad relationship between education and the economy and the apparently more specific relationship between vocational education and training and employment or the labour market, it has proved difficult to conceive, define and measure the variables to represent education and economic systems or subsystems of them. This paper considers the relationship between education, including vocational education and training, and labour productivity, by examining empirical data from three major sources: [1] a very large corpus of quantitative data that has been accumulated for many years about long term trends in labour costs in several countries, industries and workplaces, [2] extensive data about patterns of consumer expenditures, and [3] recent surveys and individual case studies in Canada which provide detailed qualitative evidence about jobs and their incumbents. These data illuminate the incidence of different modes of formal and informal learning, how jobs are learnt and performed, the formation of individual cognitive attributes and the reserves of human capital thus acquired, the processes of labour market allocation, and mobility in the labour market. The analysis provides deeper insights into the nature of individual work and learning, and of the symbiotic relationship between them, and has implications for policies and practices in employment and education. 4.6 „Do as we say, not as we do‟: Achieving the creatively impossible Josie Harvey, Linda Eastwood and Chris Ormondroyd, University of Huddersfield This paper is based on the findings from the TQEF project ‗Creativity and Innovation in Teaching in Higher Education‘ in the School of Education, the University of Huddersfield. The focus being how initiatives have been developed to enhance creativity in teaching in the Post-Compulsory Sector, and its importance in curriculum development and design. Research from the project has highlighted eagerness amongst University teaching staff to share ideas and develop creativity to engage and motivate their learners. This has been achieved through Creativity Cafes: a distinctive networking ‗space‘ for the sharing and crafting of creative approaches to teaching and learning. A selection of these approaches, together with those of a team of teacher trainers, forms a new text (Eastwood et al, 2009). At the heart of this publication is a belief that creative teaching enhances learning, as well as a question: ‗is this really creativity?‘ Such discussion is sorely needed given Ofsted‘s intent to ―crackdown‖ on boring teaching (Curtis, 2009). Therefore, this paper critically investigates the tension between creativity in curriculum design and the powerful targets and achievement discourse. Are the risks too high just to make learning more fun and engaging? Higher Education in Further Education Colleges: staff dual identities Kate Thomas & Jonathan Simmons, University of the West of England Further Education Colleges (FECs) have provided higher education in a variety of forms since the 1950s. The main focus of higher education in FECs has been vocational rather than academic and most of them are part-time with 57 FECs responsible for half the total number of students studying at these levels (Parry, et al, 2003). While there has been a variety of research into foundation degrees and partnerships between FECs and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) this paper reports on a study of the experiences of a small sample of Further Education (FE) tutors involved in the first year of developing and delivering Foundation degrees through a regional network of partnerships between a post1992 university and FECs. It explores the dualities of their experiences through a framework of professionalism which focuses on the concepts of autonomy, knowledge and responsibility (Robson 2006). Most staff were very experienced FE teachers but beginners at developing HE programmes. The analysis compares expectations with reality, and positive with challenging experiences in the context of partnership. The paper invites readers to consider what the dualities experienced by interviewees reveal about the way Foundation degrees are impacting on their professional role and how HE/FE partnerships can support their development. 3.15pm - Tea 3.45pm – 5.15pm - Conference Papers: 5 5.1 An Ambivalent Social Capital? Youth Educational Decision-making and the F.H.E Institutional Habitus Andrew Morrison, University College Birmingham Drawing upon a case-study of the students and teaching staff of an Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education (AVCE) in Travel and Tourism, this paper examines the effects of the institutional habitus (Reay et al. 2001) of a Further and Higher Education (F.H.E) college upon the higher education choices of a group of ethnically-mixed, working-class young people. The study focuses upon two of the three aspects of the institutional habitus: the expressive order (teacher—student relations) and educational status (curriculum offerings and reputation). Evidence indicated that the specialised vocational provision of the College, and the quality of staff-student relations, were important ‗college-specific‘ factors in the students‘ intentions to remain at the case-study institution for their H.E studies. Among staff, however, there was a strong degree of ambivalence regarding the effects of supportive teacher—student relations on the students‘ educational development and choice-making. This ambivalence related, in turn, to staff perceptions of distinct F.E and H.E teaching and learning cultures within the College—or, in effect, a belief that there was not one institutional habitus but two. Implications of the findings for attempts to widen access to H.E in the U.K, and for the place of vocational F.H.E institutions