What’s the point?
Building our education system builds business and builds community. Effective educational workplaces expand when open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. Effective education workers grow when open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. Effective educational leaders are influential when open to learn and open to change. They want to do better.
What’s really going on?
The Australian Vocational Education sector has undergone change. It has evolved. Trainers need qualification in Education and Assessment. These qualifications are made regularly redundant, forcing VET Trainers to become VET learners, again. Qualifications are update, which means assessment and training material needs to be modified. VET Sector professionals need to stay up to date but I think there is a better way to empower VET professionals and therefore the sector.
According to ASAQ, there are around 5000 RTO’s (Registered Training Organisations) in NSW. These RTO’s form part of the national Vocational Education and Training Sector. The Vet Sector is crucial to the Australian economy; both for the development of the national workforce and as a major export industry. (from https://www.asqa.gov.au/about/australias-vet-sector)
Australian Education is an export product that is attracting a huge income. In 2017, International education is Australia’s third-largest export earner, contributing many more than 130,000 jobs here in Australia…76% of our international students chose Australia as their first preference destination, compared to 71% in 2014 or 70% in 2012. (http://monitor.icef.com/2017/10/australian-education-exports-approaching-aus29-billion/)
Australian education is becoming more attractive for students wanting to come to this country to learn but is also becoming an influence in countries in Asia as Australian Educational Organisations set up shop in those countries.
What do I think about that?
I am proud to be a part of the Australian Education system. I am a passionate teacher having taught Primary School students, High School students, Vocational Educational students and University students. I think that what we do is great but there is room for improvement. Considering the importance that education plays on our national economy, it is time to review, research and implement change. Teaching workplaces need to be open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. Teachers need to be open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. Teaching and learning leaders need to be open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. We can do better.
What we need to do?
Be open to learn and be open to change. Simple.
Is it just me or is there a lot of negativity surrounding Vocational Education? There seems to be a “blame game” blowing around in media. There is a lot noise. The system is imperfect, but it is not bad. Attention needs to move away from those ‘rouge RTO’s’ or “money sucking” public training organisations who have reportedly pulled the industry into disrepute. It is not ASQA that has caused irreparable damage. Blame does not rest upon the regulator. Nationally, we should celebrate what the industry is doing and how far is have evolved.
Vocational Education is navigating change. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to drive the industry through change - but there is support. Change can be challenging. As your business manages the change, look for support. Create local networks and be open to supporting other businesses with your knowledge and expertise. Learn from each other.
‘ASQA Bashing’ is not an effective strategy to manage change. RTO accountability is. I would love to see and hear more about responsible and accountable RTO’s. There are many. Australian media should recognise both TAFE and non-TAFE RTO’s as respectable – not just lop them into the unprofessional/rogue group. Large businesses do not need to be threatened by small businesses, and vice versa.
My belief aligns with ASQA. I believe that trainers and assessors must know their role – they must know the Standards, the regulations, the systems and they must be responsible and accountable. VET practitioners face tricky trials related to the scope and practice of their position and their responsibility within this industry.
Standard 1 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015, state that the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) has the responsibility to implement a comprehensive training and assessment strategy, engage with industry, support learner, conduct effective assessment, employ skilled trainers and assessors, provide supervision of trainers where needed and employ experts to teach trainers and assessors (ASQA, 2014. p17). This is a big job. VET trainers are dual professionals. To further complicate their role, VET trainers must maintain current industry skills, knowledge and expertise for both professions, i.e. industry and VET (ASQA, 2015).
Clause 1.16 states that The RTO ensures that all trainers and assessors undertake professional development in the fields of the knowledge and practice of vocational training, learning and assessment including competency-based training and assessment. (Check it out https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/chapter-4/clauses-1.13-1.16 )
ASQA has noted that Clauses 1.13 to 1.16 has been an area of consistently high level non-compliance. Not only do Trainers and Assessors need to maintain currency of skills and knowledge in their industry area, but they need to maintain currency of skills and knowledge in vocational education and training. VET Trainer and Assessors need to be supported in their role as VET professionals.
What does this mean for the Trainer and Assessor?
Trainers and Assessors must understand the VET system and have current knowledge and skills in vocational education and training. Trainers and assessors must understand their role within this complex system. This includes:
I remember the day I found out I was to become a mum! The birds were singing sweetly in the trees, the sun shining down … What the #$%^&@ !!!
No … it wasn’t like that. I had an inclining so I got my friend to take some blood (I was a nurse and we could manipulate the system – it was a long time ago). I wasn’t surprised when I got the positive result. I rang my husband and shared the exciting news – he was a little dumb-founded asking “What do I do now?” I laughed.
I had a friend who did not do the parenting classes or read any books. Like a lot of my friends, I am completely different to them. I read everything. I went to all the classes. I stopped drinking alcohol and stopped smoking cigarettes. I ate healthy foods – and exercised. I was going to be prepared. I like being prepared. I like being in charge.
