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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Melinda Waters, Linda Simon, Michele Simons, Jennifer Davids and Bobby Harreveld

As neoliberal reforms take hold in the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia, there is renewed interest in the quality of teaching practice. However…

Abstract

Purpose

As neoliberal reforms take hold in the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia, there is renewed interest in the quality of teaching practice. However, despite the value of practitioner inquiry to the quality of teaching in schools, scholarly practice in higher education, and established links between the quality of teaching and outcomes for learners and between practice-based inquiry and pedagogic innovation in VET, the practices has received little attention. The purpose of this paper is to explore the value of a college-wide culture of scholarly activity to learners, enterprises, VET institutions, educators and the national productivity agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the education literature, empirical examples of scholarly activity drawn from the authors’ experiences of working with VET practitioners, this paper asks what constitutes research and inquiry in VET, why should these practices be integral to educative practice and what value do they bring to the sector? In addressing the questions, the authors explore how research and inquiry is defined in the literature and draw on three empirical examples of scholarly activities to provide a national, institutional and individual view. A discussion about the value of scholarly activities to VET stakeholders and how the practices might be fostered and sustained concludes the paper.

Findings

The paper concludes that practice-based scholarly activities in VET cultivate rich potential for renewed and innovative pedagogies that improve outcomes for learners, respond to industry demands for innovative skills, build “pedagogic capital” for VET institutions, enrich the knowledge base of policy makers and build resilience and professionalism. The authors conclude by positioning VET educators as scholars in their own right along a continuum of scholarly activity and posing the proposition that when valued, scholarly activities are practices for new times that will build a strong and vibrant profession for the future.

Research limitations/implications

This paper brings together the authors’ experiences of working with VET practitioners as the authors engage in scholarly activities. While each vignette was drawn from a formal research project in each case, the paper itself was not structured around a formal research activity, although a small survey was undertaken for vignette 1. This poses limitations to the findings of the study. However, the purpose of the paper is not to be conclusive but to forward an argument for more scholarly activity in VET in order to promote further research and debate.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the current debate in Australia about the quality of teaching in VET and the sectors’ capability to produce “work-ready” graduates. It brings to the fore the value of scholarly activity for educators, learners, industry and communities, VET institutions and the broader national innovation agenda. As such, it has relevance to all VET stakeholders, most particularly policy makers, leaders and practitioners in VET.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Roger Harris and Michele Simons

This paper aims to analyse, through the lens of learning network theory, ways in which external VET practitioners work within private enterprises to promote learning…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse, through the lens of learning network theory, ways in which external VET practitioners work within private enterprises to promote learning within these organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on analyses of six case studies in two Australian States, each comprising a vocational education institute and an enterprise. In total, 34 interviews were held with four groups of participant – TAFE managers and practitioners, enterprise personnel and worker‐learners – from different industries.

Findings

The paper finds that the overlaying of an external learning system on existing learning systems brings inevitable tensions that need to be carefully managed. VET practitioners working in industry operate in two worlds with very different cultures. They need to learn how to work within different power structures, how to build around existing work and learning networks, and how to mesh in with the flow of enterprise work. In the process of working with company staff, and crossing boundaries, they may well be creating a “third space” in which new meanings can be, and have to be, constructed that go beyond the limits of either site.

Practical implications

The paper shows that understanding these ways of working has practical implications for VET managers and practitioners, company staff and policy‐makers in terms of how human resources are managed and how different parties work together.

Originality/value

The paper shows two objectives: a relatively new focus in the research literature and an extension of learning network theory in terms of external learning systems.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 18 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Roger Harris, Michele Simons and Pam Carden

In the 1990s, one of Australia's police services moved from a centralised, academy‐based system of training towards a more integrated model of professional development. As…

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753

Abstract

In the 1990s, one of Australia's police services moved from a centralised, academy‐based system of training towards a more integrated model of professional development. As a consequence, probationary constables spent reduced time in the police academy (6 months) before moving into the workplace for 18 months of work‐based learning. This paper explores how those changes affected the ways in which probationary constables are viewed and accepted into the workforce. A useful model for this exploration is that of legitimate peripheral participation, as advocated by Lave and Wenger in 1991. Although Lave and Wenger acknowledge that peripherality, rather than being a negative term, allows for an understanding of inclusion into a community of practice, there is still a long journey to be travelled before full acceptance is accorded to the newcomer. By exploring the “voices” of the probationers and their senior officers, the conflicts and difficulties that arose during their work‐based probation and the negotiations required to help develop competent police officers, it is possible to trace the journey of probationary constables from periphery to a more central acceptance. This paper explores how the probationary constables were viewed and accepted into the workforce to become full and trusted members of a community of practice.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2005

Roger Harris and Michele Simons

Proposes to provide a description of the factors that underlie retention and to develop a model of the process of retention.

