In Focus Careers


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How to set up a successful school industry partnership

If you have ever tried to take a class on an excursion you know how hard it is. The maths staff complain that they need the students to do a test on that day. The front office staff complain that you haven’t finished the paper work. The students don’t bring in their money.

It doesn’t seem worth the effort.

School systems aren’t set up to support learning out of school grounds. 

As the boundaries between schools, universities and registered training organisations (RTOs) become more porous there is a need for schools to become more agile in their approach to learning.

Unis and RTOs have these 5 systems in place that support flexible learning.

1. Governance

They specify what they are aiming to achieve and who is responsible within each organisation. They also have a time and reporting stipulations and they have identified standards that support strategic goals.

2. Management

Universities and VET training providers have management systems in place to guide off campus learning. The management process includes how the project fits into strategic targets and learning outcomes.

3. Legal

There are generic equal opportunity, privacy, duty of care and occupational health and safety laws designed to protect students, workers and volunteers. Once these standards are in place they provide the framework for all excursions.

4. Financial

Universities and RTOs organise their finances so that there are staff who take responsibility for  flexible learning arrangements. This is not the task of the academic staff. Financial management will be determined by school funding models and may include costs associated with the off campus activities.

5. Technical

Universities and RTOs have IT systems that capture and share information without the need for duplication.

Want to know more?

Email me for a copy of the How to set up a school – industry partnership framework.

 

 


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It Takes a Village to Raise a Student

I am not a huge fan of Ken Robinson.

In about 2007 I was excited by his Do Schools Kill Creativity? TED Talk which echoed the “Good radical stuff” espoused by Ivan Illich in the 1970’s.

Deschooling Society

In 2018 Ken is now Sir Ken, and his message sounds like populist haranguing of teachers.

Does he think teachers don’t KNOW that they need to foster creativity in every student?

Does he think his badgering is helping them to grapple with a class full of demanding students, parents’ expectations,  a rigorous curriculum and a school registrar who loses sleep over permission forms?

Schools don’t need Sir Ken Robinson.

It takes a whole village

Schools need a framework that facilitates engagement  and collaboration between them,  industry and community.

The Connecting the Worlds of Learning and Work report identified:

If school-industry partnerships are to be a priority in all schools – then industry engagement needs to first be prioritised at the system level. Rather than adding on more requirements for schools to deliver, this would mean education systems recognising the broader outcomes that industry partnerships contribute to, such as lifting career aspirations and increasing engagement in learning. (p19)

Connecting the World of School and workThis is the sort of advice that will help schools to engage with the wider community.

There are 5 aspects to the enabling framework that schools need:

  1. A Governance Framework showing who is responsible for what and to what standard.
  2. A Management Framework that directs different aspects of the school environment.
  3. A Legal Framework that includes OH&S, child protection and industrial issues.
  4. A Financial Framework, and
  5. An ICT framework that facilitates data management and sharing.

It is in “2” the Management Framework, that we are seeing most change.

The West Australian State Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCASA) is  responsible for managing the academic framework for schools. It is demonstrating its awareness of the need for change and there is an increasing number of SCASA endorsed opportunities for students to undertake to meet the requirements of their WA Certificate of Education (WACE).

As the WACE becomes more flexible, its viability as a management framework for education is becoming less critical. In the past, academic results, as measured by the ATAR, have been a shortcut for universities wanting to assess students’ capacity to undertake the rigours of university study.

Mitchell REport

Now only 26% of university students gain a place via their ATAR score. Universities are giving credit for university units to students while they are still in school and providing alternative pathways into university.

Students applying for vocational education places have always had a broader spectrum of application requirements….

Want to be a veterinary nurse?? What experience have you had with animals??

Doctor

Apart from ad hoc efforts that are addressing the Management Framework I am not aware of moves to design comprehensive infrastructure that facilitates each aspect of collaboration.

The Fogarty EdFutures Foundation and Curtin’s Learning Futures Network  are enthusiastically working to introduce strategies that will change the school environment but without fundamental enabling infrastructure that addresses each of the 5 Frameworks, they will be forced to tinker at the edges.

I have significant anecdotal evidence that enthusiasm to help schools from industry and the community is being left on the table for want of enabling infrastructure.

Invitation to Collaborate

If anyone has the capacity to kick start a project to develop and pilot infrastructure that engages all available resources to help our students to succeed, I would welcome the opportunity to become involved.

 

 

 

 


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Want the Key to Career Success? Deep Learning

Problem solving skills, creativity, collaboration. For the past 5 years we have been told about the importance of these skills. The tide has turned. There is now a growing emphasis on the need for expertise.

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Soft Skills Alone Won’t Get You a Job

Michelle Hoad, Managing Director of North Metropolitan TAFE, told the VET Careers Forum that soft skills alone are not going to get you a job. She went on to talk about employers clamouring graduates with deep technical skills.

Developing “T” Shaped Citizens

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel told a recent Maths Association conference that there is a need to develop “T” shaped individuals. The vertical pole is the deep and narrow skills that make you an expert. The horizontal part of the T is the 21st century soft skills like communication and collaboration skills. You need the deep skills, and you need to practice and apply them so that you have something of value to communicate.

The need for rigorous academic study BEFORE you go to university is being pushed aside by alternative pathways to university and the removal of pre-requisite requirements for many courses.

