02 SES 16 A, Teachers' Assessment, Evaluation and Validation
Vocational education and training (VET) and career and technical education (CTE) play an important role and offer inclusive opportunities for diverse students. These opportunities can have life-changing benefits lifting people up and out of poverty into life-sustaining skilled jobs. However, globally and historically, VET and CTE programs have been considered unequal compared to academic programs. To bring about change, improving the societal views on the value of VET programs has been an educational policy goal in the European Union as well as the United States for some time. In the U.S., the term vocational education was changed to career and technical education (CTE) to represent a more concise, academically rigorous, pathway from school to career (U.S. Department of Education, 2017). In Finland, applying the Parity of Esteem as well as other initiatives that promote and improve VET has also been endeavored in vocational teacher education (Lasonen, 2010a; 2010b).
To compare the VET and CTE teacher pathway certifications in Finland and the U.S., it is necessary to review Finland's certification process to a selected U.S. state, such as Florida. In the U.S., the federal government operates the U.S. Department of Education, which establishes policy and administers federal assistance to education as well as collects data. Additionally, each of the 50 U.S. States has its own Department of Education (DOE). The state departments of education govern public education, funding, and teacher certification according to their respective state laws.
Given these points, VET/CTE systems have seen positive changes in student enrollments in recent years. In the U.S., CTE programs have increased enrollments in secondary schools. More specifically, in Florida, there has been a 20% increase in student enrollments in career-themed courses and CTE programs (Florida Department of Education, 2017). Unfortunately, undergraduate CTE teacher preparation program availability have steadily declined. In 1990, Florida CTE teacher preparation programs totaled 27. In 2017, there were only four active undergraduate CTE teacher preparation programs (Martino, 2017).
What has caused the decline in available programs, especially in light of the increased CTE student enrollment? In order to understand this phenomenon on a deeper level, reviewing the remaining programs and their reasons for sustainability was necessary. Martino’s (2017) study sought to discover sustainability factors from past and present CTE teacher preparation program faculty and administrators. Findings included the development of a CTE Teacher Preparation Sustainability Framework that is theoretically grounded in the data.
Martino’s (2017) study used a qualitative constructivist Grounded Theory methodology with a constant comparative approach (Charmaz, 2006). Past and present CTE teacher preparation program faculty and administrators were interviewed using a semi-structured protocol. The open-ended interview questions were modified from Mancini and Marek’s (2004) quantitative Program Sustainability Index (PSI) instrument. Additional data collected included member checking, peer debriefing, and memo-taking notes. Comparisons to the Finnish VET teacher education was based on the document analyses. After the data was analyzed until saturation, themes emerged that answered the two research questions: 1. How do past and present undergraduate CTE teacher preparation educators and administrators describe their program experience and program sustainability? 2. What perceived conditions do past and present undergraduate CTE /VET teacher preparation educators and administrators believe are essential for program sustainability?
Internal domain revealed emerging themes that answered Research Question 1. The themes aligned with an internal domain or areas of concern that could be addressed by the program coordinators or administrators. The internal domain categories include statewide exposure, intracampus alliance, innovative changes, and program ownership. Statewide exposure is meant to mean informal and formal recruitment efforts throughout the state and country. Intracampus alliance represents the connections that are necessary within a university to gain support for the CTE/VET teacher preparation programs. Innovative changes are necessary to overcome issues that arise. Program ownership explains the emotional attachment and personal responsibility administrators need in order to be an agent of change. External domain revealed emerging themes that answered Research Question 2. The themes aligned with an external domain or areas of concern that could be addressed by outside influencers or stakeholders. The external domain categories include program value, certification alignment, and employment policies. These themes are the conditions essential for sustainability. Programs value is important to garner support from the community. Certification alignment is important for the worth of the degree. Employment policies are important to entice potential CTE/VET teachers into the programs. The internal and external domains were combined to create the VET/CTE teacher preparation program sustainability framework. Both domains are equal and necessary components for sustainability. The framework can be used to assist any program when challenged with closure or when creating new teacher preparation program across continents. As to the mutual learning of two different CTE/VET teacher education systems, some lessons learned from both countries are summarized as implications.
Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. Florida Department of Education. (2017). Retrieved from www.fldoe.org/ Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine. Lasonen, J. (2010a). The status of vocational education and training. In P. Peterson, E. Baker, & B. McGaw (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education (pp. 429-440). Volume 8. Oxford: Elsevier. Lasonen, J. (2010b). Sustainable curriculum in TVET. Journal of Technical Education and Training, 2(1), 139-165. Lynch, R. L. (1990). A national database on vocational teacher education. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov Mancini, J. A., & Marek, L. I. (2004). Sustaining community-based programs for families: Conceptualization and measurement. Family Relations, 53(4), 339-347. Martino, L. M. (2017). The sustainability of career and technical teacher preparation programs in Florida (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (No. 10266120). U.S. Department of Education. (2017). Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/policy/sectech/leg/perkins/
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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