A bit of background
My area of interest and background is working in Vocational Education and Training (VET) in New South Wales in Australia. My specific expertise is adult literacy, numeracy and language teaching
There are many training providers in the VET sector in Australia and TAFE (Technical and Further Education) is one on the largest. TAFE provides training to 500,000 students each year. They provide for individuals looking for a first job, a promotion, a career change or a pathway to a degree. They also provide training for employer sseeking training solutions for their workforce,
The NSW Institute of Teachers has developed teaching standards, at the moment it charter includes primary and high schools teachers. It does not involve VET teachers working in TAFE.
Currently in VET in NSW there are no agreed professional teaching standards. Different states take different approaches to this question. For the purposes of this activity I have researched some innovative work being done by the Queensland government.
The perspective I have taken is rather than focus on myself I have examined this use of badges from the perspective of beginning teachers. This approach could potentially be something I could further think about and is a bit more aligned with the Edutoolkit focus.
I believe Badges' would be useful to evaluate skills and capabilities from the Vocational and Education (VET) Learning Pathways Professional Development Pathways.
This framework identifies the following VET practitioners new, practised , advanced and accomplished. For the purposes of this activity I will focus on the capabilities of the new VET practitioners.
The framework identifies the following key areas :
Teaching, Learning and Assessment ( I will focus on this area)
Clients, Business Development and Quality Improvement.
Activities and Capabilities for New VET Practitioners.
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Engaging learners : develops an understanding of engaging techniques and strategies
Learner Support: develops awareness of and identifies learner support need, refers on where identified
Planning Delivery : develops lesson planning techniques, explores methods ofsequencing and linking content.
Flexible learning : develops and understanding of flexible delivery, trials flexible learning techniques and strategies
Workplace learning: learns how WPL experiences contribute to development of knowledge and skills, identifies WPL opportunities for learners.
Assessment : applies assessment principles and processes to meet AQTF compliance.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) : develops understanding of the use of ICT for teaching and learning, develops knowledge of organisational policy around ICT.
Profile of New VET practitioner
The word practitioner is used to include people who perform the following functions,teaching, assessing, training or tutoring. A person in this category would have just started out in the industry and have 1 years teaching experience. They would have gained a qualification in a vocational area eg electrician, plumber or tiler. They may have completed a teaching qualification. They are in the exploratory phase of their career.
Why badges could be useful for New VET practitioners?
In my experience new ‘teachers’ are focused surviving and preparing the next lesson. VET practitioners must not only teach but must perform administrative duties, contribute to the teaching sections activities, mentor students, and attend compulsory training sessions on mandatory topics eg child protection. Many new teachers are not prepared for the diverse range of duties involved in teaching in VET. I believe that badges could be useful for
Building networks of practitioners for mutual support, learning and advice
Creating learning professional development ‘moments’ that provide just in time learning
Providing participatory learning opportunities that expand the practitioners networks, build new knowledge and skills and provide feedback .
Providing different examples of learning and assessment strategies, resource creation and recognition processes. This could be linked directly to the teaching area.
Badges could be used to drive learning that is personalised, and contextualised.
Currently a very narrow view of what constitutes ‘countable’ professional development activities. Professional development is provided by the organisation, Individuals do not initiate learning. Learning is structure and delivered, according to the needs of the organisation.
There is no formal recognition given to informal learning so acquisition of badges would not be viewed as being useful or relevant to professional development.
Try to create a similar skills rubric, that measure 'Networked Teacher Standards'
This is a bit trickier for me however here's a few ideas that come to mind :