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Set in Thailand this study was conducted to observe and learn students' goal orientations and their preferences of thinking styles in relation to competency based studies. The journal begins by introducing the benefits of competency studies; 'competency studies advantage the enhancement of job description, employee range, staff improvement, performance evaluation, and promotion in organisations.' (Koul, Clariana, Kongsuwan & Suji-Vorakul, 2009) This journal, as set in a non westernised country, raises the issues associated with the domination of the western countries claiming 'most models of competency have been produced in western countries or have been formulated with western conceptualisations of the meaning of competency.'(Koul et al., 2009) Furthermore claims that also competencies themselves are culture specific and that 'behaviours that are understood as reflection of competency in one culture are not necessarily understood as competent in another culture.' (Koul et.al., 2009) The journal goes on to continue to list the behaviours westerners perceive to be competent, followed with the diverse, the behaviours easterners perceive to be competent.
Included in the journal is the authors own definition of 'competencies' stating they "generally refer to knowledge, skills, attitudes, thinking styles, and habits of mind." (Koul et al., 2009) This is welcomed by the reader as it provides sound definitions for the entirety of the journal, where they are free to critique afterwards.
This journal allows for goal orientation to be placed alongside competency and its achievement. Koul et al., (2009) states "according to the goal theory, an individual's pursuit of a goal creates a framework for interpreting and responding to events that occur or may likely occur, producing associate patterns of cognition, affect and behaviour."
The participants for the study were volunteer undergraduate students, studying vocational education, at a technology university in Thailand. There were 398 males and 329 females. The instruments used in the study were two surveys. One was the Thinking Style Survey and the other an Achievement Goal Orientation Survey.
In the discussion Koul et al., (2009) state that the 'findings of this investigation can be seen in light of socio-cognitive conception of competency. Further expressing that this socio-cognitive perspective sees competence as an 'inherent psychological need of human being which serves the evolutionary role of assisting people develop and adapt to their environment.' Other findings found that the types of thinking that students perceived were used by competent individuals were influenced by the individual's apparent goal orientation or motivational beliefs.
In conclusion to this journal Koul, et al., (2009) reiterate that the investigation found a 'clear relationship between goal orientation and perception of professionally competent behaviour.'
One of the foremost stances this journal portrays is in reference to the influence specific culture and societies have on what is deemed a 'competent behaviour'. Koul, et.al state that 'if national cultural norms and resulting workplace or classroom climate support a particular view, then this should influence beliefs about what constitutes a competent behaviour.' Thus students in neighbouring countries may be educated in entirely diverse areas and therefore become competent in diverse skills and attributes. This separation can be clearly seen in the segregation of western and eastern countries. Koul, et.al claims the reason for the 'differences in the perception of competent behaviours by westerners and easterners may be explained by the fact that the people in these societies are socialised into dissimilar worldviews, cognitive processes and habits of mind.' As westernised countries are becoming of increased dominance in the educational and vocational steams of learning, students within these countries may never even know this issue has risen let alone be affected by it. Students however from eastern countries, may feel the hardship of being educated and becoming 'competent' in skills heavily based on their specific culture.
This journal provides knowledge to me as a pre-service teacher. Although set in Thailand, there remains a number of educational positions upheld that are adaptable to many circumstances. The importance of competency study is reiterated in the above journal, this challenges me to question the position held by competency based studies in Victoria. By challenging these studies provides one with a greater comprehension of their need and vitality within the curriculum.
Carter, P. (2009). To skill a mockingbird. Australian Journal of Vocational Education and Training in Schools, 7, 87-90.
This journal addresses the current issues of skilling Australia's young people. The journal begins by revealing that there is currently a skills shortage in Australia and the solution demands more than a simple quick fix. Cater, (2009) states that "in May 2007, 526,000 young Australians aged 15 to 24 were not involved in full-time learning or work." The discussion continues focusing on the advantages of finishing secondary school education in Australia, 'young Australians who have not completed school or its equivalent are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to those the same aged who have completed that level of education.' However it's not just schooling education rates that have fallen but also the rate of apprentice completions.
Cater, (2009) poses the question "Why should Australia invest in disenfranchised young people?" then providing her opinionated answer, backed by "numerous studies", claiming a 'determined policy and a program reorganization would most likely boost levels of participation in education and employment.' The journal then makes for a change in direction, making light that 'majority of Australian youth are positive about their schooling experiences', 'they are confident about life in general', 'young people have their feet firmly on the ground.'
