Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Australian Vocational Certificate Training System in secondary schools: a qualitative analysis of the implementation of a vocational education program in a secondary college
    Aldous, Julianne M. ( 1994)
    This study focuses on the implementation experience of a Victorian secondary college during the first year of participation in the Australia Vocational Certificate Training in Secondary Schools Pilot Project - an initiative arising from recent reports, at both a State and Federal level, recommending a convergence between general and vocational education. The Pilot Project was established to test the feasibility of the provision of vocational education and training in secondary colleges. The literature review presents a synopsis of the Australian Vocational Certificate Training System, national vocational education and training initiatives and the literature relating to the evaluation of educational change. Using qualitative methods, the study provides a systematic description of the first year of implementation, evaluates the processes used for the implementation of educational change and examines the policies which impact on the implementation process. The analysis highlights the importance of the internal perceptions of the need for the change and the 'state of readiness' as key considerations in the implementation of change in schools. The relationship between the processes adopted for initiation, including bureaucratic influences, and implementation within the school context is also discussed. The study concludes with cautionary notes. Firstly, the difficulties experienced by schools in implementing policy initiatives within a federal political structure. Secondly, the uncertainty which results when the motivations for change are linked to key bureaucratic personalities. Thirdly, key policies which inhibit the fusion of general and vocational education by forcing schools to differentiate between these roles are discussed. The author also questions the proposition that the fidelity and evolutionary perspectives of the implementation of educational change are extremes of the same continuum. The study provides specific advice for the administration of vocational courses within schools and stresses that further development is limited by the lagging development of policies to provide full recognition of training programs within the senior secondary curriculum.