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Vocational pedagogy: a way forward for teaching and learning in FE?

vocational pedagogyI’ve collated a few”free” papers, related to vocational pedagogy, for no other reason than it seemed to be an idea. Others might find it useful, a way forward for vocational teaching and learning perhaps.

The first is “How to teach vocational education: a theory of vocational pedagogy” by Bill Lucas, Ellen Spencer and Guy Claxton

The second is a presentation about Vocational pedagogy by James Avis.

Finally a paper by Kevin Orr and Denise Robinson.

For those who haven’t encountered vocational pedagogy before  there are some quotes and links to papers below:

Vocational pedagogy, as we have already suggested, is the science, art, and craft of teaching that prepares people for certain kinds of working lives. It is critically shaped by the decisions which are taken by teachers – both high-level strategies, and day-to-day ‘in-the-moment’ ones – and the values which inform all interactions with students. Pedagogy is necessarily concerned with the particular practices and processes by which knowledge is produced, skills are developed and habits of mind are cultivated. In this report we will seek to avoid providing simplistic binary alternatives whenever we are considering pedagogic choices.

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A knowledge-driven economy’ that would usher in an era of unbridled creativity where a workforce of knowledge workers, would command ‘authorship’ over their own work routines and activities, would be created. (Keep and James, 2012:211)

Learners need to be encouraged to conceptualise their experiences in different ways and for this conceptualisation to serve different curriculum purposes. This is very similar to what Freire has defined (Freire and Macedo, 1999) as the role of the teacher –to create ‘pedagogic spaces’, in other words, to use his/her expertise to pose problems in order to help learners analyse their own experiences and arrive at a critical understanding of their reality. (Guile and Griffiths, 2001, p125)

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Moody and Wheelahan (2012: 324) differentiate academic and vocational teaching because vocational teachers “have a greater role in mediating the social context of vocational education than they have in school and higher education.”

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3 thoughts on “Vocational pedagogy: a way forward for teaching and learning in FE?

  1. Interesting.

    If I understand you correctly, you seem to be suggesting that there is a distinction that can be drawn between “vocational” and “academic” education. Am I correct?

    If so, could you tell me what the difference is?

    I don’t mean “difference in the way it’s taught”, I mean difference in “what it is”.

    Thank you

    1. Thanks for the comment. The truth is that I haven’t formed a considered view. It’s a research field I have known about for a little while but not investigated too much. I think it’s a field that primarily looks at the FE and Skills sector.

      The approach, as far as I understand it, gives primacy to skills, as well as knowledge, in the context that they are used.In other words, if you consider Information Technology, which is both an academic discipline and a vocational one you could say that the former would focus on knowledge and theory in the form of Computer Science but the main area of concern would be on the body of knowledge that constitutes the academic field.

      The latter would focus on skills, and knowledge, as it is understand in the context in which it is used in the workplace or in practice.

      So teaching in the former may constitute a written exam testing knowledge whilst the latter may consist of an exam of sorts or on going assignment work testing skills and application.

      I think that there could be some benefit viewing curriculum, approach and teaching methodology from a vocational as opposed to an academic perspective although there would be much in common.

      That’s my fairly ill considered view at the moment. Any other views would be much appreciated.. .

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