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Issues in Educational Research, 2024, Vol 34(1), 37-57.
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Permission to teach VET: Enabling a vicious circle that maintains the low status of VET education

Rochelle Fogelgarn, Jacolyn Weller
La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Karen O'Reilly-Briggs
Box Hill Institute, Melbourne, Australia

The Vocational Major was introduced in Victoria, Australia in 2023 to raise the status of Vocational Education and Training (VET). To address demand for qualified VET teachers in secondary schools, VET trainers without a teaching qualification are granted permission to teach VET. This policy contributes to a vicious circle which maintains the low status of VET education, compromising student learning experience, reinforcing the academic-vocational divide and disincentivising trainers from upskilling. We contend that a virtuous VET circle would include bespoke teacher-preparation designed to expeditiously and sustainably upskill industry-experienced vocational experts to become qualified (VET) school teachers.
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Authors: Dr Rochelle Fogelgarn (corresponding author) is a Lecturer in Teacher Education at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include responsive classroom management; relational teacher and student wellbeing; transformative pedagogy; teacher-targeted bullying and harassment; VET and design technology teacher shortages; raising the status of vocational education in schools and sustainable, quality teaching practice.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6485-0408
Email: r.fogelgarn@latrobe.edu.au

Dr Jacolyn Weller is a senior STEM initial teacher education lecturer at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. She is a mid-career researcher with over 20 years secondary school teaching experience and a philosophy of experiential teaching. Her research focuses on teacher sustainability through innovative STEM-teaching, professional development, partnerships including professional experience and VET and design technology teacher shortages.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3403-8157
Email: j.weller@latrobe.edu.au

Dr Karen O'Reilly-Briggs, Box Hill Institute, Melbourne, Australia, is an experienced metal fabrication and pressure vessel welder whose PhD investigated the impact of national training reform on the pedagogy of engineering trades in Victoria. Her research interests include VET, the teaching and learning of craft trades and apprenticeships, and the status of VET is society.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6445-4664
Email: k.oreilly-briggs@boxhill.edu.au

Please cite as: Fogelgarn, R., Weller, J. & O'Reilly-Briggs, K. (2024). Permission to teach VET: Enabling a vicious circle that maintains the low status of VET education. Issues in Educational Research, 34(1), 37-57. http://www.iier.org.au/iier34/fogelgarn.pdf

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Created 30 March 2024. Last update: 30 March 2024. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]