VET in the Wet - Keynote by Professor Michele Simons, President of AVETRA


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Presenter:  Professor Michele Simons, President of AVETRA

Date: Feb 07, 2014

Time: 10:00am to 4:00pm

Contact person:  Professor Ruth Wallace
T: +61 8 8946 7468
E: ruth.wallace@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Yellow 1.2.48 (The Red Room) - Northern Institute - Charles Darwin University

Target audience:  CDU Academic staff

Northern Institute and AVETRA present…

VET in the Wet

michele simons

SEMINAR AND KEYNOTE by special guest

Professor Michele Simons

President of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA)

Treasurer of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)

Dean of Education, University of Western Sydney

Professor Simons joined UWS from the University of South Australia where she had been the Dean and Head of the School of Education.  She has qualifications in Human Services and Adult and Community Education and a PhD from the University of South Australia.

Professor Simons is President of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) and Treasurer for the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) and the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS), Professor Simons is also a member of the Academic Board for Le Cordon Bleu.

She has had experience serving on a range of government committees including the South Australian Teacher Education Taskforce and various state and federal government advisory groups for education and family services. 

Friday 7 February @ Northern Institute, CDU

10.00am - 12.00noonSeminar:Writing in the VET research space
Presenter:Professor Michele Simons
12.00noon - 2.00pmBreak 
2.00pm - 3.00pmKeynote:Informing changes in VET policy and practice: The central role of research
Presenter:Professor Michele Simons

Vocational education and training (VET) has long been subject to change, transformations and uncertainty. In Australia, it sits uneasily between state and territory administration and federal mandates, is ordered by interests outside of it and positioned obliquely between compulsory and higher education. Moreover, its diverse students, educational purposes and reach into varied communities and sites of enactment in a range of institutions, including schools, workplaces, colleges, community halls and through virtual media adds other and dynamic dimensions to its form. Given all of this diversity and complexity, there is likely no other education sector whose provisions, policies and practices are more deserving of these changes and transformations being informed by inquiry and practical research. Certainly, mistakes in the past and their subsequent rehearsal suggest that changes being enacted at both federal and state/territory levels emphasise the need for decision-making to be informed by the outcomes of research that can offer clarity and innovative ways forward.

However, decision-making about VET at all levels is not always so informed, nor is research necessarily welcomed, except when boosting decisions already made. Yet, government, like all VET stakeholders, deserve to be cognizant of factors impacting those changes and the consequences and implications shaping the realisation of their goals. It follows, that VET researchers have an obligation to perform their work diligently, carefully and engage in activities that attempt to inform the broad base of stakeholders who make decisions about how learning and training opportunities will be developed, organised and enacted. We are obliged to play this role actively and responsibly, given the relative independence of our voice.

Consequently, this Conference seeks to engage with and contribute to current and continuing debates and practices through plenaries, symposiums and poster sessions that highlight the range of informed inquiry about VET and its significance for those whose decision-making is central to the intentions for and design and enactment of VET policy and practice. The contributions of the Conference will aim to report the process and outcomes of informed inquiry and also advance findings and conclusions that can advise the decision-making of those who teach and learn, engage with and support VET provisions in all its settings, and who have responsibilities for the ordering and funding of those experiences (i.e. law and policy makers and administrators), and thereby contribute to the democratic fabric.

- Professor Simons will be taking questions after her keynote

3.00pm - 4.00pmSeminar:NT Workforce Planning issues
Facilitators:Professor Ruth Wallace, AVETRA Vice President & Director Northern Institute;
Alicia Boyle, AVETRA Secretary & VET Research Fellow, Northern Institute