Organisational innovations in senior L/earning: An exploration of the 'hub and stroke' organisational mode for integrating schooling and work

Year: 2009

Author: Cui, Guihua, Singh, Michael, Harreveld, Bobby

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on a study of an organisational innovation in Senior L/earning (Years 10, 11 and 12) that seeks to integrate schooling and work, curriculum and vocations across a network of schools. Specifically, it reports on an investigation into the"hub and spoke"mode of organising Senior L/earning through a case study of the Queensland Mineral and Energy Academy (QMEA) and its member schools. 'Organisational innovation' is conceptualised in terms of Kliebard's (1999) arguments regarding the relationship between school innovations and society which links between education and jobs. Kliebard's concepts provide a framework for reviewing the research literature which is debating the possibilities for reforming Senior L/earning through vocational education and training in schools (VETiS), and in particular the German social contract in this field. The research process on which this study is based involves the collection and analysis of interviews with QMEA officials, QMEA documents, the Annual Reports of QMEA member schools and the Next Step Reports produced for each QMEA school. This evidence is contrasted with data from newspaper reports about the impact of the globalisation of the U.S. American financial crisis on employment in Queensland's mines and energy industry. The analysis of evidence highlights the organisation of vocational education and training via the core and extra-mural curriculum, and the key achievements for young adults from Senior/Learning. The evidence from this paper points to the potentialities and possible disadvantages of the 'hub and spoke' mode of organisation for school-based, work-integrated education and training. The efforts to date by the QMEA and its member schools to (re)create work-integrated curricula that offer key outcomes for young adults point to as-yet-unrealised possibilities for progressing MCEETYA's l/earning policy.

Key Phrase: Vocational Education and Training