02 SES 09 C, Co-Makership and School-Industry Partnerships
Donnelly (2009) has promoted the concept of vocationalism which he sees as “a broader educational position, in which it is argued that provision orientated towards the future occupation of the student can yet form the basis, or at least part of, general education in a broad, liberal sense” (p. 229). Hence schools need to offer a different vision of how to present work place knowledge often based on science and related subjects for those students progressing to vocational careers from its traditional narrow foci on grounding for advanced study (Munro & Elsom, 2000).
This study explores how teachers and industry personnel share content and pedagogical knowledge; develop curriculum and assessment procedures and teaching resources including authentic learning environments; and the process of structuring and managing the above learning opportunities through embedded or stand alone curricula. Ghost (2002) argues that, to ensure the relevance of learning in school education, educators need to understand how workplace skills are continually changing. At the same time, industry needs to understand the school environment and how to contribute to skill formation in schools.
This paper builds on previous work on school-industry partnerships (Watters, Hay, Pillay, Dempster, 2012) to explore the joint efforts of industry personnel and educators to formulate innovative strategies for curriculum development and delivery, and innovative teaching and learning practices through industry-school clusters.
We theorise knowledge transfer associated with industry-school partnerships as teaching and learning networks to identify the mechanisms through which partnerships mediate quality student learning outcomes. In particular we seek to answer the question: In what ways do partnerships impact on factors affecting student learning outcomes such as curriculum, pedagogical practices, school leadership, teacher quality, and authentic learning with particular reference to vocational education pathways?
We draw on several bodies of literature including the work of Donnelley (2009) who has promoted the concept of vocationalism which he sees as “a broader educational position, in which it is argued that provision orientated towards the future occupation of the student can yet form the basis, or at least part of, general education in a broad, liberal sense” (p. 229). Furthermore, we draw on Billett's dimensions of workplace learning which have implications for knowledge transfer (particularly the challenges associated with it) across different institutional settings (e.g., schools and workplaces). There is also material which deals with skill acquisition between workplaces and educational institutions which focuses on the institutional dynamics (affordances and constraints) that would enable knowledge transfer to greater or lesser degrees. For instance, Tuoumi-Gröhn & Engeström (2003) provide theoretical perspectives and practical possibilities to analyse the learning opportunities emerging in the transitional zones between educational institutions and workplaces. In conceptualising what knowledge is important and how it can be framed, we refer to the work of Blackler (1995) whose approach based in organisational and management literature sees learning as a process of knowledge management. Finally, pedagogical approaches are explored through experience-based, practical problem-solving approaches to learning drawing on the work of Dewey and successors.
Billett, S. (2004). Workplace participatory practices: Conceptualising workplaces as learning environments. Journal of Workplace Learning, 16(5/6), 312-324. Blackler, F. (1995). Knowledge, knowledge work and organizations: An overview and interpretation. Organization Studies, 16(6), 1021–1046. Capasso, A., Dagnino, G. B., & Lanza, A. (eds.) (2005). Strategic capabilities and knowledge transfer within and between organizations. Cheltingham, UK: Edward Elgar. Donnelly, J. (2009). Vocationalism and school science education. Studies in Science Education, 45(2), 225-254. doi: 10.1080/03057260903142301 Ghost, S. (2002). VET in schools: The needs of industry. Unicorn: Journal of the Australian College of Educators, 28(3), 61-64. Goodson, I. F. (2008). Schooling, curriculum, narrative and the social future. In C. Sugrue (Ed.), The Future of educational change: International perspectives. Oxford, UK: Routledge. Munro, M., & Elsom, D. (2000). Choosing science at 16: The influences of science teachers and careers advisors on students’ decisions about science subjects and science and technology careers. Cambridge: Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC). Tuomi-Gröhn, T, & Engeström, Y. (2003). Between school and work: New perspectives on transfer and boundary crossing.(pp. 123-135). Pergamon.
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