VET teacher learning in the workplace: Enablers and constraints

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VET teachers learn a lot about teaching in their teaching workplace. This paper reports on a research project where VET practitioners identified, and aimed to further develop, workplace arrangements that support teacher learning. It also considers the changes in these arrangements after 1-2 years. The research builds on earlier research that found the development of a trellis of practices that support learning (PSLs) in the workplace was valuable for novice VET teachers (Francisco, 2019). It takes this further by investigating the establishment of such a trellis and the issues associated with sustaining it over time. The paper addresses the following research question: What enables and constrains the development and sustaining of a trellis of practices that support learning for VET teachers? Participants were VET teachers who were students in a Graduate Diploma subject, Mentoring and Workplace Professional Development Strategies for VET in 2017 or 2018, and who undertook an optional assignment task. This task involved implementing a trellis of Practices that Support Learning (PSLs) in their teaching workplace to support VET teacher learning. Research data comprised the original assignment, as well as interviews with participants at least one year after the assignment was completed. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Initial analysis involved thematic coding in relation to the research question. The second level of data analysis used the theory of practice architectures to analyse the practice architectures (site based arrangements) that enabled and constrained particular practices in the workplace in relation to establishing a trellis of practices that supported teacher learning (Kemmis et al; 2014). Emerging findings suggest that rapid and broad ranging changes in the organisations where most of the participants were working has impacted heavily on the workplace learning of teachers. For those VET practitioners still in their original workplace the trellis of PSLs they had established continued to support their learning and that of others. Those practitioners whose jobs had changed, or whose workplaces had become unrecognisable after only one or two years, noted that their learning was more related to ‘catching up’ than to developing as a teacher. The findings have significance for VET practitioners and those who want to support their learning in the workplace. References Francisco, S. (In press). Developing a trellis of practices that support learning in the workplace. Studies in Continuing Education. Kemmis, S., Wilkinson, J., Edwards-Groves, C., Grootenboer, P., Hardy, I., & Bristol, L. (2014). Changing practices, changing education. New York: Springer.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2019
EventDiverse Pedagogies for Diverse VET Contexts: 5th Annual Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education - Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia
Duration: 09 Dec 201910 Dec 2019


ConferenceDiverse Pedagogies for Diverse VET Contexts
City Wagga Wagga
Internet address

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    Francisco, S. (2019). VET teacher learning in the workplace: Enablers and constraints. Paper presented at Diverse Pedagogies for Diverse VET Contexts, Wagga Wagga, Australia.