Journal of Vocational Education and Training

Published by Taylor & Francis
Online ISSN: 1747-5090
Publications
Article
The growth of Science and Elementary Drawing classes in the Swansea district followed the same pattern as that of the United Kingdom. In contrast the growth of Art and Manual Instruction classes, and the Technological classes of the City and Guilds of London Institute, did not experience the rapid growth that occurred in the United Kingdom. The system of payment-on-results adopted by the Science and Art Department permeated into the City and Guilds of London Institute which organized its local technological classes on South Kensington lines. This system of payment-on-results did not result in a decline of individuals attending the Science, Art and Drawing classes of South Kensington or the City and Guilds Technological classes. In reality the system encouraged teachers to enrol the maximum number of students/pupils possible into their classes, thus creating a large pool of potential examination candidates. Moreover, there existed a â-˜hinterlandâ-™ of Science and Art students which were unaccounted for in the Department's annual reports, and also a group of â-˜self-taughtâ-™ students of science who were not enrolled on the class registers but nevertheless sat the Department's examinations.
 
Article
The Women Returners Entering Science, Engineering and Technology (WRESET) programme is a joint initiative undertaken by the Merseyside Task Force and Wirral Metropolitan College. It is expected that all WRESET participants will be in a better position to gain employment. This does not imply any guarantee of a job, though past experience, Labour Market Intelligence reports (LMI) and employer networks suggest that job opportunities do exist. At the very least, participants will gain credits that can be transferred to future training programmes, which can be a viable alternative to work for some. There are three features of WRESET that are of particular interest. The first innovative feature is the provision of an IBM compatible personal computer in the home for every participant. This has improved, vastly, ‘hands-on’ access time; has accelerated progress and has contributed to participant’s growing confidence and expertise. The second feature is a system of linked home based tutorials supporting the College based training. Finally, the third significant feature of the WRESET programme is the composition of the Steering Committee which monitors, reviews and evaluates the programme. The membership is made up of teaching staff, representatives from the Merseyside Task Force and, most importantly, representatives of the participants. Consultation and ‘ownership’, by all parties involved, is the hallmark of the WRESET initiative. Essentially, the programme seeks to improve job prospects for 14 women, by providing an introduction to quality training in science, engineering and information technology. The programme has been delivered on a ‘flexistudy’ basis — that is combining home based and College based learning. At the time of writing (May 1990), there is broad agreement that the WRESET programme has established a framework for success, in the implementation of the programme, in the involvement of the participants and in improving prospects for job progression.
 
Article
The Labour Party's policymaking structures in the United Kingdom have changed in a way that has allowed new ideas to emerge in the party's VET discourse. The trade unions, who wished to return to the Industrial Training Boards financed by employers, have been usurped and the decollectivisation of VET policy is facilitated by thinkers who had no access to the party's policymaking machinery in the past. This is presented as an example of the type of constraints which act on all policymakers, and the changing nature of those constraints in response to changing nature of industrial demand for skilled labour.
 
Article
The development of critical thinking skills amongst educational managers is still in its infancy in Thailand. To assist the development, six learning packages corresponding to the taxonomy of Bloom et al were developed and administered to an experimental group during a course on critical thinking on an MIEd course for educational administration. The results were seen to be significant for those students using the study packages against the control group who just attended the class. Some implication of the findings are discussed.
 
Article
Alternative credentialling of teachers has been practiced for decades in vocational education, even though research is inconclusive as to the efficacy of the quality of the teacher's preparation upon completion of these alternative programmes. It has been suggested by several authors that teachers receiving non-traditional certificates do not perform as well as traditionally prepared teachers. Several aspects of alternative certification for vocational educators must be postulated for effectiveness to warrant in the classroom of today and for the future. Hence, this article delves into topics critical to teacher preparation. First, the reasons underlying alternative certification including the private sector as teachers. Next, a variety of definitional issues of alternative certification programmes currently in place in many states will be elaborated on. Since the inclusion of students with disabilities has infiltrated vocational classrooms it is imperative to discuss briefly how this affects the alternative certification programmes that are now in existence. Finally, the economical issues of whether a traditional certification programme is more costly than an alternative certification programme is also discussed.
 
Article
This review identifies four distinctive, though overlapping, approaches to the Assessment of Prior Achievement (APA) after considering, briefly, the context within the developments are taking place. This review suggests what might be included in shaping an advocacy portfolio highlighting prior achievements.
 
