Worker knowledge and the work of schools: a case-study and some issues for further attention
University of Melbourne Author/sYates, Lynette
CitationsYates, L. (2005) Worker knowledge and the work of schools: a case-study and some issues for further attention.
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Article published in 2006 as "Vocational subject-making and the work of schools: a case-study" in Australian Journal of Education, 50(3).
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The rhetoric of the new vocationalism is about creating a new type of person: enterprising, flexible, lifelong learner, portfolio-oriented. The rhetoric of contemporary Australian government policy is that schools should be more vocational. This article focuses on schooling and a case-study of a site where two vocational ‘dual accreditation’ subjects are being taught. It argues (1) that different visions of schooling and vocational knowledge are evident at different levels of the system, but also between teachers involved in the same formal structure and between students within the same classes; (2) that the dual assessment regimes observed here embody not only different epistemologies, but different imputed identities of the learner-worker; and (3) that class and gender attributes matter but are not adequately acknowledged in the new agendas for school. The article illustrates ambiguities in what teachers and students are expected to do, and, in particular, a mixture of different ideas about what knowledge counts, and what attributes are valued within the school-based vocational subjects.
Keywordscase-study; vocational; schooling; assessment; knowledge; identity
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