within that agenda, are then explored. Policy Instruments as Boundary Objects: Policy implementation as a site of work-based learning in English post-secondary education Ian Finlay, University of Strathclyde This paper challenges the view of policy implementation as an exercise in command and control of the education system. Instead it proposes that viewing the policy process as a site of work-based learning for policy makers and practitioners offers a way of increasing both mutual understanding and the effectiveness of policy. The paper draws on the expansive learning perspective of Engeström and the expansive-restrictive framework discussed by Evans et al. The empirical work on which this paper is based comes from the project The Impact of Policy on Learning and Inclusion in the New Learning and Skills Sector funded by the ESRC as part of its Teaching and Learning Research Programme The argument proposed is that the technical-rationalist enactment of policy as something to be sent down the system from the top in the hope that it will lead to planned outcomes in an unproblematic manner results in restrictive policy learning. As an alternative, an expansive process in which policy actors and practitioners engage in policy learning through processes such as boundary crossing discussions using policy instruments as „boundary objects‟ offers a more fruitful approach. 5.2 School Choice in the German Dual System of Vocational Education and Training: Chances and Risks Kathrin Huber, University of Konstanz In recent years, school choice has become a frequently discussed topic particularly in the economics of education literature. While the bulk of literature refers to the U.S. education sector, the topic now has gained weight in the discussion of the German school system as well. Nevertheless, the focus of the debate so far has been exclusively on choice for parents with children in general education. The underlying intention is to improve school quality by enhancing competition between schools. With respect to the German Dual System of vocational education and training (which is characterized by its mandatory regional assignment of schools to training companies), the question comes up as to whether school choice – enabling training companies to freely choose their dual partner „Berufsschule‟ – would lead to an improvement in school quality in the vocational sector and what kind of risks could arise if market mechanisms determined vocational training in the Dual System more strongly. From a comparative perspective, reference to experience and findings from the Australian vocational and education training sector (characterized by a competitive training market and the mechanism of user choice) could give interesting hints in this context. Why does it take different timescales to achieve EQF level 3 for home care workers in countries of the European Union? Barbara Walmsley, University of Salford The EQUIP (2007-9) project is funded by Leonardo Da Vinci and is comprised of six EU member countries: Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Great Britain, Netherlands and Spain. The aim of the EQUIP project is to develop a comparison of qualifications between EU countries in relation to home care for older people. The project will assist with the implementation of the EQF (European Qualification Framework) and ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) systems. An outcome of the project will be a set of electronic tools to facilitate a comparison of qualifications, skills and competences for home care workers within Europe. EQUIP researchers have found that by comparing national Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems there are similarities and differences in the training of home care workers. One such difference is the time taken for home care workers to become qualified to EQF level 3. This paper will critically examine dominant discourses that have influenced the development of diverse national VET systems. The aim is to expose the values and practices of each nation and explore possibilities for developing common standards and good practice in the training of home care workers in the EU. 5.3 Exploring the Impact of VET Research on Policy and Practice Darryl Dymock and Stephen Billett, Griffith University Identifying the impact of research has become of interest in recent times through a growing concern to align identifiable outcomes with public expenditure, and a desire for evidence-based decision-making. Yet, in the past and in other places, research has largely been expected to focus on the generation of new knowledge, not its take-up by others, which is often largely beyond the capacities and responsibilities of researchers. However, this position is being questioned and there is a growing expectation that expenditure on research, particular public expenditure, should lead to tangible outcomes. So, on what bases should we proceed to make judgements about the impact of research? This paper draws on research conducted under a Dr Ray Barker Fellowship awarded in 2008-9 by the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) to explore perceptions of the impact of vocational education and training (VET) research on policy and practice in Australia. Through semi-structured interviews with university researchers and key respondents in government departments, the VET sector, and business and industry, the study explores perceptions of the current role of VET research in influencing VET policy and practice, and how the three might be better aligned. Although derived from an Australian setting, the factors and issues identified and discussed are relevant to all stakeholders in the research process in VET contexts everywhere. What does it take? Growing practitioner-researchers in