As you can imagine, everything has gone to plan. I could take care of everything and everyone – and I always held it together!! I balanced life, career, husband, children, pets, family and friends…
SO when did you pick up that my writing had changed from non-fiction to fiction?? I don’t remember the birds singing sweetly!
To me ‘Mother’s Day’ is about family and family can be fractured. Family’s have skeletons. We don’t have it all together. As much as children grow and change, so do family’s. I view ‘Mother’s Day’ as a day to remember and celebrate – we have made it this far, so far! We need to remember our journey and the journey of our family. It is a time to show gratitude and feel blessed. It is also a time to reflect from where we have come from and to plan or philosophise where we can go.
But families are not perfect, and neither are mothers. We don’t all have that innate knowing of what to do next. We are not always overflowing with love and compassion. We are human, and that is OK. We make mistakes. We make poor choices and we can be selfish. We grow. We learn. We get tired, drained and sick. Motherhood is like working hard to climb to the summit of a mountain. You get there and realise there is another summit to climb.
Motherhood is not about competing with anyone. Motherhood made me push myself to do better, be better.
Motherhood is a ride. Motherhood has taught me so much about me. It has made me strong and resilient. It has made me soft and gentle. I have laughed and I have cried.
The main lesson I want to share of motherhood for me is about sharing my imperfectness and wisdom – my wisdom fraught with pain. My mission is to contribute to helping people be the best version of themselves. Through coaching love and inspiring human example, my vision is to contribute to the human race – not compete.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL OF THOSE IMPERFECT MOTHERS
Change is afoot and there is no way you can stop it. I know. I tried.
My family is growing. My young are fleeing the nest. I thought it may be easier, happier and more enjoyable than the process has been. As a friend of mine said “They go, and then they come back!” The circle of life.
As I have been navigating this this new-found freedom of parenting adult children, my youngest is preparing to spread her wings. I was being chauffeured by her yesterday. As we were fleeing one appointment and targeting another, her phone rang. That is a lie – as anyone with teenagers knows the phone never rings – it beeps, dings and vibrates – it does not ring. This is modernisation and progress – they don’t talk, they text... or snapchat.
So, our plans were diverted as we needed to make an emergency exit to pick up her friend – they had decided to “do lunch” – sushi in fact. I wasn’t invited.
Life is exciting for the teenagers in my life. They are learning new things and are enjoying the responsibility of growing up. They have jobs, money (in their eyes they have heaps of money) and new found freedom. They are enjoying people and places, work and study.
The conversation changed to a celebration that was being planned for a person who was leaving the workplace. There was going to be cake and celebration. There was a tone of regret as a friendship had developed between my child’s friend and the person who was leaving. When they first met, they didn’t like each other but over time they had become friends.
That doesn’t change as we get older. People are people. Some can function well in new situations or under pressure – others don’t. Some people are masters at creating instant connection – they are excellent salespeople, others aren’t. Some employees shine during the interview but then drop their bundle when the work starts. Some people terrorise themselves with negativity and fear the future - try not to be one of those.
I think it is okay to be who you are. The trick is to know it, own it and love it. Embrace the zaniest version of the real you and then start to plan.
Knowing that change is happening in all our lives we need to give power to ourselves by preparing for it. Power change by being open to it. We are all hear to evolve. We cannot control that.
Know that you are not perfect and that is how it is meant to be. Remember how life was as a teenager – when you were brave, passionate, tried new things and planned new adventures. (If life wasn’t that great for you as a teenager – then make up a better one – use your imagination!). Live with that spirit and energy.
The leadership lesson I gained this weekend from the backseat of a teenager’s car was to know that life changes. Friendships change. Relationships evolve. AND sometimes the most beautiful opportunities appear after the storm has passed by.
Innovation is improving what we do and how we do it.
Innovation comes from thinking outside the box, making mistakes, challenging ideas and from incorporating creativity and being different.
Innovation is a quality improvement strategy (OECD 2014) that measures and encourages development.
In the VET (Vocational Education and Training) Sector, innovation is imperative. It is a process that identifies needs, encourages change, implements assessment of change and evaluates the improvements thus far to plan for further trials of changes and innovation. The sector needs to be flexible enough to embrace innovation, and wise enough to ascertain the multiple benefits gained from this process. The VET Sector collectively needs to establish a unified and flexible vision for the future of all providers committed to adult learning. The whole VET Sector needs to develop an innovative platform that encourages consultation, sharing and change.
Innovation in industry becomes training opportunities.
Innovatively, leaders can spark the interest of staff to develop relevant programs that cater for the learning needs of its workers. Partnerships and collaboration are important. To be leaders in education and innovation, organisations must collaborate. Professionals must not be fearful of sharing ideas, concepts and resources wisely.
Hence, I believe industry and learning innovators float between roles and responsibilities and are open to trying new things and listening to new ideas. A strong leader is an innovator who takes time to connect and listen to staff, to competition and users.
