Vocation, Vocation, Vocation

It baffles me when I see fellow lecturers in further education teaching without any relation to a relevant vocational setting. Here we are, supposed to be preparing our learners for the real world of work, yet how often do we actually challenge learners to apply knowledge in a realistic context?

Not enough.

There are four steps I choose to take to ensure vocational relevance is achieved:

  1. Each lesson is themed to a scenario. For example, “Carrying out a risk assessment for a fitness facility.”
  2. The main task in each lesson requires members of the group to simulate the role of a particular employer or employee. For example, “Take on the role of a lifestyle coach, by efficiently assessing the lifestyle of an individual, then providing recommendations for improvement.”
  3. Ensure each unit or module studied is related in some way to real-life industry experience. For example, facilitating a project where learners must collaborate to deliver a sixweek sports programme for a local primary school.
  4. Link all of the above to assessment, by using a range of employment-based tasks. How many learners will progress to a job that demands written reports?!

Only when we provide the opportunity to develop work-based skills, will we produce skilful workers!

@SamGarnhamEdu Leicestershire - Lecturer

This ‘In Brief’ Article originally appeared in the December 2015 edition of UKEdMagazine - Click here to view the online editions.

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