Article
This paper discusses whether it is appropriate to attempt to teach a computer programming language to undergraduates on courses where programming can be considered tangential to the main course of study. Subsequent to a short elementary course in BASIC programming, the programming skills of a group of accountancy studies undergraduates with no prior programming experience were compared with those of colleagues with prior experience. It was found that, on the whole, the performance of the former group of students was quite poor and that the latter group had a substantial advantage in skill. Possible reasons for the course's apparent lack of effectiveness are discussed and it is suggested that, whether programming is taught or not, if students are to be highly motivated, the subject matter of computing courses should at all times be relevant to both students' vocational needs and the main discipline studied.
 
Article
Increasingly vocational tutors are expected to teach so-called transferable thinking skills. Yet tutors' own `thinking skills' are rarely assessed. This study reports an attempt to judge the usefulness of the Smith Whetton Critical Reasoning Test (CRT) in assessing aspects of tutors' thinking for two particular purposes: to provide a starting point for further research on the connection between tutors' own `thinking skills' and their ability to teach such `skills', and to provide a sounder basis for designing development activities which focus on the teaching of thinking. It is concluded that the CRT provides a sound starting point for developing an adequate instrument for these purposes. In particular, it seemed that the CRT might be a useful tool for demonstrating that `thinking skills' is a problematic concept. The conclusions about the usefulness of the CRT are based on the scores of 256 vocational education tutors in Australia and in the United Kingdom (UK), which were compared with available CRT data for employees in six comparable occupations in the UK, and available data for 437 UK further education students. The discussion relates the results to characterisations of `thinking skills'
 
Article
The development of appropriate skills for business students has been increasingly emphasized by BTEC and this report describes an attempt to develop appropriate skills through the design of a balanced Cross Modular Assignment programme and individual Cross Modular Assignments (CMA). The difficulties associated with the development and assessment of such skills are also explored.
 
Article
The impact of a market philosophy upon education in England is seen as the major context in which the developing concerns for efficiency, effectiveness and economy are worked through in (particularly) further vocational education. In order to provide a basis for further development activities for management and the staff, an audit of the Provision for Competency-based Vocational Education (CBVE) for National Vocational Qualifications associated with the National Council for Vocational Qualifications model was carried out within a Department of Engineering at a College. The audit revealed important areas for further development as well as indicating areas that are appropriate for the task of providing CBVE. The audit format used, initially developed by the Further Education Unit, was seen as effective and efficient.
 
Employer and provider engagement with user choice.
Article
This article focuses on the evolving concept of the training market and views about those factors which necessitate intervention in the market. User choice in apprenticeships and traineeships is the latest policy initiative in Australia to increase the responsiveness of the vocational education and training system to the needs of clients. It does so by channelling the flow of public funds to individual training providers to reflect the choice of training provider made by the client (employer and/or apprentice or trainee). The introduction of user choice raises several policy issues. Concerns have been expressed about providing continuous access to training in rural and remote areas. Also, there is considerable uncertainty about how user choice will impact on equity groups. Other issues that are considered in the article include: Will user choice increase the choices available to apprentices and trainees? How competitive will training markets be under user choice? How will private training providers and the publicly funded vocational education and training (VET) system adjust to user choice? What tensions between stakeholders are likely to be experienced in the introduction of user choice? The ways in which these policy issues are resolved is likely to determine whether user choice succeeds in creating a training system that is more responsive to the needs of stakeholders
 
Article
This article analyses the impact of World War I upon elementary school practice, using Hertfordshire as a major case study. It challenges the wisdom of over-emphasising the much-publicised sections in the 1918 Education Act devoted to the ill-fated continuation schools and neglecting the less well-known clauses that successfully promoted practical instruction, technical education, physical education and the school medical service. It argues that the Act should be seen as the last in a long series extending, refining and controlling the working class element in a socially divisive education system, rather than a serious attempt to create significantly greater equality of opportunity. From the moment hostilities commenced, elementary schools were totally subordinated to the economy. Staffing was reduced, child labour soared and lessons became increasingly patriotic, practical and vocational. Most people of influence, such as major rural and urban employers, county councillors and education committee members, delighted in the changes. For years most of them had sought greater local intervention in school affairs in order to reduce costs and to enhance domestic, agricultural, workshop and factory skills in the future workforce. They went to great pains to ensure these features survived the war, and they were conspicuously successful.
 
