Swedish report on workshop for VET-teachers: the overview of QinVET peer review report

Many teachers are of the opinion that none of the institute quality initiatives was directed at the process of teaching and learning and result is not reaching the classroom and the learners. They don’t believe the quality system has really been aimed at the teaching programs to any great extent. It has certainly added new bureaucratic constraints but it has not changed the face-to-face teaching strategies. Being a time consuming enterprise, procedural factors become the burden which quality assurance activities put on staff.

Furthermore, the relationship between quality initiatives and the actual learning is not clear for many teachers: it is difficult to see a link between an award for business excellence and learning experience. Teaching staff cannot clearly see any quality initiatives, which had directly increased the quality of education of their students.

Methodological approach

In the telephone interview groups of teachers in Swedish VET programs were asked about their experiences of quality assurance and evaluation practices such as performance measurement, evaluation and review, and the impact on their work and morale. The interview focused on differences and similarities in teachers’ and administrators attitudes to QA within the Swedish VET system.

Participants:

The interviewed teacher represented 5 different Folkuniversitetet foundations existing in 12 different municipalities.

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Findings

According to the interviewees the right quality approach:

Resources and support from management

Most of the teachers commented that the available resources were limited and more were needed. In order to be able to engage with QA, the teacher expressed that following were needed:

Quality initiatives and teaching

Discussions with teachers identified many factors which affected the teacher’s view of quality and its implementation:

Monitoring

The extent to which teachers monitor their performance seems to depend on the attitude of the team and the leadership. There was a consensus that the quality system has had no real impact on the way that teachers monitor their performance.

Teachers tend to monitor their performance by using the data on student learning. They also measure their performance by means such as: class meetings, student feedback or letters of appreciation formal student representative council meetings team meetings, peer feedback, and moderating each other’s’ classes student demand levels and attendance levels analyses of enrolments, completions.

VET-teacher roles in perspective

The general picture that emerged from the interviews with teachers was that:

Teacher perceptions of management and the quality system

Where quality initiatives have been imposed by management and implemented quickly, there is more resistance and the initiatives are seen as unstructured, unplanned and reactive. There appears therefore to be little commitment from management to quality implementation.

As one teacher expressed, there appeared to be a ‘them and us’ mentality among teachers and management. Too many demands were being placed on teachers.

Some teachers expressed the view that implementing quality had created a whole new bureaucracy with a new department devoted to strategic planning.  The system had become a barrier, which no longer supported core business. Teachers who achieved excellence and delivered a good service to their students did so despite the system.

Final remarks by teachers