Investigating Quality Teaching in the Victorian VET Sector

Project Director

Ruth Schubert
T: +61 3 9035 6042
E: ruth.schubert@unimelb.edu.au

Project Details

The Victorian Department of Education and Training commissioned the LH Martin Institute to lead original research into developing a capability framework addressing the question of quality teaching in Victoria.  The LH Martin brought together a team of experienced researchers from the LH Martin Institute and the Centre for Vocational and Educational Policy within the Melbourne

Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. The project team has drawn on the expertise of leading VET experts and key industry stakeholders with the establishment of a Subject Matter Expert Panel (SMEP) and a VET Industry Steering Group (VISG).

This research project has developed and validated a capability framework for VET teachers with an emphasis on quality teaching as the best means of ensuring effective student learning. The focus of the research has been on the core question of what is quality teaching and how could this be best defined along a developmental continuum of proficiency. Using a combination of desktop research, focus groups, interviews and a large scale survey an evidence based approach has been used to develop and validate the framework. The process of developing and validating the framework was designed to account for implementation issues and to maximise sector engagement.

The Project Team conducted consultation with key VET industry bodies and with the VET Industry Steering Group to ensure that the research project has focussed on the key questions relevant to the industry. The project team conducted focus group meetings covering TAFE, Private Providers, and Learn Local, in metropolitan and regional locations, and conducted intensive workshops with the subject matter expert panel to draft and refine the capability framework.

The focus of the research project and the project team has been clearly and squarely on the quality of VET teaching, this question has resonated with all the audiences and organisations involved in the research. The topic is of considerable importance and concern in Victoria, and nationally, as discussions with those involved in the VET industry across Australia were equally interested in the topic and the findings of the research. In short, the time was very right for this research.  The question of quality teaching and the responsibility of teachers to provide quality teaching services to students was almost universally of major concern for the audiences. A general perception from the research team was that the VET teachers want to provide quality, and want to be seen to provide quality meaning the community concern about quality provision in VET was of personal and professional significance.

The key industry group for the research was established soon after the commencement of the project. The VET Industry Steering Group (VISG) was chaired by Professor Leo Goedegebuure, and included senior representatives from across the sector.

  • Leo Goedegebuure, Director, LH Martin Institute (Chair)
  • Shane Hellwege, Group Manager-Industry People & Capability, Dairy Australia
  • John Sheen, Education Manager, Wyndham Community and Education Centre Inc.
  • Denise Stevens, CEO, VET Development Centre (replaced by Martin Powell at the final meeting)
  • Win Scott, CEO, Sunraysia Institute of TAFE
  • John Maddock, Senior Fellow, LH Martin Institute; Workforce Development & Global Education Services
  • Mary Faraone, CEO, Holmesglen Institute
  • Keri Bailey, Manager Compliance & Corporate Improvement, Holmesglen Institute
  • John King, Executive Director, Tertiary Education Policy and Strategic Projects Division Higher Education and Skills Group (proxy being Liz Nixon at two meetings)
  • Andrew Williamson, Executive Director, Victorian TAFE Association
  • Neil Miller, National Policy & International Education Manager, ACPET (replaced by Rocco Guarnaccia for the final meeting)
  • Carl Melkonian, VET Student Representative, RMIT University
  • Greg Barclay, Vice President for TAFE and adult provision, AEU
  • Ruth Schubert, Associate Director, LH Martin Institute
  • Peter Bentley, Research Fellow, LH Martin Institute (Executive Officer for VISG).

An equally influential group in the research was the Subject Matter Expert Panel (SMEP); this group has an in-depth understanding of the sector, the work of teaching, and the process of developing expertise in teachers. The SMEP was able to work intensively on drafting the framework, and they utilised their considerable expertise by cross referencing the advice from focus groups, the VISG, expert teachers, and previous national and international frameworks. The value of their work and expertise is evidenced by the high level of endorsement in the final survey.

Subject Matter Expert Panel Members

  • Andrea Bateman
  • Chloe Dyson
  • Chris Corbel
  • Hugh Guthrie
  • Helen Sonnleitner
  • Rosie Greenfield

The expert teachers were the third group that provided an early indication of the appropriateness of the framework. The final report remains confidential and with the Victorian Department of Education and Training. A recent presentation by Associate Professor Ruth Schubert at EduTECH in Sydney outlines some of the issues and findings discussed in the report.

Researchers

Associate Professor, Shelley Gillis

Dr Peter Bentley

Dr Chris Corbel

Dr Mary Leahy

Professor Stephen Dinham

Professor Leo Goedegebuure

Ms Sandra Silfvast

Dr Suzanne North