Article
Over the last decade, we have witnessed an academic battle between two competing concepts: â-˜competenceâ-™ and â-˜capabilityâ-™. Put simply, competence claims â-˜I will continue to do things to a satisfactory standard in the future because I have done them to a satisfactory standard in the past'. Capability claims, â-˜I could do things ably in the future because I have certain qualities that will enable me to do soâ-™. This article argues that in the current educational turmoil, the competence-versus-capability debate is one battlefield too many, and that a strategic alliance between the two warring factions is necessary if either is to have any continuing practical effect in education and commerce. We provide a middle concept, â-˜capacityâ-™ in the role of matchmaker. We describe capacity as contextual intelligence and suggest that there is a spiral of capacity linking competence and capability in a practical symbiosis that grounds both in real world contexts.
 
Article
While there is increasing emphasis on the idea that vocational education should equip students to think well, very little attention is paid in course design to messages from cognitive research that the quality of people's subject knowledge influences their thinking about problems. The overall aim of the study was to evaluate the usefulness of ideas from cognitive research and from the `meta-cognitive movement' in designing instruction intended to improve students' ability to deal with simple accounting problems. A new `cognitive' approach to teaching an existing basic accounting module was implemented by further education lecturers and evaluated using an experimental/control design. The results indicate that the `cognitive' instruction significantly improved students' scores on non-routine accounting tasks. The authors interpret the results as consistent with their view that the emphasis on understanding and thinking in this study may be more vocationally relevant than is commonly supposed.
 
Article
In both post-compulsory education and training there is a growing need for every student, teacher and employee to have at least a basic level of computer competence. It is therefore necessary to consider the needs of the â-˜computer shyâ-™, i.e. those individuals who have up until now avoided coming into contact with computers and are reluctant to take part in computer training. This article begins by examining the psychological, sociological and operational origins of an individual's computer reticence and anxiety, and also explores the theoretical factors behind computer acceptance and use. From this basis a series of practical recommendations are made for successful teaching of information technology skills to reluctant computer users.
 
Article
Degrees in Music Industry Management are recent additions to the repertoire of higher education in the United Kingdom. Their very novelty suggests a need for evaluation. This article offers a critical review of one ground breaking degree. A methodology for the evaluation is described and a framework for critical analysis established. The analysis generates a number of key issues and suggests an agenda for both research and practical steps which will enhance the future development of this category of degrees.
 
Article
This article examines what Foundation level GNVQ students say about their learning experience drawing on findings from a case study of staff and students involved in GNVQ programmes at a further education college. The college has a Foundation Studies department, where all Foundation level GNVQ is taught, and the article reports on interviews with a small group of seven Foundation students. It is argued that the most important issue for them is the shift from being disaffected learners to becoming accepted as students within the college. In achieving this, relationships with teachers are crucial, and appear to be the most significant factor in helping these students move from being apparent failures within the education system, to starting out on a more successful path to learning.
 
Article
Work experience has become an established feature of the secondary school curriculum. In many cases it is now an essential element for all pupils rather than an optional extra for some. But how is the experience perceived by the main parties involved in it â-” the pupils, the teachers and the employers? What features of work experience are most valued? Why do employers become involved in the activity? This study, of two particular cases, attempts to add to existing research on the aims and purposes of work experience as an element of the work-related curriculum. It goes on to discuss the varying perspectives of the parties involved in the context of previous publications and the future development of work experience.
 
Article
The implementation of clinical supervision in the practice setting presents a major challenge for the nursing profession. There have been numerous reports and papers promoting its importance, and providing the impetus for this challenge (Department of Health, 1993; Butterworth & Faugier, 1994; Kohner, 1994). Clinical supervision has been well established as part of social work, counselling, psychotherapy and psychoanalytic practice, and in the nursing specialities of mental health and midwifery (Swain, 1995). Its utilisation by nurses and health visitors is clearly important and should be seen as integral to professional practice. This enquiry evaluated a programme purchased by a south coast of England Trust. The programme aimed to provide the knowledge and skills required for nurses and health visitors to practice as supervisors and supervisees in their clinical areas. This report forms the final stage of the evaluation of the programme. The evaluation process is guided by the work of Patton (1986, 1990) and used utilisation-focused evaluation as a flexible framework on which to complete the evaluation. A qualitative methodology was used, data were collected using focused interviews with supervisors and supervisees who had participated on the programme. The findings are presented and discussed in the context of the literature on clinical supervision. The recommendations made to the Trust are also presented.
 
