Making it and making it happen - TAFE teachers ways of working with competency based training

Year: 1997

Author: Simons, Michele

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The implementation of the National Training Reform Agenda has proceeded from well defined political and economic objectives. One of the key components of the reform process has been the implementation of competency-based training (CBT). This has often occurred at the expense of a critical focus on its pedagogical basis or examination of the contexts in which it was placed. Little attention has been paid to addressing issues such as the suitability of CBT for educational institutions such as TAFE, the willingness of people within the system to work with the innovation or the possible impact of the innovation on teachers' work. Some five to six years into the reform process, concerns are now being raised about the penetration of CBT within the vocational education and training sector and the manner in which CBT is being shaped and reshaped as teachers work with the innovation.

This paper reports on a study exploring the nature of CBT as an educational innovation and how it has been implemented by TAFE teachers within South Australia. Using data collected from interviews with 60 teachers, the study highlights the socio-political nature of the change process. Insights into how CBT has shaped the work of teachers and the manner in which teachers' decisions and adaptations have produced a variety of different 'versions' of CBT will be examined.