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What do teachers really know about work? professional development through education-industry links

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Widespread industry and award restructuring, technological change and competency-based approaches to career entry and progression have brought about significant changes in the Australian (and world) labour market. These changes have led to changes in expectations of the aims and purposes of education. Important connections have been established between education and industry to address these changes. Teachers are seen to be vital in not only developing greater understanding about industry needs and expectations but also in the transfer of those workplace-related skills and competencies to their work with students. Concerns have been expressed about teachers' knowledge and abilities to make this link effectively. This has resulted in a significant focus being placed on teacher professional development programmes that increase teachers' understanding about the world of work. The article examines the concept of teachers' work in terms of its appropriateness in understanding wider work issues. The article also discusses the value added to teachers̢Ъ work through an examination of the experiences of teachers involved in a year-long industry placement programme. The article concludes that a long-term professional development programme such as the Teacher Release to Industry Programme (TRIP) described here not only builds on teachers' existing skills and competencies but more importantly highlights that the skills and competencies held by teachers are not dissimilar to those required by students for effective entry into the workforce.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Deakin University, Burwood, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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