Torquing up TAFE teacher traction through a critical spirit discourse

Tyler, Mark A. (2009) Torquing up TAFE teacher traction through a critical spirit discourse. In: 12th Annual Conference of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA): Aligning Participants, Policy and Pedagogy: Traction and Tensions in VET Research, 16-17 Apr 2009, Sydney, NSW.

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This paper reports on research conducted with TAFE teachers from Queensland and Western Australia. The research is located at the intersection where these teachers’identities met with the discourse of new vocationalism. Scholars have highlighted the tensions that this discourse has produced in the relationships between TAFE and its teachers, and noted that TAFE teachers are pressured to change their subjectivities to better reflect themselves as workers in an educational market focused on economic imperatives, as opposed to notions of themselves as liberal educators, with a focus on lifelong learning, personal transformation, collaborative relationships and social responsibility. This research was driven by the possibility that the concept of ‘critical spirit’ might provide a means for TAFE teachers to gain traction, and to stand their ground in relation to the continued terraforming (or is that terror forming?) of the TAFE teacher terrain produced by the adoption of the new vocational discourse. This interpretative research was conceptualised by synthesising sociocultural
perspectives of discourse as a reality building tool, with notions of critical thinker dispositions referred to as critical spirit. Using a discourse analysis methodology,
selected TAFE teacher artefacts were analysed. This research extended previous findings of a critical spirit discourse manifest within TAFE teacher case narrative
artefacts (Tyler, 2008) by explicitly engaging a group of TAFE teachers in a critical spirit discourse to discover what value it had for them. Semi-structured interviews
revealed that an explicit engagement with a critical spirit discourse was of value to these TAFE teachers, as: a reflective tool, constructs for practice and self understanding, and for some, an identity construct.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited with permission of author and AVETRA.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2010 23:46
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: TAFE, TAFE teachers, teacher identity, critical spirit, neo liberalism, vocational education, VET, reflective, discourse
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130213 Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390114 Vocational education and training curriculum and pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development

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