vocational education. Berwyn Clayton, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia Within the burgeoning literature on education research much is written about the role, status and validity of practitioner research. Advocates for practitioner inquiry see it as a means of improving day-to-day teaching practice and for creating and extending professional knowledge. Further, it provides the means for teachers to make sense of the ever-changing education and training world around them. This paper will examine the processes, practicalities, possibilities and pitfalls facing participants in a virtual Community of Practice established to build practitioner research capacity in vocational education and training (VET) in Australia. Funded by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), the three year developmental program is one of a number of initiatives designed to attract and train new researchers into the VET research field. The Community of Practice is jointly supported by Victoria University‘s Work-based Education Research Centre (WERC) and the Australian VET Research Association (AVETRA). 5.4 International Students' Study Purposes, Adaptation Practices and Institutional Responses in the Australian VET Sector Ly Tran, RMIT University and Chris Nyland, Monash University International education has been the biggest services export for Australia since 2007. VET has been the fastest growing sector in terms of the number of international student enrolments in Australia since 2005. The number of international students enrolled in Australian VET increased by 45.1% through 2008 as compared to 4.5% in higher education (AEI, 2009). There is anecdotal but not systematic data that much of this increase is due to Australian immigration policies that favour immigrants with specific skills and training. Conversely, VET has been viewed as a pathway to skills development that can be utilised in the student‘s home country and as a pathway to university entrance. This study is proposed to analyse how the reasons that inform international students‘ decisions to study their chosen VET courses influence their adaptation to institutional practices and the ways in which VET institutions shape their curriculum and pedagogic practices. Mindfulness and Vocational Learning Terry Hyland, School of Arts, Media & Education, University of Bolton In addition to the behaviourist reductionism in English vocational education and training (VET ) provision brought about by skill-talk and the introduction of competence-based strategies (Hyland & Winch, 2007), there has been a corresponding marginalisation of the ethical and affective dimensions of learning in this sphere (Hyland & Merrill, 2003). This problem has been exacerbated by critics of the so-called therapeutic turn in education and training (Ecclestone & Hayes, 2008) who claim that VET is overly concerned with personal and social goals. This paper seeks to re-assert the importance of the affective dimension of education through an exploration of the concept of „mindfulness‟ and an examination of the contribution it can make to vocational learning. Mindfulness has its origins in Buddhist philosophy but in recent years has been utilised in a wide range of therapeutic and educational contexts by Kabat Zinn (1990) and associates (e.g. Segal, 2003). Concentrating on the modification of consciousness through nonjudgmental attention to the present moment, this practice has proved immensely valuable in diverse learning contexts (Garfinkel, 2006) and can make a significant contribution to education at all levels (Hyland, 2008). 5.5 Constructing a scale of demands for comparing general, vocational and vocationally-related qualifications: an overview of relevant research literature Nadežda Novaković and Jacqueline Greatorex, Cambridge Assessment In the UK, there is a strong public and political pressure for monitoring the comparability of different kinds of qualifications and linking them into a unified qualifications system. While some of these pressures may or may not be well founded, they have nevertheless sparked a significant amount of research activity into the issues of comparability. This paper presents the attempts to devise a methodology for comparing the demands of cognate general, vocational and vocationally-related qualifications. This type of investigation is important in judging the relative appropriateness of different qualifications for given purposes. Given the complexity of vocational assessment contexts, we focussed on one main aspect of comparability: the demands of assessments. While the emphasis was primarily on cognitive demands, the study encompassed other types of demand as well. The paper focuses on the design of a scale of demands intended to be used to compare qualifications from vocational and general assessment contexts. The presentation includes a comprehensive review of relevant research literature that underpins the design of the scale and the explanation of how it can be used in comparing different types of qualifications. Putting the humanities to work: the design process for the Diploma in Humanities Julian Stanley, University of Warwick The new Diploma in England is intended to equip 14-19 year olds for progression into employment as well as continued education. The fourth phase of diploma development includes sciences, foreign languages and the humanities and social sciences. This paper reviews the historical and modern debate about the extent to which the humanities are relevant to employment and then reviews the diploma design experience in England, in which the writer has played an active part, to consider how different stakeholders, communities and institutions have collaborated and competed to understand and achieve this reform. This research