Vocational Pedagogy – what it is, why it matters and how to put it into practice

Lucas (2014) Vocational Pedagogy Forum for UNESCO

The 2014 Education for All Global Monitoring Report on teaching and learning reminded us that there is a global learning crisis and that the quality of education is at the center of it. The quality of education largely depends on good teachers. This is particularly evident in technical and vocational education and training, where TVET teachers have a distinctive role to play in improving the quality of education. Quality TVET teachers are those with both expert knowledge in their field and who have the ability to transfer this knowledge to their students. However, we too often forget to discuss this important question: how to teach TVET?

To further our understanding of vocational pedagogy, UNESCO-UNEVOC organized a virtual conference from 12 to 26 May 2014 on the UNEVOC e-Forum. Moderated by Professor Bill Lucas, Director of the Centre for Real-
World Learning, Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester (United Kingdom) and co-creator of the Expansive Education Network, this virtual conference explored what vocational pedagogy is, why it matters and how teachers can put it into practice.

The two-week virtual conference attracted 197 participants from 65 different countries, representing policy makers, researchers, practitioners and most importantly, teachers and students. They came together to deepen their understanding of vocational pedagogy and comprehend its complexity. The contributions and experiences shared illustrated the importance of vocational pedagogy in improving learner outcomes in TVET, as well its role as a catalyst for raising the status and quality of TVET.

This virtual conference was the ninth in a series of moderator-driven discussions introduced by UNESCO-UNEVOC in 2011. Held on the UNEVOC e-Forum – a global online community of over 3,500 members – and guided by an expert in the field, these discussions provide a platform for sharing of experiences, expertise and feedback and wish to inspire people to take further action.

We would like to thank Professor Bill Lucas for sharing his expertise on vocational pedagogy with the wider TVET community and for developing this synthesis report, which we hope will be useful in the work of TVET teachers and other TVET stakeholders. We furthermore extend our sincere gratitude to all participants who took their precious time to share their experiences on the topic and contributed to the development of this report.

Shyamal Majumdar
Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC International

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