Skills shortages and industry renewal: rethinking work and occupational knowledge when recognising prior learning

Sue Shore, Victoria Whitington, Carol Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedings

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Abstract

Credit transfer and recognition of prior learning (RPL) are related policy strategies that aim to improve pathways to learning and employment. This paper describes a higher education RPL initiative to build rich understandings of ‘work’ and so also the occupational knowledge accumulated by practitioners, sometimes over many decades. Located in the early childhood education (ECE) field, the study was prompted by recent policy changes to meet quality assurance requirements of early childhood provision. The initiative used a multidisciplinary approach to occupational knowledge drawing on feminist sociology, professional and work-related learning and early childhood theories of provision. A higher education ‘foundation course’ was used to identify and accredit prior learning. Data were collected from students undertaking the course. In brief findings indicate participants had accumulated extensive occupational knowledge but were often unable to articulate this experience in relation to formal learning outcomes or broader notions of ECE occupational knowledge and they experienced substantial challenges to their occupational identities as they shifted between being competent professionals and university learners. The findings have implications for contemporary workforces as occupational knowledge requirements are continuously upgraded and older workers are encouraged to remain in the workforce.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Value and Voice of VET Research
Subtitle of host publicationfor individuals, industry, the community and the nation
PublisherAustralian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA)
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-9805275-3-7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventAustralian Vocational Education and Training Research Association Annual Conference (AVETRA 2012 15th) - Canberra, Australia, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 12 Apr 201213 Apr 2012
Conference number: 2012 (15th)

Conference

ConferenceAustralian Vocational Education and Training Research Association Annual Conference (AVETRA 2012 15th)
Abbreviated titleAVETRA
CountryAustralia
CityCanberra
Period12/04/1213/04/12

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