Article
In the year following incorporation a number of principals drawn from colleges in Wales and the west of England were interviewed on their personal reactions both to the process of change and the assumption of the new status of their colleges together with their role within it. This article by a former senior manager from within the sector, concentrates on the 15 interviewed principals' perceptions of their changing relationship with official bodies, most immediately the Local Education Authority (LEA) and the new Further Education Funding Council and also on a personal level with others affected by incorporation. Evidence is presented to suggest that, whereas most principals welcomed the apparent greater freedom of action which severance from the LEA provided, this was, nevertheless, accompanied by an increase in administrative complexity within a policy environment perceived to be ill-thought out and uneven in its effect on the post-16 cohort of students.
 
Article
Student communication skills have been a topic of much recent concern and debate: graduates and newly qualified accountants being heavily criticised for their lack of them. This research report describes the work which is being carried out at Portsmouth Polytechnic to overcome deficiencies in this important area of education.
 
Article
This report describes briefly the development of a mentorship support-system within an innovative youth training scheme. It outlines how this novel approach led to a consideration of mentorship on a wider theoretical basis. There is an examination of the usual approaches that are taken to mentorship. Finally, a comparative approach is presented to aid clarification and point to potential improvements within the sphere of practice.
 
Article
A qualitative study was undertaken in two hospitals, into the impact of implementing a level 3 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Operating Department Practice. Data was gathered on participantsâ-™ perspectives on teaching, learning, and safe practice as well as working relationships. This latter aspect produced some unexpected results. To introduce this little explored area of healthcare, the educational and cultural contexts in operating theatres are described. (This includes a description of the award that the NVQ replaced, with which comparisons are made throughout this article). As a precursor to the research, a range of literature was reviewed, including studies of the historical development of NVQs, debates about meaning, and discussion of other impact studies. The relevant portion of that review is discussed here. The methodology is characterised by a case study approach, data being gathered by 40 structured interviews (of which, 36 were useable) that were taped and transcribed. ) The majority of those interviewed said that the NVQ had had a positive effect on the working relationship between the two main staff groups, with some re-motivation of longer-serving staff members reported. There was strong evidence that aspects of the implementation of the NVQ had contributed to the overcoming of traditional barriers between two staff groups. By researching Operating Department Practice, a new area, this study makes a contribution to the literature on NVQs. It also expands the research about the impact of NVQ implementation on the way people work together in operating theatres.
 
Article
This article examines the nature of the knowledge needed for work and its relationship with knowledge that â-˜worksâ-™ in securing other goals. It suggests that individual, societal and industrial challenges are interwoven, and that individuals should not have to segment knowledge used for different productive and generative activities. Greater connectedness is needed for individuals to construct meaning in achieving various work and non-work life goals, and that meaning comes from interpreting experience and evaluating those constructions for handling further experiences. Individuals seek equilibrium across their various constructions of meaning as they are transformed through experience. A reconciling framework is proposed on which to base reconstructions of existing ideas of the nature and purposes of what are now called â-˜vocationalâ-™ and â-˜generalâ-™ education. This framework gives centrality, in the construction of knowledge, to the doing that is involved in activity in pursuit of vocations. Some curriculum implications are outlined.
 
Article
One of the reasons for restructuring Nigerian secondary education in 1977 was to introduce compulsory pre-vocational subjects in the Junior Secondary and vocational subjects in the Senior Secondary Schools. The aim was to prepare high school leavers for both higher education and the world of work. However, doubts have been expressed about the impact of the policy and programmes on the academic and vocational preferences of students. The academic and occupational preference of males and females were compared, and substantial differences were observed.The major reasons given by the respondents for their choices were examined. Based on the findings, appropriate recommendations were made.
 
Article
Retention, attainment and progression have become key issues in post-compulsory education in the UK, as the policy agenda of increasing and widening participation has taken hold. Keeping students in the system, enabling them to gain qualifications and thereby progress to higher level courses is a key educational goal. Yet alongside increasing progression and attainment have emerged discussion of the nature and extent of academic drift within vocational education. This paper seeks to explore these issues in the context of the vocational curriculum in Further Education colleges in Scotland. Using the lens of literacy practices, we explore the ways in which the expectations upon students of the reading and writing associated with learning their subjects can illuminate the nature and extent of academic drift. We indicate evidence to suggest that there is increasing emphasis given to educational rather than occupational relevance in the vocational curriculum
 
Article
This article reports on some of the data gathered for an Australian research project which investigated ‘What does the past tell us about adult literacy and numeracy policy, provision and practice?’ First, the key national and some state policies which have informed program development in Australia will be outlined in order to highlight some policy shifts over the last decade. Secondly, transcripts of interviews with a sample of key policy makers and program coordinators at state and Commonwealth levels will be analysed to establish perspectives on how policies and programs have positioned adult literacy and numeracy in relation to lifelong learning and national socio-economic well-being.
 
