Industry Placement Experiences in Vocational Education: Voices from Australia

By Annamarie Schuller and Roberto Bergami.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One of the premises of vocational education (VET) is a practically-based curriculum approach that aims to teach students contemporary work practices so that they are better prepared to enter the workforce. It stands to reason that if students need to be educated about contemporary work processes, then the teacher also needs to have an understanding of such processes for teaching and learning practice. Teacher currency, therefore, becomes an issue of high importance, particularly as economic and social globalisation contribute to the continuing transformation of workplaces. One way to achieve such currency may be through voluntary teacher industry placements, where the teacher is seconded to industry for a period of time.
Based on data gathered through semi-structured interviews, the paper discusses the experiences of VET business teachers in Australia who have undertaken an industry placement and considers issues such as: negotiating self through changing work, the work of identity formation, and organisational learning. The paper concludes that changing teaching and learning practises post an industry placement problem and are difficult to achieve due to various environmental factors including organisational barriers and regulatory constraints.

Keywords: VET Teacher Currency, Communities of Practice, Capacity Building, Professional Development, Knowledge Worker, Industry Placement, Workplace Learning

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp.29-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.698MB).

Annamarie Schuller

Teacher, Centre for Advanced Business Studies, Department of Business and Management, Victoria University, Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Annamarie has been teaching business subjects in the VET sector since 1994. Her main areas of teaching specialisation include: law, management, marketing, HR management, and OH & S. She has a Bachelor of Education from Melbourne University and is currently pursuing a Master of Education by Research at Monash University. Annamarie’s prior industry experience spans approximately 17 years within the transport, education, pharmaceutical, and food industries. She held a number of roles including customer service, marketing, and management roles. Annamarie’s main area of academic research interest centers around teaching and learning practices, communities of practice, and teacher placement in industry. Annamarie is an Associate Researcher of the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Roberto Bergami

Senior Lecturer (Practice of International Trade) and Associate Researcher, School of International Business, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Roberto has over twenty years of experience in the manufacturing industry, primarily within the pharmaceutical sector. He held a number of roles with an international focus in finance, sales, marketing, customer service and logistics. Roberto’s teaching spans over twenty years with experience in Higher Education, TAFE and private education providers. Currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of International Business at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, and an Associate Researcher in the Centre for Strategic and Economic Studies, Roberto holds a Master in Education, a Master of Business by Research (Applied Economics) and a Ph.D. Roberto is a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. Roberto has maintained his involvement with industry through a number of peak associations where he enjoys various grades of senior level membership. In 2002 Roberto received the State of Victoria Quarantine Award for his efforts in educating students in quarantine matters. Roberto’s main areas of research interests in international trade focus on government regulations; delivery terms (Incoterms); international payment terms; and market entry barriers. Other research interests include professional development of academics/teachers, the development of communities of practice, online teaching and online communities, migration from Emilia-Romagna (Italy) to Australia and teenage/youth dialect.

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