It is essential that an educator is innovative. He or she needs to be open to change and improvement.
If you are interested in more resources check out:
Innovation Unit (ND) 10 ideas for the 21st century education - http://www.innovationunit.org/sites/default/files/10%20Ideas%20for%2021st%20Century%20Education.pdf (PDF file)
OECD (2014) Measuring innovation in education: Australia Country Note - http://www.oecd.org/australia/Measuring-Innovation-in-Education-Australia.pdf (PDF file)
Robinson, L (2009) A summary of diffusion of innovations - http://www.enablingchange.com.au/Summary_Diffusion_Theory.pdf
CHANGE AGENT, MORAL PURPOSE
A ‘GOOD’ teacher is a change agent with a moral purpose.
Although morals can be collective such as community or societal based, morals begin from the individual’s value system. It is these individual values or morals develop into ethics which are standards governing behaviour of the group. Hence a teacher’s moral purpose is imperative, as it will influence students’ perspectives. You may remember that one “special” teacher who impacted your life; they changed your life.
As change agents, teachers impact the lives of people who live in our community. Fullan (2007) describes a change agent as one who posses the four essential qualities of personal vision, inquiry, personal mastery and collaboration. These qualities work together to ensure the change agent lives life in a way that embraces continual learning. Change Agents plan, question, practice and talk about making the world better. They attempt to improve what they do and how they do it through transformation and development. Change and innovation is multidimensional (Fullan M. , Moral Purpose and Change Agentry, 1993) so therefore change agents are those who grasp change from a multidimensional perspective and can share their curiosity.
Change does not happen in isolation. It is dependent factors like the individual or group, skills and the culture in which they exist (Couros, 2013). A change agent poses a moral purpose. Fullan talks about the “moral ecology of the organisation” (p9, 1993) that includes a commitment to inquiry, knowledge, competence, caring and social justice that extends from the classroom and the curriculum. Hence a change agent needs the support of a change community to affect effective change in the student. A teacher must have a moral purpose in order to direct their vision, inquiry, mastery and collaboration and be a change agent.
The benefit of employing multidimensional change agents in a supportive change community is that the individual learner is enriched. Skilled change agents create more leaders, not followers; community members, who inquire, learn, share knowledge and skills, and develop their own vision and direction for the future. (Couros, 2013)
IF you are interested in more I would recommend these:Bass, C. (2012, feb 25). You tube. Retrieved Nov 15, 2015, from TEDxBerkely: The new rules of innovation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKV3rhzvaC8
Couros, G. (2013, January 23). The Principal of Change. Retrieved November 8, 2015, from Five Chararcteristics of a Change Agent: http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/3615
Einstein, A. (n.d.). Good Reads. Retrieved November 22, 2015, from Quotes: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1799-the-world-as-we-have-created-it-is-a-process
Fullan, M. (1993). Moral Purpose and Change Agentry. In M. Fullan, & M. Fullan (Ed.), Change Forces; probing the depths of educational reform (pp. 8-18). London, England: Falmer Press.
Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change. In m. Fullan, The new meaning of educational change, 4th edn (pp. 30-46). Teachers College Press.
Fullan, M. (2015, March 25). Topic Series 11 - Push & Pull: The Role of Technology . Retrieved November 7, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEO9lmmamy8
Hargreaves, P. A. (2013, March 27). Improvement, Innovation and Inclusion; the future of educational change in Ontario and elsewhere . Retrieved Nov 7, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JlOXeCANRc
Kawasaki, G. (2014, feb 22). The Art of Innovation. Retrieved Nov 7, 2015, from TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtjatz9r-Vc
Knight, B. (2012, Feb 20). Evolution of apprenticeships and traineeships in Australia: an unfinished history. (National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) ) Retrieved November 8, 2015, from NCVER: http://www.ncver.edu.au/publications/2444.html
Laufeberg, D. (2010, November). How to Learn? From Mistakes. Retrieved November 8, 2015, from http://www.ted.com/talks/diana_laufenberg_3_ways_to_teach
Laufenberg, D. (2010, Nov). How to learn?From mistakes. Retrieved Nov 7, 2015, from http://www.ted.com/talks/diana_laufenberg_3_ways_to_teach
Obama, B. (n.d.). good reads. Retrieved November 22, 2015, from goodreads: ttps://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/6356.Barack_Obama
OECD. (2014). OECD Australia. (OECD, Producer) Retrieved November 7, 2015, from Measuring Innnovation in Education Australia: www.oecd.org/australia/Measuring-Innovation-in-Education-Australia.pdf
Robinson, L. (2009). Enabling Change. Retrieved November 13, 2015, from A summary of Diffusion of Innovations: http://www.enablingchange.com.au/Summary_Diffusion_Theory.pdf
Sahlberg, P. (2014, April 29). Pasi Sahlberg - Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn from change in Finland. Retrieved Nov 15, 2015, from You Tube TED TALK : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__fPKinzHCg