Article
Incl. abstract, tables and bibl. Within the hyperbole surrounding information and communications technologies (ICTs) and lifelong learning, our understanding of what learning activities ICTs are actually being used for throughout the adult population remains under-developed. Based on a household survey of 1001 adults in the west of England and South Wales, this article considers who amongst the adult population is using ICTs and what they are using them for. Moreover, the article also takes time to consider who is not using ICTs for learning given the widespread claims made about ICTs' potential for social inclusion. The survey data show that within adults' use of computers and the Internet, education and learning are minority activities, most commonly taking the form of informal learning at home. Moreover, any educative use of ICTs appears to be patterned by a number of social factors. In particular, logistic regression analysis shows that whether or not an individual uses ICTs for educative purposes can be predicted (with 82 percent accuracy) by the five variables of age, gender, educational background, occupational class and area of residence. The article concludes by discussing these findings in relation to the United Kingdom Government's present lifelong learning agenda.
 
Article
Incl. abstract and bibl. This article aims to analyse and reflect upon the support offered to advanced GNVQ students in business, and leisure and tourism by college staff across seven further education colleges in the West Midlands conurbation. Specifically, the work offers a focus on elements of college support pertinent to the possible transition of these groups of students to undergraduate study in higher education. The elements of support studied are three-fold. First, strengths and weaknesses in the availability and usage of college support mechanisms aimed at facilitating course success for students are studied with respect to different student groups. Secondly, student concerns and attitudinal misconceptions are studied and related to the efficacy of college support advice. Finally, awareness of college support staff concerning the current culture and demands of undergraduate study is studied as a means to explore the information base used in advising and motivating their students. The study raises concern with respect to key skill support and its relationship to potential course success, and hence entry to higher education. It also suggests that college support staff need to be vigilant in ensuring a close relationship between the information, guidance and reassurance they provide, and identified student concerns. Finally, it indicates that some staff in further education tend to under-estimate the level of support available in higher education, and perceive significant and perhaps prohibitive differences in student skill requirement between the two sectors. These findings are discussed within the context of the need for additional networking and dialogue between colleagues in the two sectors.
 
Article
Incl. abstract & bibl. Technical education has a critical role to play in building the economic prosperity and social stability of South Africa, by offering a second chance education and training in the craft, technical and business skills so gravely needed by the economy. A national survey and interviews with two principals provided evidence of the environment in which colleges are planning for the future, how they undertake the planning process, what strategies are in use and the difficulties faced. Despite severe shortages or damaging uncertainty about resource levels, the majority of colleges have a belief in their future and are striving to increase the quality of the curriculum by a democratic planning process. The use of assets and strategies to increase productivity is as yet underdeveloped, but many colleges have a guiding vision and are achieving progress despite the turbulent environment.
 
Article
This paper traces the history of the participation of women in education and the teaching profession to the mid‐nineteenth century when Western education was Introduced in Nigeria. It shows how cultural and religious traditions as well as economic factors prevented the effective involvement of women in teaching. The author then examines the increasing recruitment of women into teaching and the trend in the teachers’ colleges where women's enrolment often outstrips that of men. Research evidence reveals that reasons for this development are due neither to improved teaching service conditions nor to a growing interest in the profession. The main reason is the desire to use certificates from Colleges of Education for easier entry into universities to obtain degrees and Jobs, often outside teaching. The administrative and professional implications of the situation are discussed and recommendations made to meet the challenge.
 
Article
This article examines collaborative initiatives individual foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) develop with China’s vocational education and training (VET) schools amid localised shortages of skilled workers. It thus focuses on employer initiatives in responding to VET system weaknesses rather than, as is common, those weaknesses. Using Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) as the research site, it provides a local labour market perspective for understanding how firms have redirected their interactions with local VET institutions in an economically advanced area. As a mixed-method study, data collection was through face-to-face interviews with FIE managers and local government officials and firm-level surveys. Employer initiatives take a number of forms and follow diverse motivations. Motivations include firm-focused needs and commitments to improving the system. A firm’s duration in SIP explains choices for more, and more demanding collaborations. Furthermore, through their collaborative programmes, the most engaged FIEs reshape those VET schools and also the choices of other local FIEs.
 
