SKOPE at WorldSkills London 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Dr. Susan James and Prof. Ken Mayhew were on a panel alongside Dr Petri Nokelainen (Finnish National Board of Education and University of Tampere, Finland) and Dr Helen Smith (RMIT, Australia) at the Global Skills Marketplace Seminar at WorldSkills London 2011.
WorldSkills is the largest international skills competitions with young people aged under 22 from 58 different countries competing in 46 skills. The topic of the Global Skills Marketplace Seminar was vocational excellence and showcased work from two projects: an international project, Modelling Vocational Excellence (MoVE) International, funded by the WorldSkills Foundation ; and research undertaken for UK Skills on a project titled, Learning environments within work environments.
Petri and Helen presented on aspects of the work from the MoVE International project including data from the Finnish research on which MoVE International is based and an Australian application of the model. MoVE International addresses the characteristics of individuals that promote vocational excellence and the experience of working towards excellence through participation in WorldSkills, and begins to address the question of quality vocational practice. The key research question is: ‘What is involved in the development of vocational expertise and the pursuit of excellence?’ Using an adaptation of the survey instrument developed by Dr Nokelainen, data was collected from WorldSkills Competitors and Experts to produce two data sets: statistics on the cross cultural characteristics of vocational excellence, and the key factors which influence its formation; and Competitor and Expert stories about the journey towards vocational excellence and how WorldSkills contributes to this process. The next phase of the project involves data analysis with a report produced in Spring 2012.
Susan presented the learning environments research, which is a pilot study to develop a survey to better understand the factors impacting on the development of an expansive environment within the workplace. An expansive learning environment is one where a greater breadth and depth of skills could be developed that could, in turn, foster performance at a higher level. The initial findings show that having a mentor in the workplace and being considered a learner as well as a worker are key factors in having access to, and the development of, vocational excellence.