Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE VET General Pedagogy and Work-based Learning

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Technology and Entrepreneurship Education

DESCRIPTION This study-unit tackles the changing reality in secondary schools in Malta which has seen the introduction of vocational education subjects with the intention of motivating students who would otherwise drop out of school, to further their studies. This study-unit provides a basic view of key issues regarding vocational education and training (VET) within compulsory education, and the close relationship which exists between the world of work and work-based learning and the education and training received by secondary education students.

This study-unit provides a basic view of key issues regarding vocational education and training (VET) within compulsory education, and the association between the vocational education and training and the preparation of employability skills. The study-unit provides pre-service teachers with an overview of the concept of VET and how it is different to traditional schooling; the role of employers in identifying labour market needs and how these are included in the training curriculum. Furthermore, the study-unit aims to highlight the nature of pedagogical approaches relevant to teaching and learning within vocational education. The study-unit aims to provide pre-service teachers to an overview of VET and educational and pedagogical theories relevant the concepts of work-based learning; communities of practice; dual-modes of learning; situated learning; and applied teaching methods. In addition, the study-unit introduces pre-service teachers with an understanding of role of industry stake-holders and their influence on the development of training programs as well as underpinning knowledge, skills and competencies required for the development of secondary school VET programs.

Study-Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:
- introduce pre-service student teachers to VET and applied subjects and their nature compared to traditional subject areas;
- introduce main VET pedagogies based on a learner-centred approach, authentic activities and often involving problem solving;
- highlight the links between VET and Applied subjects and Work-based learning, occupational standards, and the role of employers;
- quote the key quality assurance tool at European level (EQAVET) and its relevance to teaching VET at compulsory level.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- identify the key characteristics of Vocational and Applied subjects in contrast to traditional subjects;
- describe key pedagogical theories related to VET pedagogies e.g. Lucas (2012);
- identify occupational standards and their role in determining VET curricula;
- acknowledge the importance of presenting students with authentic examples reflecting real-life situations;
- identify the different VET learning contexts: workshops, workplace;
- identify key competences, underpinning knowledge and sectoral skills related to the different VET sectors.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- apply VET pedagogical theory to own VET sector when teaching secondary students;
- use occupational standards to identify learning outcomes when writing curricula for secondary education;
- create authentic learning contexts for students at secondary level to learn applied subjects;
- design student-centred pedagogies when teaching VET and Applied subjects;
- identify how learning takes place at the workplace with the support of a mentor/coach;
- identify aspects of quality assurance in learning contexts designed for teaching VET and applied subjects.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:
- Lucas B., Spencer E & Claxton G, (2012), How to teach vocational education: A theory of vocational pedagogy, Winchester: University of Winchester, Centre for Real-World Learning,
- CEDEFOP, (2015), Vocational pedagogies and benefits for learners: practices and challenges in Europe, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union,
- Lucas B. (2014), Vocational Pedagogy: What it is, why it matters and what we can do about it, Background Note for UNESCO-UNEVOC e-Forum, Bonn: UNESCO-UNEVOC, Centre for Real-World Learning,
- European Commission, (2013), Work-based learning in Europe: Practice and Policy pointers, Brussels: European Commission,

Subsidiary texts
- Jones G.,(2014), Applying a theory of vocational pedagogy : a college-wide action research project, Paper Presented at the Further Education Research Association Conference Harris Manchester College, Oxford University
- Hobley J, (2014), Vocational Pedagogies: the Science of Teaching or the Teaching of Science?, Journal of Education and Training Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2; March 2015, p17-19,
- Isma Widiatya A, (2015), Vocational Pedagogy in Perspective Vocational High School Curriculum, paper presented at the 3rd UPI International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Amsterdam:Atlantis Press


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Reflective Diary SEM2 Yes 50%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Therese Camilleri
Kenny Muscat
Nadia Maria Vassallo

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.