Carter, (2019) explains 'It's Crunch Time: Raising Youth Engagement and Attainment' a collaboration that focuses on those who leave their chosen area of study early. The report was completed in 2007 and the results, as stated by Carter (2009), 'suggest a need for reform that addresses non completion in learning at school and in-apprenticeships, and to create genuine enthusiasm for learning.' Further expressing that the policy-makers have to be careful so to ensure education isn't reduced to being simply outcome orientated, stating instead that 'education should provide students more broadly, to develop into pleasing individuals and citizens with the aptitude to contribute to society.' (Carter, 2009) The importance on TAFE and VET, is highlighted as Carter, (2009) claims 'they are of increased importance and undisputed in light of the looming skills shortages.' Carter (2009) concludes the journal by expressing that 'there is a need for the TAFE and adult education to be geared towards the needs and cultures of young people.'
Throughout the journal Carter provides the reader with a number of debates that are involved in matter of 'skilling Australians'. In one statement Carter (2009) states 'that it would be a mistake to educate and teach young students for narrow occupations, as they may be gone in ten years.' Being a generation that is ever advancing, the economic world is following suit and new jobs are constantly being created and advanced. This influences the education that students now receive. Students need to be taught skills that are going to equip them with the competencies they will need to create flourishing individual lives, so they may adapt to the pressures of the economic world.
Another debate involves the segregation of those who, have compared to those, who haven't completed a year 12 or equivalent level of schooling. As Carter (2009) claims, 'those who have accomplished year 12 are comparatively more advantaged in terms of education and labour force.' Clear intervention is required as it is not simply the students themselves that will be at a disadvantage, but too society. Society will struggle as the educative level of students falls, the economic market with remain in demand with little qualified to fill the positions.
This journal encourages myself as a pre-service teacher to facilitate with as much adaptive learning as possible. While concentrating on the knowledge the students require to complete school, I see in addition the need for skilling students with the abilities to manage their individual futures. These skills include attributes similar to the development of competent leader's and effective communicators. These abilities will forever be seen as positive characteristics and thus should be instilled in young students.
The aim of this journal was to, as stated by McKechnie, et al., (2010) 'is to widen the range of methods employed in the investigation involving what young workers actually do in their jobs and therefore provide a sounder basis for evaluating the possible education benefits such employment has.' In the introduction of the journal there is a clear reason stated as to why there has been little research and evidence, regarding student part-time work, in the past. Claiming 'it is because of the rather negative view of students part-time employment, partly driven by a concern over the effect of combining work and schooling, as it may compromise study time.' (McKechnie, et al., 2009) Other reasons are given, asserting that the value of the employment is 'poor quality, providing no opportunity for skill development, furthermore associated with the term "children's jobs".' (McKechnie, et al., 2009) The journal then takes a contrast view and assimilates the positive rationale behind students' part-time work. Declaring that 'research shows working small to moderate number of hours, is correlated with positive academic achievement.' (McKechnie, et al., 2009) McKechnie, et al., (2010) places emphasis on the analysis that 'learning can and may take place outside the school classroom', claiming that many underestimate the experience or part-time work and fail to see how they 'prepare young people for the future in the same ways'. The many different methods that have previously been used in investigations, involving gathering information regarding students' part-time work, were discussed, and followed by why they failed to successfully work. This leads into an introduction of the procedure that is used in this investigation, being: Interview 1; Event recording; Interview 2, Observation, Employer interview followed by Activity coding. Set in Scotland, the investigation involved 12 case study participant, five males and seven females.
There were many interesting results from this investigation, one stating that the participants results showed part-time employment has allowed them to develop 'skills such as communication, working with others, and individual confidence.' (McKechnie, et al., 2009)
McKechnie, et al., (2010) concludes the journal with the link, between students' part-time education and their school education, made clear affirming that 'the present educational context, where it is know that learning can take place outside the school setting, allows for the value of school students' part-time employment to be experienced to the extent that it could be, should be drawn into the curriculum.'
The prominent theme of this journal is the occurrence of students involved in part-time employment. Throughout the journal there are opinions raised for and against this form of employment, yet the investigation is set to simply gain more perspective and information of the type of employment that welcomes this scrutiny. It is clear that in the past the part-time employment of students was looked at in a negative light, having assumed it was associated with 'poor academic outcomes'. (McKechnie, et al., 2009) It wasn't till recent studies have been completed that the dominate opinion began to be disputed. The studies in this journal claim that students part-time work allows students to be 'exposed to a range of positive experiences', 'provided with the opportunity for the attainment of new skills' and increase 'preparation for the future'. (McKechnie, et al., 2009) This investigation allows the activities and jobs that the young individuals complete at work, made public. In making these activities public and accessible to study, permits further and more exhaustive evidence to be acquired thus making know the potential learning that take place within students' part-time jobs.
As a pre-service teacher, studying this journal has allowed my opinion, regarding students involved in part-time work, to only become more steadfast. I agree that student were possible should be engaging in part-time work while also involved in their full-time study at school. The hours that are worked however should not be allowed to compromise learning or studying at school, as this erudition remains the imperative. Part-time work allows students who struggle with the demands of school to feel belonging and achievement. The part-time employment of students, I see, as a beneficial and constructive element of their education.