Article
To have a real indication of who benefits from investments in continuing vocational training (CVT) and consequently, who should carry the cost burden, it is necessary to differentiate between (i) different types of CVT and (ii) different funding levels and to which levels the benefits accrue. The former is necessary because different types of CVT yield different outcomes to different levels. The latter is necessary because different levels, i.e. EU, the state, the social partners, enterprises and the individual, have different and sometimes conflicting objectives for funding CVT and, consequently, have different outcomes from any given investment. This article will establish the relationship between CVT types, funding levels and to which levels the outcomes accrue. The model will thus be able to establish a direct cost and benefit relationship for any given investment across levels
 
Article
The credential landscape of vocational and higher education in the UK has expanded in recent years, alongside a rise in the number of students undertaking qualifications and a steady increase in tuition fees. The transition from an apprenticeship to higher education is one example of the progression from vocational to higher education. However, the ways in which this pathway is navigated according to the students who have followed this route have received little attention. This paper focuses on the examples of four students in England who each progressed to higher education with different qualifications. Drawing on Archer’s concept of reflexivity, the analysis revealed three important factors for negotiating transition. These were firstly the credential landscape itself, secondly how their employer perceived higher education qualifications and thirdly how higher education institutions perceived vocational qualifications. The findings illustrate how students confronted and overcame the various constraints and barriers in order to pursue higher education.
 
Article
In this paper, we consider the issue of the under-representation of young people from minority ethnic/migrant backgrounds in apprenticeships in England and Germany. Whilst there are many studies on apprenticeships in England and Germany, few focus on under-representation or discrimination, even fewer on ethnic under-representation, and there are no comparative studies of the topic. We review the existing literature and drawing on Critical Race Theory, we argue that most studies on apprenticeships and ethnicity tend to confirm rather than challenge stereotypes of these minority groups, and to view young people as autonomous agents able to make (relatively) free choices. We argue that connections should be made between ethnic under-representation and studies of the racial segmentation of the labour market. Drawing on these studies of the labour market, we suggest, innovatively but perhaps somewhat controversially, that it is likely that racialised norms shape expectations of the worker and migrant worker, and of who fits where in the labour markets and vocational training systems. Further, we argue that this challenges popular notions of what constitutes career ‘choices’ on the part of young people.
 
Article
In 1993, the United Kingdom launched yet another new initiative to revitalise youth training, but this time, rather than choosing a title which conjures up the flexible workplace of the future, it chose to delve back into the industrial past and introduced Modern Apprenticeship. Piloted for a year in 15 occupational sectors, Modern Apprenticeship is to expand in 1995/1996 to cover some 50 sectors, many of which have little history of substantive or accredited workplace training. By examining the history of apprenticeship in the United Kingdom, including evidence from two industrial sectors (electricity supply and chemicals), this paper suggests that whilst the concept of apprenticeship may still be very attractive to young people, their parents and some employers, the history of its decline over the past 30 years should be treated seriously by policymakers attempting to re‐create apprenticeship in the 1990s
 
Article
Incl. abstract and bibl. This article examines the provision of post-secondary vocational education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It aims to explore the role of vocational education in supporting the national human resource development strategy and to identify the economic, social, cultural and political factors that impact upon the implementation of vocational education in the UAE. As a case study, Dubai Polytechnic is considered as an example of a private sector provider of vocational higher education. It is concluded that vocational education has played a significant role in supporting the government's policy of emiratisation, which aims to increase the proportion of nationals participating in the labour force by replacing expatriate workers. It is recognised that all educational institutions have been influenced by a unique set of social and cultural factors, and in addition, private sector institutions have been considerably hindered by a number of political and economic constraints.
 
Article
Incl. abstract & bibl. After a third of a century of extensive investment in vocational education in less developed countries, return on investment has been disappointing and the future of vocational education seems uncertain. Yet, in the Gulf Cooperation Countries, vocational education is emerging as the cornerstone of the national human resource development strategy. This article examines the key factors inhibiting the effectiveness of vocational education in Saudi Arabia and takes colleges of technology as a case study. Evidence generated from the research leads to the conclusion that social values and labour market distortion are the main impediments which could severely hamper Saudi Arabia's human resources development strategy.
 
Article
Social partnerships that respond to and address local needs are becoming an increasingly significant feature of public policy, particularly in Europe and more recently Australia. The trend is also being actively promoted through the development planning agencies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, UNESCO and World Bank. The common policy intent is to devolve decision-making to the local level where action consequences are more immediate and more readily realised than in more centralised forms of governance. Working to secure mutuality of interests and reconciliation of conflicting interests among client groups then becomes the hallmark of mature service delivery. This article sets out the conceptual terrain for ‘new’ social partnerships in terms of their prospect of building communities through participation in vocational education and training (VET). It initially identifies some of the qualities and characteristics of ‘new’ social partnerships being enacted in VET, their achievements and contributions to community building. In doing so, it highlights some bases for judging the successes and threats to these social partnerships, and to appraise the extent to which they have shifted conceptions of learning beyond traditional institutional spaces occupied by centralised policy formulation and provision of VET through education institutions. A principal concern is to identify strategies for making social partnerships work better in supporting localised decision-making and opportunities for VET to be enacted in ways to support both communities and individuals.
 