examines: what common understanding has been achieved; the processes of diploma design; the contributions of government, experts, subject communities, teachers and employers. The analysis shows how we can understand the curriculum as something that is made and remade through political and communication processes. The case is made that claims about the value or purpose of subjects and about the needs of young people, employers and other stakeholders should be understood in relation to a (1) a collective process of getting agreement (2) what research can and cannot tell us about these „needs‟ at a particular point in time. 5.6 McIntyre‟s theory of practice and its relevance for understanding learning at work Paul Hager and Mary C. Johnsson, University of Technology and John Halliday, University of Strathclyde This paper reports on an investigation of the learning that enabled people to perform well in the demanding aspects of their occupations. Qualitative case studies of such learning in eight diverse workplaces were constructed. These case studies were used to test and refine a theory of learning at work that conceptualises it as a growing capacity to make appropriate context-sensitive judgements. MacIntyre‘s account of practice, particularly its distinguishing of internal and external goods within practices, was deployed to add a further dimension to this emerging theory of learning at work. The salient feature of MacIntyre‘s contribution is that it adds a teleological flavour to understandings of learning at work, evident in a focused dedication to the task in hand. This paper describes the testing of the judgement-focused theory of workplace learning against case studies data. The suitability of MacIntyre‘s work to enrich the theory is assessed using data derived from cross-case study comparisons. It is concluded that the project has reinforced and extended earlier models of informal workplace learning as highly contextualised and sensitive to social factors, judgements and the tacit elements of practice. Who invented the German dual system of VET? Apprenticeship, modern vocational education and the rise of the Dual System Philipp Gonon The origins of the concept of the German dual system are still quite unclear. Some historians and VET researchers argue that the medieval practices gradually changed and turned more or less by chance into a system which combined work-based learning and school attendance. This paper will put forward an alternative view, that the dual system was deliberately designed by economists and others who were concerned about what was called the „social question‟ (soziale Frage). According to this analysis the dual system was „invented‟, or re-invented, and introduced between the 1880‟s and the beginning of the 20th century, and it was the „Verein für Socialpolitik‟ and later Georg Kerschensteiner who addressed and developed the principles and practice of apprenticeship and modern vocational education in Germany. Interestingly, the theses of Adam Smith about education and his rejection of apprenticeship played a role in these debates. In discussing the economic and social change in England, then the most industrialized country in Europe, and in assessing industrial education in France, they developed a model of combining learning both at school and at work. 7.45pm Conference Dinner Sunday 5th July 8.15am-9.15am Breakfast 9.30am-11.00am - Conference Papers: 6 6.1 Learning to „do‟ multi-professional working: tensions in an activity theory derived analysis Paul Warmington, University of Birmingham Activity theory has evolved into an influential analytical framework for research into „learning in practice‟. Between 2004 and 2008 the Learning in and for Interagency Working Project utilised an activity theory derived methodology to examine and support the learning of children‟s services workers in UK local authorities. These services were undergoing major reconfigurations in response to the government‟s post- Every Child Matters calls for effective „joined up‟ working. Activity theory‟s key analytical concern is with understanding human practices in terms of the dynamics between actors (subjects), the mediating tools that they create in order to impact upon aspects of the world (the objects of their activities) and the rules and divisions of labour that structure activities. This paper focuses on some of the salient features of emergent multiprofessional practices and on some of the critical questions generated by the problematic intimacy of „learning‟ and „labour‟ within the research. In particular, the paper argues that explicit attention should be given to the „intentional‟ place of the social production of labour-power within activity systems (and to accompanying social antagonisms). This is a conceptual and methodological position which, I argue, has the potential to renew dialectical thinking and self-critique within activity theory. Young People in Jobs without Training (JWT)–who are they and why are they suddenly so important? Sue Maguire, Centre for Education and Industry (CEI), University of Warwick. This paper will draw on the findings from two studies to explore the characteristics of young people who leave full-time learning at the age of 16 or 17 and enter work which is classified as „without accredited training‟. While early work entry among young people has been a prevalent feature of the British labour market for a number of years, plans to raise the participation age (RPA) have triggered policy interest in young workers, with a view to developing a strategy which will secure their participation in some form of postcompulsory learning/training by 2013. Firstly, evidence from an ESRC funded study, which comprised interviews with young people, their parents and employers in two contrasting local labour markets, will be utilised to demonstrate the characteristics of the group. Secondly, findings from the DCSF funded evaluation of the Learning Agreement Pilot (LAP), which was the first national policy initiative targeted at re-engaging the Jobs Without Training (JWT) group in accredited learning, will be discussed. This will highlight the dearth of attention that young workers (outside Apprenticeship training) have received in recent years, the lack of infrastructure that exists to support them and, consequently, the complexity of the issues and challenges that will need to be faced in order to achieve the RPA agenda. 