The course in applied vocational study skills: Professional development issues in the integration of literacy within VET delivery

Year: 2001

Author: Bates, Susan, Wiltshire, Cheryl

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The need for literacy and numeracy support for VET students is well recognised, but attempts to provide that support are often not accepted by students. VET students resist strategies that are not directly related to their industry training activities, that are reminiscent of schoolwork, or that require extra attendance or extra assessments. The Course in Applied Vocational Study Skills (CAVSS) was developed in Western Australia as a delivery framework that prescribes a student-centred approach, and provides a funding and accountability mechanism, for the delivery of integrated literacy support to mainstream VET students. Under CAVSS, literacy specialist teachers team-teach with VET lecturers for up to 4 hours a week in a VET classroom, workshop, or on-site. The course was piloted in 2000 at 12 TAFEs across the state, and research findings suggest that the course is well accepted by students and lecturers, and that the CAVSS model is effective in improving student' outcomes. The research has also highlighted a number of implementation issues, including those associated with widespread misconceptions about the development and application of literacy skills in industry training environments. This paper outlines the research findings and examines some of the implications that the research has for professional development in the adult literacy and basic education field.