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Industry placement for university academics - putting theory into practice? an Australian perspective

Bergami, Roberto and Schuller, Annamarie (2008) Industry placement for university academics - putting theory into practice? an Australian perspective. In: Proceedings of the Sixth Worldwide Forum on Education and Culture. Worldwide Forum on Education and Culture, Virginia Beach, VA. ISBN 9781424302918

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Abstract

In the past decade, universities have seen their very essence challenged, by both neo-liberal governments with a "corporate agenda", regarding education as business and manage it as such, and also by students seemingly more interested in practical applications and less so on theories. The "professionalization" of educational courses has also led to changed approaches to teaching and learning in the higher education (university) sector. Some universities have embraced the idea that aspects of vocational education can be incorporated into higher education programs. In Australia the learning pathways negotiated from the Vocational Education and Training (VET4) sector to provide credits towards a university qualification, exemplify the acceptance of vocational studies towards the completion of an undergraduate degree. In the VET sector, competency based learning and assessment and practical applications are used for classroom learning. In the context of vocational teaching, industry placements for VET teachers has been encouraged to broaden teaching skills, develop networks, and connect the classroom learning activities to industrial processes. An industry placement requires a teacher to be seconded to a relevant industry host organisation for a pre-determined period of time to undertake specific tasks generally agreed to beforehand. Research on the perceptions of the value of industry placement for VET teachers, was conducted in Australia by the authors during 2007. That study has now been extended by also surveying business studies teachers at an Australian university. This paper reports on the results of the research study with the university teachers, and compares this with the results of the VET teachers' study. The paper concludes that there are a number of similarities between the two groups, but the implementation of teacher industry placement programs will probably require a very different approach in the higher education sector to the one used in the VET sector. Although more in-depth research is required, this study provides some preliminary data that may be a catalyst for further investigation, and may prove useful in the early stages of policies, planning and development, to facilitate the acquisition of practical skills for university teachers in the future.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information:

Rome, Italy 4-5 December 2008

Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID15703, Australian Universities, education, VET, teacher industry placement
Subjects: SEO Classification > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
FOR Classification > 1605 Policy and Administration
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives (ICEPA)
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2013 06:34
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2014 04:28
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/3512
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