Article
In this article we examine the organization and funding of training in a sample of newly industrialized economies (Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, China). The findings lend support to the argument that there is no single training system appropriate for all countries, and much depends on the country's developmental stage and specific characteristics including non-economic ones (such as culture and ethnic composition of the population). However, some characteristics of training seem to be more appropriate than others. First, late specialization in school curricula and acquisition of specialized skills in-service are desirable features. Second, we would advocate measures that encourage private finance of training without acting as a tax on labour. Third, training institutions should have autonomy for student selection, staff recruitment and choice of courses. Fourth, employers should participate in training to a great extent. Fifth, regular evaluations of training policies should take place, and the results of these should be compared with alternative interventions in the area of human resources.
 
The reliabilities of the scales of the perception questionnaire.
Reliabilities of the final factors from the perception questionnaire.
Article
This study focused on determining the facets of assessment authenticity by exploring the perceptions of both students and teachers of vocational education and training. It elaborates on a theoretical five‐dimensional framework (5DF) that differentiates between five dimensions and several sub‐elements of authenticity. This framework led to the development of a questionnaire for examining if the facets of the 5DF are recognised by students and teachers in practice. Reliability and factor analysis as well as readability scores were used. Teachers recognised both the dimensions and the sub‐elements as facets that determine assessment authenticity. In the eyes of the students, four of the five dimensions (task, physical context, form and result/criteria) determine authenticity, while students do not perceive the social context as a characteristic of assessment authenticity, nor do they differentiate the several sub‐elements. Implications for using the 5DF to develop or evaluate authentic assessments are discussed.
 
Article
In vocational education and training (VET) in the Netherlands, learning and working are integrated from the start. Authentic assessments are used during competence-based VET curricula to achieve correspondence between learning and working. The premise behind this study is that authenticity is subjective and that perceptions of assessment authenticity influence student learning for the assessments. It examines whether students and teachers differ in their perceptions of the authenticity of various assessment characteristics. Subsequently this study investigates whether freshman and senior students, who differ in their amount of practical experience, differ in their perceptions of assessment authenticity. The main findings were that teachers rated most assessment characteristics as more authentic than students did, while freshman and senior students did not differ in their perception of authenticity. Implications deal with communicating about and developing authentic assessment in the eyes of both students and teachers to stimulate students' professional skills development during a VET curriculum
 
Article
As a consequence of the large-scale assessment studies (TIMMS; PISA) in compulsory schooling, attention is now being given to the modelling and measurement of competencies in initial vocational education and training. This new output-led perspective of teaching/training and learning/working processes demands new approaches to research. Using the concept of the curriculum–instruction–assessment triad this paper argues that competencies in the fields of business and commerce education can be determined and compared internationally via a large-scale assessment. Empirical results are presented that demonstrate the possibilities of running such an international study in VET.
 
Article
Operating a quality assurance system in tertiary education is the rule rather than the exception because of the belief that it will improve quality. However, proving this is not easy. This study examines three ways of providing the evidence: the a priori method, the stepwise backtracking method and the external evaluation method. The quality assurance system of the Vocational Training Council of Hong Kong is used as a case-study but the findings on the advantages and disadvantages of using these methods have relevance for testing the effectiveness of quality assurance systems for other education institutions. Yes Yes
 
Characteristics of the Men's Sheds. 
Article
This study examines the role and impact of collaborative learning on training and development practices in Australian Men’s Sheds. We use a case study approach, underpinned by Peters and Armstrong’s theoretical framework of collaborative learning in adult education, to investigate five Men’s Sheds. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with five Men’s Shed co-ordinators, and five focus groups with a total of 61 members. In this study, vocational education and training is extended in a way to bridge the gap between work and retirement for many men in Australia. Three main themes emerged: the importance of training and development [beyond the workplace] for an individual response to member participation; a shared learning experience between men who teach and men who learn in the Sheds; and the collaborative learning that impacts on the learning of individual and groups. We discuss the urgent need for Shed co-ordinators to develop guidelines for training and development policies and use collaborative learning practices within the Sheds. The key message of the paper is that collaborative learning is critical to ensure effective training and development of men in Men’s Sheds. We also highlight the implications of poor training and development practices for Shed growth, legal compliance and member participation and men’s well-being. The findings will be of interest to other countries dealing with populations of retired men and others seeking membership in Sheds.
 