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3243

Abstract

Purpose

Proposes to provide a description of the factors that underlie retention and to develop a model of the process of retention.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was conducted in a selected number of occupational areas. Interviews were conducted with apprentices and trainees employed under a contract of training; apprentices/trainees who had recently completed their contract of training; employers/workplace supervisors and teachers/trainers.

Findings

Provides information about a range of factors and how they combined to shape the process of retention. Recognises that some of the identified factors are more amenable to interventions to enhance retention than others.

Research limitations/implications

The study did not attempt to cover all occupations in which apprentices are employed, or to provide any ranking of importance of factors in relation to the retention process. The study encourages a holistic understanding of the process of retention and emphasises the dynamic nature of this process over the period of a contract of training.

Practical implications

A useful source of information for those concerned with designing interventions that target factors that are most amenable to promoting enhanced retention in apprenticeships.

Originality/value

This paper addresses the often neglected process of retention and offers some guidance in the design of interventions to promote retention in apprenticeships.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 47 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Paul Hager

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331

Abstract

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 18 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Michèle A. Bowring and Joanna Brewis

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which Canadian lesbians and gay men manage their non‐hegemonic identities in organizations, given the relative paucity…

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1545

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which Canadian lesbians and gay men manage their non‐hegemonic identities in organizations, given the relative paucity of qualitative data in the area, the importance of work as a site for identity projects in the contemporary west and growing pressure on employers to attend to sexual orientation as part of diversity management initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered through 16 semi‐structured interviews with lesbian and gay workers from three Canadian cities.

Findings

The data emphasize the importance of organizational environments in which queer people feel able to integrate their identity at work with their identity in the rest of their lives. Role models were identified as especially important in this regard, particularly for women who talked of the organizational “double jeopardy” of being female and a lesbian.

Research limitations/implications

Although the data reported here are not generalizable, it is worrying that they echo many earlier studies on the negative aspects of lesbian and gay workplace experience. One key implication is that those employees who conform most closely to what Butler calls the heterosexual matrix are less likely to experience problems related to their sexual orientation.

Originality/value

This paper indicates several themes which are not extensively travelled in the existing literature, including the suggestion that coming out to colleagues is easier if one is in a long‐term relationship, as well as a sense that having to negotiate such disclosure simultaneously enhances work‐related interpersonal skills.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Abstract

Details

The Development of the Maltese Insurance Industry: A Comprehensive Study
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-978-2

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Book part
Publication date: 18 August 2006

Abstract

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Regional Economic Integration
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-296-2

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2010

Michèle J. Schmidt

The purpose of this paper is to present the argument that leadership preparation programmes in the new millennium should be required to train school leaders emotionally as…

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1825

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the argument that leadership preparation programmes in the new millennium should be required to train school leaders emotionally as well as cognitively. A number of scholars have stressed that leaders are increasingly working within roles that are politically sensitive, conflicted and complex, resulting in role anxiety, emotional stress, and professional burnout. Principals and vice‐principals are frustrated because they are being forced to manage the marketplace, curriculum change, and governance factors with an increased emphasis on accountability, marketability, and globalisation, often at the expense of their primary role as educators.

Design/methodology/approach

Such a discussion is framed within a sociological perspective of emotions and presents the importance of acknowledging the primacy of school leaders' emotions in leadership preparation programs.

Findings

Sociological aspects of emotions are examined within a context of the globalisation, marketisation, and accountability confronting Western education and their implications for extant leadership preparation programs; the latent influences of these broader issues; and, more specifically, their effect on the emotions of leaders within a context unique to Western Canada. Recommendations for what apotropaic the role of leadership preparation programmes should play in shielding leaders from being overwhelmed from within a changing educational landscape are also discussed.

Originality/value

An examination of the emotions of school leaders and the importance of acknowledging their emotions within preparation programmes remains an understudied topic in the field of education.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 48 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2017

Chang Hoon Oh and Michele Fratianni

The aim of this paper first is to go beyond the static effects of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and empirically estimate the marginal effects of the stock of BITs…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper first is to go beyond the static effects of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and empirically estimate the marginal effects of the stock of BITs on foreign direct investment flows.

Design/methodology/approach

These statistical models use a gravity equation.

Findings

This paper finds that BITs is subject to diminishing returns measured in terms of FDI flows. Diminishing returns are more pronounced among country-pairs that have not signed BITs but have their own BIT network than among country-pairs with their own BITs.

Research limitations/implications

The subsidiary finding is that a measure of a country’s BIT network characteristic, capturing conditions favorable for a mix of horizontally and vertically integrated activities, may be the limiting force underlying the diminishing returns of the stock of BITs.

Originality/value

For a given country’s BIT network, a multinational enterprise finds more value in investing where a bilateral treaty is in place. This suggests either stronger property-rights protection or greater latitude to use the host country as an export platform.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

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