02 SES 03 C, Competence and Professional Development
The last curriculum reform in Norway, theKnowledge Promotion, introduced more broad and general competence objectives in VET. Local schools and training establishments with their managers, teachers and trainers are expected to be professionals and responsible for interpreting the curriculums and transform to local plans, setting focus on content, tasks and working methods. The reform also terminated the use of standardized and national tests at the end of the school-based part of VET. Studies of teachers’ practices (Dahlback et al, 2012, Karstensen et al, 2009) display different educational and assessment models, varying from a taste of different trades to domain specific training and testing. Evaluations from OECD (Kuczera et al, 2008, Nusche et al, 2011) underline the strengths and weaknesses of the local responsibility. OECD asks for more consensual guidelines and assessment criteria along with a common understanding of what is expected and sufficient student performance.
The distributed responsibility requires common frames for discussions and interpretations. Such frames are often developed through local networks based on a tripartite tradition in VET. For new trades as service and health care, such networks are rare and the frame is more academic. Local adjustment is not a simple question of implementing national defined models and methods; it is also a question of finding and making new tracks together in communities of practice. Schools as learning organizations need their own models of understanding (Senge, 2000). Wider networks with stakeholders in VET may encourage new practices and reflections and support trade specific knowledge creation (Veugelers & O’Hair, 2005). The local variations can be seen as different versions of localism according to Hodgson & Spours (2012).
Students’ professional development can be understood as a process of becoming(Colley et al., 2003) and must be seen in a perspective of "expansive apprenticeship" (Fuller & Unwin, 2003) and lifelong learning (Guile, 2010). Schools and workplaces may engage in collaborative interaction in ways that foster mutual learning and remove institutional barriers to individual pathways from both education and work (Helms Jørgensen, 2009). This includes how feedback and career guidance become crucial parts of student-teacher communication. For teachers it is important to understand how vocational competences can be developed and vocational identities be formed (Heinz, 2009; Lahn, 2010). There seem to be different cultures for assessment across schools and companies (Tanggaard, 2004) and across trades (Friche, 2010). Both Tanggaard and Friche recommend assessment delinked from detailed and standardized schemes in favor of practical work tasks and work cultures. The relationship between identity, tradition and professional culture must be integrated in the training and assessment.
The research question in the present project is how and why the various actors interpret the curriculum and choose specific content and training methods: To what extent is the educational design characterized by collective processes? Are there differences between trades and between schools? How about the various stakeholders' own professional orientation and identity? And which assessment criteria are emphasized by teachers and schools? How do schools handle the tension between trade specific training and educating citizens?
Buland, T. et al (2012); Vurdering i skolen. Intensjoner og forståelser. Delrapport 1 fra FIVIS. Trondheim: NTNU & SINTEF Dahlback et al (2011): Yrkesdidaktisk kunnskapsutvikling og implementering av nye læreplaner. Kjeller: Høgskolen i Akershus, RU 1/2011. Friche, N (2010). Erhvervskolers evalueringspraksis. PhD avhandling. Aalborg Universitet, Institut for Uddannelse, Læring og Filosofi Fuller, A. & L. Unwin (2003) Learning as Apprentices in the Contemporary UK Workplace: creating and managing expansive and restrictive participation Journal of Education and Work, 16, 4, 407-426. Guile, D. (2010) The learning challenge of the knowledge economy. London: Sense publishers. Hodgson, A. & Spours, K.(2012) Three versions of ‘localism’: implications for upper secondary education and lifelong learning in the UK, Journal of Education Policy, Volume 27, Issue 2 Karstensen m fl (2008). «Vis hva du kan». Evaluering av tverrfaglig praktisk eksamen i Oslo. Oslo/Kjeller: Høgskolen i Oslo, Høgskolen i Akershus Kuczera, M., Brunello, G., Field, S. & Hoffman, N. (2008); Learning for Jobs. OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training Norway, OECD. Lahn, L.C. (2010) Professional learning as epistemic trajectories. In S. Ludvigsen and R. Säljö (eds.), Learning across sites. New tools, infrastructures and practices. Oxford: Pergamon. Lahn, L.C. & Nore, H. (2012) Tema 2: Innhold og vurdering. In H.Høst (ed). Kunnskapsgrunnlag og faglige perspektiver for en studie av kvalitet i fag- og yrkesopplæringen. Rapport 1 Forskning på kvalitet i fag- og yrkesopplæringen. Oslo: NIFU, FAFO & HIOA Nusche, D., Earl, L., Maxwell, W & Shewbridge, C. (2011); OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education NORWAY, OECD Senge, P.M. (2000). Schools that learn. London. Nicholas Brealey Tanggaard, L (2004); Evaluering som regulering af læring. I Tidsskrift for Arbejdsliv, 6 nr 4, s 57-75 Veugelers, W., & O'Hair, M. J. (2005). Network learning for educational change. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
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