Sustaining Victorian certificate of applied learning (VCAL) educators
Schulz, Christine 2011, Sustaining Victorian certificate of applied learning (VCAL) educators, in AARE 2011 : The proceedings of the 2011 AARE International Research in Education Conference : Researching Across Boundaries, Australian Association for Research in Education, [Hobart, Tas.], pp. 1-17.
This paper draws on emerging data from in-progress analysis of interviews with 22 teachers/educators who teach the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) in the settings of schools, Adult Community Education (ACE) and Technical and Further Education (TAFE). The development and implementation of VCAL occurred in 2002 as a response to Victorian government policy initiatives resulting from the Kirby (2000) Report. The VCAL is offered alongside the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), in years 11 and 12 of school, as another pathway into employment or further education and training. VCAL is also offered in the settings of TAFE and ACE. The VCAL curriculum uses applied learning as a pedagogical foundation to engage students in relevant, meaningful and authentic learning. In schools VCAL is delivered by qualified and registered teachers. In the TAFE and ACE sectors VCAL is taught by staff who are not necessarily teacher trained. Many pre-service teaching courses (including Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment) do not include applied learning pedagogy in the curriculum. Since VCALʼs implementation there have been calls for greater consultation with, and support given to, VCAL teachers and organisations (Knipe, Ling, Bottrell and Keamy, 2003, p. 6; Harrison, 2006). Additionally VCAL teachers are frequently ill prepared professionally to manage a cohort which includes a high concentration of disengaged young people demonstrating challenging behaviours and attitudes (Pritchard & Anderson, 2006, p.1). Emerging data from the interviews with VCAL educators indicates these issues have not been addressed and many educators and teachers continue to feel unprepared and poorly supported. This is particularly significant in the light of a recent Victorian government announcement that, despite rising VCAL enrolments, VCAL coordination funding to schools is to be cut in 2012. (VALA, 2011, para. 4). To compensate for a lack of structured support and preparation, VCAL educators are frequently sustaining professional practice by their own agency in adapting already held life-skills and knowledge.
Field of Research
130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
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