6.2 Democracy Means Chaos and Reforms Are Experiments! Bulgarian Teachers‟ View on VET Reforms. Melanie Hoppe, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training Supported by international donors, incredible effort has been undertaken for almost 20 years to reform the Bulgarian vocational education and training (VET) system. But when entering a VET school, observing habits and manners, it feels like travelling back in time. Why? Teachers‟ perceptions of reforms are well known to have a major impact on their successful implementation. The research community and policy decision makers seem to agree worldwide on the active role teachers play as promoters of reforms. But little attention has been given to the teachers‟ own expectations, points of views and subjective theories. A two-phase, qualitative study has been conducted to investigate the subjective theories of VET teachers in Bulgaria as to how they perceive their own role in the reform process. What does it mean to them to become „active‟? The results reveal that after almost 20 years, Bulgarian teachers possess a „reform literacy‟ that enables them to handle reforms in a most effective way for their own work. Their statements like „Democracy means chaos‟ or „Reforms are experiments‟ help to develop a picture of what is really happening at school level when it comes to the implementation of reforms. Rethinking Vocational Education and Training In a Post-Conflict State: The East Timor Experience Richard W. Moore, California State University. East Timor is the world‟s newest country and the poorest in East Asia. In 1975 after 400 years of Portuguese rule East Timor experienced a brief period of chaotic independence followed by occupation by Indonesia, until a 1999. In 1999 a plebiscite on independence lead to a wave of destruction and violence that left the country devastated. Under UN protection the country has struggled to emerge as a democratic nation with a functioning economy. This paper examines East Timor‟s effort to use vocational education and training as a tool for development. In the post-struggle period a variety of aid groups launched multiple efforts to create vocational education and training programs. Each group brought its own model. In many ways the efforts were misaligned with larger economic development plans. A weak national government was often overwhelmed by the energy, resources and advice of the agencies such as the ILO the World Bank and Australian Aid. This paper will analyze the East Timor experience to draw implications for developing vocational education and training systems in post-conflict countries. The paper will examine the opportunities and barriers present when governments are forced to “start from scratch” and create a new system while relying on international aid and facing a host of other pressing problems. 6.3 London Trade Schools For Girls Jocelyn Robson, London Metropolitan University This paper focuses on technical education for young women and girls in London from about 1904 to 1938 and, in particular, on the establishment and work of the London Trade Schools for Girls (LTSG). The invisibility of women and girls in studies of technical education has been compounded by the way many historians adopt a male definition of technical training and focus on male-oriented trades, which Stevenson (1997) argues has distracted from the contribution made by women and from an acknowledgement of their specific roles. The first London Trade School for Girls opened in 1904 at Borough Road and trades taught included waistcoat making, upholstery and embroidery. The Bloomsbury Trade School for Girls which opened in 1907 offered training in photography, amongst other subjects. By 1924, there were eight LTSGs in existence. The contributions of several women who (as members of the Women‘s Industrial Council and/or the London County Council) strove to bring these schools into existence are highlighted. Official reports and documents are used in a consideration of the social, cultural and political context for the development of these schools and a discussion of their legacy and achievements. 6.4 Dual identities: the in-service teacher-trainee experience in the English Further Education sector Kevin Orr and Robin Simmons, University of Huddersfield Since 2001 there has been a statutory requirement for teachers in English Further Education (FE) colleges to gain teaching qualifications. In marked distinction from other sectors of education, around ninety percent of FE staff in England are employed untrained and complete their initial teacher-training on a part-time in-service basis. By consequence, these staff sustain the dual role of employed teacher and teacher-trainee at the beginning of their career. While there exists a body of work relating to trainees on full-time pre-service FE teacher-training courses, there is a lack of published research on this much larger group of in-service trainees, and on their experience of becoming qualified teachers. An ESCalate-funded project based at the University of Huddersfield has sought to address that lack by researching the dual roles and dual identities