Practice based research and critical
pedagogy – rethinking teacher education
for vocational educators
AVETRA 2012 Conference
Rydges Capital Hill, ACT
April 2012
Dr Helen Anderson
Lisa Maurice-Takerei
• No national requirement to undertake teacher
education for tertiary educators
• Some SSBs have minimal requirements for
particular or individual unit standards
• Individual providers set their own
requirements. These tend to be minimal
• Qualifications do exist at certificate and
diploma level
• Large Institute of Technology 200+ staff
• Inclusion of teacher education requirement
into lecturer career path
• Formalising informal PD
• What kind of teacher education do we want?
What is the work of post-school
vocational and technical educators?
Technicians or Professionals – Cookie cutter
delivery of standards and assessment
procedures or collaborative professionals
the acquisition of competencies or the
development of professional knowledge to
assist professional decision making and
Some themes in teacher education
Theory building (Leach, 2011)
Identity development (Seddon, 2009)
Reflection on practice/experience (Boud, 1993)
Educator development is tied up with identity, autonomy and agency
Theory building/reflection/collaboration/ discourse building
(Hodkinson, 1998)
Little scholarship that considers teacher education in terms of role
identity and practice of vocational educators
Time and opportunity
CTT - Graduate Profile
Teaching is making a series of decisions,
implementing those decisions and evaluating
those decisions in the context of a formally
approved programme.
Responsible teaching/decision making is principled
when the focus is on optimising effective learning
opportunities for the student.
Teacher education is about engagement with
theory, establishment of models, identification
and response to learning contexts and growth in
professional judgement.’
Able to:
• observe and gather information
• inquire/ask questions
• analyse/identify theory/predict
• plan and act
• critique/reflect/improve
Effective Practice with Literacy and
• Certificate in Tertiary Teaching
– Use assessment data to identify areas of focus for
– Plan a lesson/series of lessons using a new
teaching strategy linked to area of focus (trial)
– Video
– Discuss/reflect (use of post assessment data)
You are more likely
to behave your way
into new ways of thinking
than you are
to think your way
into new ways of behaving
Michael Fullan (2006)
• video/slides
• Earlene Wood Literacy Strategies.pptx
Advantages/disadvantages of using video?
What did you notice?
Change in practice?
Did video support; the trialling of new
strategies, reflecting on the trial, acting on the
• What did you learn most?
Some responses
‘Challenging and informative’
‘I talk too quickly’
‘I will simplify my language more’
‘You get to notice what you do’
‘You see how you are seen by students’
‘I will check in more with students afterwards’
‘I see how students respond to my teaching …it is
immediately obvious’
• ‘More repetition. More clarification. Slower pace’
Teaching in VET as complex and
• Discipline experts
• Novice teachers
• Student focussed
Teaching in VET
What a teacher thinks, believes and knows how to do
Collaboration/theory building/reflection/discourse building
Identity, Autonomy, Agency
Self-reflexive video as a tool
• Reflection, collaboration, discourse building –
theory building
– Slowed down teaching (replay)
– Points for discussion (….because)
– Teachers worked together (opened their
– Opportunity to develop theory (‘grand theory’ and
personal theory)
Fullan, M. (2006). Turnaround Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Hodkinson, P. (1998). Technicism, teachers and teaching quality in vocational education and training.
Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 50:2, 193-208
Leach, L. (2011). Tertiary Teachers and Theory Avoidance. New Zealand Journal of Teachers' Work, 8(1), 7889.
Manukau Institute of Technology. (2010). Certificate in Tertiary Teaching Level 5. NZ: Manukau Institute of
Seddon, T (2009). The productivity challenge in Australia: The case for professional renewal in VET
teaching. International Journal of Training Research, 7:1, 56-76
Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review,
57(1), 1-22.
Shulman, L. (2005). Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus, Summer, 52-59.
Viskovic, A. (2005). 'Community of practice' as a framework for supporting tertiary teachers' informal
workplace learning. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 57(3), 389-410.
Lisa Maurice-Takerei
[email protected]
Helen Anderson
[email protected]

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