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An exploration of an Australian teacher educator working with a group of vocational education professionals from Timor Leste to develop their knowledge and practice in vocational education

Pitard, Jayne (2016) An exploration of an Australian teacher educator working with a group of vocational education professionals from Timor Leste to develop their knowledge and practice in vocational education. PhD thesis, Victoria University.

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Abstract

This study researches the coming together of difference in an educational setting between an Australian teacher and students from Timor Leste (TL). In 2012/13, on behalf of my university, I delivered a Graduate Certificate in Vocational Education and Training to a group of twelve Technical and Vocational Education and Training professionals from TL. TL is classified by the United Nations as a least developed nation. It has a history of invasion and turmoil. I travelled to TL initially to meet the students and gain an understanding of their vocational education system. The twelve students then travelled to Melbourne for three months to study on campus, and I returned to TL nine months later for their final assessment. The interaction between these students and me as their teacher is the subject of my PhD research, which seeks to understand the impact of cultural difference on the teacher-student relationship. I conducted a two part study, firstly from the perspective of myself as an Australian teacher (autoethnography) and secondly from the perspective of the students from a least developed nation (case study). My autoethnography highlights fifteen existential crises in my cultural adaptation using a six step framework which I have labelled a structured vignette analysis. The result is a rich, unfolding journey of a teacher enlightened by her encounters with a culture different from her own. The case study of the students was conducted through a focus group followed by four individual interviews. The students’ previous experience of a collectivist culture and a teacher centred pedagogy produced shock, confusion and anxiety when confronted with a culture different from their own. Their journey towards adapting to an individualist culture and student centred pedagogy produced data from which all teachers of international students could benefit.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Uncontrolled Keywords: vocational education; teacher; students; international students; autoethnography; vignettes; cultural adaptation; Timor Leste; Australia
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Education
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2019 23:55
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2019 23:55
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/38630
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