of employee and trainee on in-service FE teacher-training courses. The in-service route may be necessary to attract established vocational practitioners into FE and to enable them to continue earning a salary whilst undertaking their teacher-training. However, this paper argues that how the dual roles interact may cause tensions that constrain the development of trainees‟ practice. Two Steps forward, One Step Back: Developing the Curriculum for Training Teachers for Technical and Further Education England 1945-1956. Bill Bailey, School of Education and Training, University of Greenwich This paper discusses the development of provision for the training of teachers in English further and technical education from 1945 to 1956. While these years saw little growth in this provision, they were formative in that the institutional and curricular patterns of teacher training for the diverse fields of technical and further education were developed at this time. The work of the three national centres in Bolton, London and Huddersfield, during the period of the Emergency Training Scheme (ETS) is summarised with particular reference to the influence of the Ministry of Education‟s conditions for ETS colleges and courses. With the ending of the ETS in 1951 the three centres were given permanent status as teacher training colleges which in turn brought them into association with their local universities as constituent colleges of their Area Training Organisations. The consequences of this transfer to the universities for the curriculum and assessment of technical teacher training and the „policy dichotomy‟ of teacher training for secondary and technical education are examined. 6.5 Learning biographies: Identity and apprenticeships in England and Germany Michaela Brockmann, University of Westminster Studies of school-to-work transition and work-based learning have commonly focused on processes of socialisation and the explanatory power of class, while lacking a proper conceptualisation of identity and neglecting subjective experience. The paper reports initial findings of an ethnographic study of apprentices in retail and vehicle maintenance in England and Germany, exploring young people‟s learner identities over time and in relation to particular learning environments. Following situated learning theory, it seeks to illuminate the social construction of „learning cultures‟. The study adopts a biographicinterpretive approach, examining young people‟s situated subjectivity and the processes of meaning-making over the course of their lives and in the context of a proliferation of lifestyles and identities, going beyond narrow occupational conceptions of identity. The study is timely in the context of government initiatives to raise the education leaving age. It will provide insights into the ways in which young people from a variety of backgrounds engage with or disengage from learning; how they make sense of, adapt to or resist learning opportunities; and how dispositions develop over time and in different contexts – in young people‟s childhood and adolescence, in the contexts of their family, peer and school networks and in different learning environments. Neoliberal partnerships in education and training for First Nations and Métis youth Alison Taylor and Tracy Friedel, University of Alberta Government relations with Aboriginal peoples in Canada have shifted over time from fur trade colonialism to welfare colonialism to neoliberal partnerships (Slowey, 2008). The proposed paper explores the implications of the interest in neoliberal partnerships for First Nations and Métis youth in Wood Buffalo, Alberta, the site of massive resource development. Our research questions include: What are the predominant discourses around education and training for First Nations and Métis youth? How do these discourses match the reality for these youth? What are the implications of neoliberal partnerships for these youth and their communities? We explore these questions through an analysis of over 60 interviews conducted with youth, educators, community members, industry and government representatives in the Wood Buffalo municipality between March and November, 2008. 11.00am – Coffee 11.30am-12.45pm – Plenary Karen Jenson, University of Oslo Professional learning in a changing society The knowledge society constitutes an inescapable framework: “not all people are included, but everybody is affected” (Castells 1994). This paper explores how this new era is experienced and dealt with by the professions. These groups are interesting to study for two reasons. First, modern societies are increasingly dependent on them. Their growing importance is reflected in both quantitative terms and in the vital tasks with which they are entrusted. At the same time, however, the knowledge society significantly challenges their classical modes of operation, requiring them to reconstruct in line with emerging new social and epistemic landscapes. Thus, by focusing on how these groups transfer and recreate, we gain insight into core challenges as well as opportunities inherent in this new age. One aspect of this is the general “spilling over” of expert knowledge in society. The argument put forward is that there is something distinct about epistemic knowledge in and of itself that makes it a key to development and learning. In the paper we discuss ways in which such knowledge differs from other knowledge types, but also what knowledge handling tools and practices are required to serve such knowledge within a professional context. To address this, we draw on perspectives and concepts derived from Karin Knorr Cetina‟s work and use this as a template to analysis the knowledge practices of four core groups: nurses, teachers, accountants and engineers. 12.45pm – Lunch