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Vocational teachers work in high schools and colleges teaching students skills in their specific vocation. Positions as vocational teachers require experience or training in the fields they teach. They often also require completion of a bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree as a further educational option.
Quality of Teaching and Learning
The quality and relevance of educational delivery have emerged. The increasing demands of a technologically driven knowledge economy mean learners need to acquire the relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes industry demands.
Vocational education teachers often called career and technical education teachers, develop a student’s occupational or technical skills. Vocational education careers can be found in secondary and post-secondary schools, as well as in industry-based programs. Vocational education teachers in public schools must complete a certificate or degree program to gain experience in classroom instruction and course development. They may have to prove competency in the field they teach.
The effectiveness of all education systems depends critically on the quality of teaching and learning in the classrooms, workshops, laboratories and other spaces in which the education takes place. While outstanding teachers (including lecturers, trainers, tutors, and coaches), engaged students, well-designed courses, facilities which are fit for purpose, and a good level of resources are necessary for any kind of educational provision is to be excellent, they alone are not sufficient. The real answers to improving outcomes from vocational education lie in the ‘classroom’, in understanding the many decisions ‘teachers’ take as they interact with students. (1)
Quality by TVET Teachers and Trainers
We need to understand more precisely how you best engage particular kinds of learners to undertake the particular kind of learning on which they are embarked to achieve whatever vocational outcomes are desired. TVET teachers and trainers take on the following roles and responsibilities (2):
- Planning, organizing and delivering off-the-job training in TVET institutions within the framework of the overall apprenticeship programme;
- Interacting with their counterparts in partner enterprises in order to ensure optimal coordination between the off-the-job and on-the-job elements of the training programme;
- Monitoring the learning progress and skills development of apprentices on a regular basis;
- Updating their knowledge, skills and competence in their own professional field and adapting their training methods on a regular basis;
- Taking on work experience in partner enterprises in order to update their understanding of the skills requirements of the different occupations and to experience personally the learning environment of apprentices in enterprises; and
- Providing special care for apprentices with learning difficulties, disabilities and other limitations.
In order to carry out these roles and responsibilities TVET teachers and trainers will need to be well qualified – and, in the case of licensed occupations linked to apprenticeships, hold the necessary professional certifications.
New Teaching Practices
In many traditional TVET institutions, there is general agreement that a teachers’ technical and procedural knowledge of the content taught is an important factor in enabling learners to participate successfully in that discipline. In these environments’ teacher’s rigid classroom management practices – enabling the transmission of knowledge – determines the quality of the educational event delivered. However, the constantly expanding knowledge base of disciplines, the changes in required skills driven by technological advances and the ever-changing demands of the industry mean traditional classroom management dominated, knowledge transmission focused approaches fail to produce
the creative, innovative, add-value graduate industry and society demand. (3)
To meet these demands teaching needs to be focused on helping learners to identify the right questions, find the best answers, inspiring learners to take the risk and to help them develop an add-value attitude. In these environments’ classrooms are not managed. Instead, teachers use a range of personal skills and instructional strategies to adapt the technical and procedural knowledge presented to meet the
educational, social, employment and cultural needs of learners. Teachers need to be able to promote learner’s cognitive processes, promote affective-motivational processes, and promote social processes in students. Teachers are now facilitators of learning not repositories of knowledge (3).
Correlation Between the Quality of Teachers Teaching Practices and the Level of Work-readiness of Learners
The increasing demands of a globally networked economy mean countries are reliant on Tertiary Vocational TVET institutions to provide graduates who have the relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes that will drive economic growth. Work-readiness not only requires learners to have strong technical knowledge of the industry, but they also need additional attributes – such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving – to successfully apply this knowledge in authentic situations. Studies have demonstrated there is a high correlation between the quality of teachers teaching practices and the level of work-readiness of learners. Different data can be used proactively to improve teaching practices as learners are learning, immediately improving learner achievement. (3)
- Bill Lucas, Ellen Spencer and Guy Claxton: How to teach vocational education: A theory of vocational pedagogy. 2012
- ILO TOOLKIT FOR QUALITY APPRENTICESHIPS, VOLUME I: GUIDE FOR POLICY MAKERS 2017
- Li Yan, Gao Yang; Measuring Quality Teaching: Developing a Process Focused Framework, Science Journal of Education, 2019
Lucubrate Magazine 2019
The Picture of the top of the article: young apprentices in the industry sector by auremar (Adobe Stock)