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Teressa plans to put the ‘teach’ back into VET teaching

Published:10 July 2019

CQUniversity Associate Professor Teressa Schmidt pictured at the Keble College in Oxford, United Kingdom, where she presented as part of the 13th Journal of Vocational and Education Training (JVET) Conference.

What are the qualities of a 'good' VET teacher?

This was the question put forward by CQUniversity Associate Vice-Chancellor (Sunshine Coast Region) and Director of Learning and Teaching (VET), Associate Professor Teressa Schmidt during her presentation at the 13th Journal of Vocational and Education Training (JVET) Conference in the United Kingdom.

The conference, held at Keble College in Oxford, provided Associate Prof Schmidt with the opportunity to share her PhD findings, titled – Interrogating the reductionist approach to find new ways of conceptualising ‘good’ VET teaching – and encourage her global audience to think about how to improve the quality and esteem of VET teachers.

“I’ve worked in the VET sector for more than 20 years, as both a teacher and manager, which allowed me to identify that the initial preparation it takes to work in the VET sector and the ongoing professional development opportunities offered didn’t necessarily satisfy the needs of prospective VET educators,” she said.

“My PhD focused on the moral, ethical and relational aspects of VET teaching and found that it’s important to recognise a teacher as a whole and the importance of developing them as an individual, not just focusing on a narrow set of skills and capabilities.”

Associate Prof Schmidt’s presentation was well-received by educational stakeholders from the UK, Canada, South Africa, Austria, Germany, Holland, and China, which highlighted that the issues presented were being experienced at a global level.

“As a result of presenting at the conference, I formed many valuable networks and also became a member of a newly established special interest group of international researchers, which focuses on vocational teacher education,” she said.

“Moving forward, the group aims to share new learnings and work together to develop strategies that will be used to inform the future of VET education and respected professional development opportunities for VET educators.”

Associate Prof Schmidt said she would now use her research expertise to help CQUniversity become a leader in the development of initial VET education and continual development of VET educators.

“I have no doubt that CQUniversity will one day be nationally recognised for its excellence in vocational teaching, and be a highly sought-after workplace for VET educators,” she said.

“On a regional level, I will look to continually expand the unique VET offerings, raise the profile of education on the Sunshine Coast, and develop new ways of facilitating VET student/ teacher engagement and participation through immersive technologies.”