Torquing up TAFE teacher traction through a critical spirit discourse

Paper


Tyler, Mark A.. 2009. "Torquing up TAFE teacher traction through a critical spirit discourse." 12th Annual Conference of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA): Aligning Participants, Policy and Pedagogy: Traction and Tensions in VET Research. Sydney, NSW 16 - 17 Apr 2009
Paper/Presentation Title

Torquing up TAFE teacher traction through a critical spirit discourse

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorTyler, Mark A.
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) 12th Annual Conference: Aligning Participants, Policy and Pedagogy: Traction and Tensions in VET Research
Number of Pages13
Year2009
ISBN9780980527513
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.avetra.org.au/annual_conference/presentations-2009.shtml.
Conference/Event12th Annual Conference of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA): Aligning Participants, Policy and Pedagogy: Traction and Tensions in VET Research
Event Details
12th Annual Conference of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA): Aligning Participants, Policy and Pedagogy: Traction and Tensions in VET Research
Event Date
16 to end of 17 Apr 2009
Event Location
Sydney, NSW
Abstract

This paper reports on research conducted with TAFE teachers from Queensland and Western Australia. The research is located at the intersection where these teachers’identities met with the discourse of new vocationalism. Scholars have highlighted the tensions that this discourse has produced in the relationships between TAFE and its teachers, and noted that TAFE teachers are pressured to change their subjectivities to better reflect themselves as workers in an educational market focused on economic imperatives, as opposed to notions of themselves as liberal educators, with a focus on lifelong learning, personal transformation, collaborative relationships and social responsibility. This research was driven by the possibility that the concept of ‘critical spirit’ might provide a means for TAFE teachers to gain traction, and to stand their ground in relation to the continued terraforming (or is that terror forming?) of the TAFE teacher terrain produced by the adoption of the new vocational discourse. This interpretative research was conceptualised by synthesising sociocultural
perspectives of discourse as a reality building tool, with notions of critical thinker dispositions referred to as critical spirit. Using a discourse analysis methodology,
selected TAFE teacher artefacts were analysed. This research extended previous findings of a critical spirit discourse manifest within TAFE teacher case narrative
artefacts (Tyler, 2008) by explicitly engaging a group of TAFE teachers in a critical spirit discourse to discover what value it had for them. Semi-structured interviews
revealed that an explicit engagement with a critical spirit discourse was of value to these TAFE teachers, as: a reflective tool, constructs for practice and self understanding, and for some, an identity construct.

KeywordsTAFE, TAFE teachers, teacher identity, critical spirit, neo liberalism, vocational education, VET, reflective, discourse
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390114. Vocational education and training curriculum and pedagogy
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
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