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The following AVETRA Awards were presented at the Inaugural AVETRA VET Practitioner Research Conference 2018, 26-27 April 2018: 


AVETRA Journal Article of the Year Awarded to Mike Brown



 Mike received the award for his journal article 'The tradies’ entrance into teaching: the challenges in designing teacher education for vocational education and training in schools'.


Below is further information about this article: 


The paper that wins the 2017 AVETRA Journal Article of the Year addresses a question that is very significant for VET, but neglected within the wider education research community. This question is

What constitutes an effective and appropriate design for a university-based teacher education program to train teachers for VETiS programs?

This paper, by Mike Brown from Latrobe University, presents a systematic, compelling argument. The question itself is set within a sophisticated account of the post-school world of young people that highlights the likely need for strong STEM capabilities and digital literacy as well as the ability to actively negotiate multiple jobs. At the same time, it is emphasised that the majority of school leavers do not go to university. VET emerges as an important pathway with an important part to play in the future economy.

Against this backdrop it becomes clear that the professional preparation of VETiS teachers is an important topic. Yet when the ‘ideal’ VETiS teacher is considered – that is, someone coming from the workforce with sound expertise in their occupation – it appears that current secondary school teacher programs are not constructed with this ideal in mind, creating a problem for the preparation of quality VETiS teachers.

Mike Brown’s paper draws on research with pre-service teachers in a VETiS teacher preparation course to identify principles for developing appropriate programs. These principles should be of great interest to Australian universities concerned to improve on the role they play in promoting quality teaching and long-term outcomes to society and the economy. As the paper concludes,

HE and teacher education programs will greatly benefit if they specifically recognize and respect the knowledge that this nontraditional, yet experienced and highly competent, cohort brings to the university.