Article
This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of vocational education and training, 2003, vol.55, no.4, pp.471-498. Journal of vocational education and training is available online at informaworldTM at http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a739060376~db=all~order=page Official accounts of learning in vocational education and training emphasise the acquisition of technical skills and knowledge to foster behavioural competence in the workplace. However, such accounts fail to acknowledge the relationship between learning and identity. Drawing on detailed case studies of three vocational courses - in childcare, healthcare and engineering - in English further education colleges, within the project Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education, it is argued that learning is a process of becoming. Learning cultures and the vocational cultures in which they are steeped transform those who enter them. The authors develop the concept of 'vocational habitus' to explain a central aspect of students' experience, as they have to orient to a particular set of dispositions - both idealised and realised. Predispositions related to gender, family background and specific locations within the working class are necessary, but not sufficient for effective learning. Vocational habitus reinforces and develops these in line with demands of the workplace, although it may reproduce social inequalities at the same time. Vocational habitus involves developing not only a 'sense' of how to be, but also 'sensibility': requisite feelings and morals, and the capacity for emotional labour.
 
Article
Incl. abstract & bibl. The purpose of this article is to provide a critique of the idea, widely promoted by governments and industrial parties in Australia, that competency-based training (CBT) is a coherent model of vocational education and training (VET) with universal applicability. The critique is made first by way of illustration with reference to case material gathered in the course of a recent national research project on CBT. The argument is made that CBT, contrary to its image in the public policy literature, is not a singular and universal model of VET. Rather, it embeds a series of radically different decisions or options with regard to notions of competency, and the use of competencies or competency standards. These decisions or options, once enacted, give rise to transformed models of VET. Shifting the critique to more theoretical ground, the argument is made that these models need not be seen as alternatives. Indeed, they are not entirely separate. Rather, they interact, support and/or challenge one another, as well as support and/or challenge CBT. The conclusion is drawn that, while all of these models have a place in the process of competence development as well as their particular strengths and weaknesses, models that maintain the tension between a focus on the outcomes of education and training and a focus on processes of educating and training, rather than resolve this tension in favour of outcomes, are most appropriate in VET. Thus, the models that contribute most to VET tend to be hybrid (for example, education/training model, training/development model), mirroring the make-up of VET itself. Published abstract reprinted by permission of the copyright owner.
 
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This article examines the causes and consequences of the increasing control of English education and training (E&T) by central government and its agencies. It poses three questions—what are the reasons for national government becoming the dominant player in this area of policy, why is the English system so statist in design and operation, and what factors underlie the continuity of this trend in policy over the last quarter of a century? In seeking answers, it argues that policy has become caught up in a cycle of intervention that is heavily path-dependent, and that this is the result of the interplay between a set of paradoxes about what the state believes it can and cannot do within the labour and product market. E&T has come to act as a substitute for regulation in both these areas. The article concludes that unless and until the state ‘lets go' of some element of control it will be trapped into having to do more and more, as other actors take a passive role and fail to develop their capacity to act as strong partners in the E&T system.
 
Article
This article gives a brief account of the development of vocational training in Hong Kong. It then describes the vocational training system and the training boards and general committees which are the decision-making bodies of vocational training in various trades and industries. The composition of these decision-making bodies is analysed and a model of triple alliance is proposed to describe the situation. This article recommends that in view of the success of the triple alliance, more power and authority should be decentralised, and devolved to these decision-making bodies.
 
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This paper examines data drawn from interviews with homeless people who were undertaking a Clemente programme offered by the Australian Catholic University in the Vincentian Village in East Sydney. The Clemente programme, conceptualised by Shorris, is based on the belief that an education in the humanities empowers people to engage in a more controlled way with the world in which they live, and that they will therefore be less likely to react simply to contexts and events. Two of the striking things about the interview data were the rejection of 'vocational courses' and the way in which the learners referred to changes in their bodies that flowed from the humanities programme: the way they walked, the straightness of their backs, together with the metaphor of climbing. The present paper seeks to interpret these and other changes in terms of Mauss's and Bourdieu's conceptions of habitus, bodily hexis and dispositions, and possible implications for teaching and learning in vocational education. Yes Yes
 
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