Finkel calls for the reinstatement of pre-requisites by universities to signal they want deep knowledge as well as inquisitive thinkers. He quotes Jeff Bezos who calls for experts with a beginner’s mind. You can hear the Saturday Extra Podcast HERE.

Preparing for the best and worst of timesCore Skills

The message that students need to develop deep understanding also appeared in the recently published and wonderfully named Preparing for the Best and Worst of Times.

This report recommends deep learning and recommends that VET programs focus more on developing underpinning knowledge as a long-term solution to maintaining employment as technologies change.

You can listen to a short podcast about the report HERE but the podcast doesn’t capture the profound recommendations of the full report.

Yanis Varoufakis

Strategic Education and Training Needed

Yanis Varoufakis talks about the dumbing down of education and, at around the 27 minute mark, he proposes changes to education and training policy making in this thought provoking presentation.

Training for the 4th Industrial Revolution

In the face of all this urging for deep skills NCVER published Training for the 4th Industrial Revolution which recommends soft skills!!

So what do you do!!??

I tend to agree with Alan Finkel when he says…. something like….

 …you need to have some knowledge that makes you worth communicating with!!

It seems like the combination mentioned in the conclusion of Skills for a Global Future provide a balanced summary:

The focus of VET must be beyond skilling for a job (and its technical competencies) to one that encompasses ‘soft skills’ and imparts continuous learning and adapting mind sets across a lifetime career that will involve change.

Keep up to date with career developments Western Australia. Subscribe to the In Focus Careers Newsletter at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au

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Leaving Teaching

Teachers are notorious for not planning their retirement. They are so focused on helping their students to prepare for their futures that they forget to plan for themselves.

If you love teaching it becomes your vocation. It gives your life purpose. Leaving your job, your students and your friends can feel like stepping off a cliff.

YachtPlan a trip

A trip will give you something to look forward to and it will give you a routine and purpose as you break the daily lockstep regime of school.

 Renovate Your Living Space

If you are changing direction it is good to plan your living space to suit your new lifestyle.

  • Start by chucking stuff out. (Take my advice…. I’m not using it! I still have teaching resources in the shed from 20 years ago!)
  • Make space for friends or grandkids to come and stay. Or you may need space to care for an ageing parent.
  • Create a U-Space. A place where you get to do your stuff uninterrupted.
  • Renovate your house so that you can house swap with a retired teacher from England for 6 months.

Earn some money

You are too young to sit in a rocking chair on the verandah for the next 30 years. Your teaching expertise could be the key to your income.

  • You could take on relief teaching or after school coaching.
  • If you are an English teacher you may be able to bring in money by writing.
  • If you are teach phys ed you may start selling or teaching a health regime.
  • History teachers can start earning by researching and writing family histories. Remakery
  • People with practical skills can start up a remakery from home.

More baby boomers are starting small businesses than any other demographic. We have knowledge, experience and a network of contacts to help us to succeed.

Get free help from the Small Business Development Corporation to kick start your new venture.

Find a purpose

DeathtoStock_Medium7.jpgA surprising number of teachers have launched into photography and are becoming really good at it. Indulging their creativity and improving their skills has become their purpose.

Whether it is becoming an expert photographer,  renovating houses or working with orphans in Cambodia finding a purpose may be your biggest struggle after leaving teaching.

Stay In Touch

Don’t lose your friendships. You can maintain your friendships by continuing to work part time or do relief teaching at your school.

Become a Facebook demon and send photos of your trip, your renovation and your new business to your friends.

It is no accident that Baby Boomers are the biggest users of Facebook. We have a rich history of friends to keep in touch with and lots of memories to share.

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Next Steps

If you are tired of trying to think about what you are going to do next and feeling overwhelmed by stepping into the world beyond school it may be time to think about hiring a qualified career advisor to guide you towards your next chapter.

Contact me for a confidential discussion on M:0434056412 or Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au

 


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They are Taking Secondary Teachers’ Jobs

I did the BBC quiz to find out Will a Robot Take Your Job? It was good to see that teaching won’t be coded out of existence any time soon.

That was reassuring given the competition already there from non teachers who are moving into senior school education.

  • I went to the Central Queensland University Career Advisors Day where we were told about the Start Uni Now program that allows students in years 10 – 12 to undertake a bachelor degree subject.
  • This week I discovered that Edith Cowan University is offering Short Courses for Credit in some bachelor degrees.
  • When I was at the recent Murdoch University Career Advisors day there were 400 senior school students doing a WACE economics enhancement program. They were participating in the Murdoch Student Workshop program for secondary school students, starting at Year 8.
  • MOOCs are everywhere. They are now being made for primary school students. Adelaide University is delivering MOOCs for Foundation – Year 6 in Digital Technologies WITH teaching resources. With all of the inherent systemic barriers to change, including existing expectations, it is difficult for teachers to accommodate these resources into their pedagogy.
  • The Preparing Young People for the Future of Work report criticises VETiS heralding changes to that system as we know it.
  • I have started an Opportunities to Grow section in my monthly careers newsletter for WA high schools in an attempt to help teachers, students and their families to keep up with all of the emerging opportunities. Many of these opportunities required teachers to coordinate, administer and manage OH&S, not teach.

 

It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to see the problem. Teachers need to adapt to the world that is barging into their patch.

Traditional expectations, traditional systems and OH&S rules that ensure students are safe are are endangering the careers of teachers as they struggle to maintain relevance into the future.