The VCAL Experience: Unpacking Innovative Teaching and Learning Strategies

By Rowena Bailey, Greg Williams, Irem Sahin and Marcelle Cacciattolo.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is offered in many secondary colleges in Victoria, Melbourne Australia. VCAL provides formal accreditation and pathway choices as an alternative to the Victorian Certificate of Education which is used primarily for university entrance. Research indicates that disengaged students who leave school before completing twelve years of study are less likely to find appropriate pathways and less likely to experience academic, social and economic success in life (Teese 2000;Black 2006). This presentation highlights the results of a one year study involving Broadmeadows SC and Victoria University as part of Victoria University’s Research in Innovative Partnerships in education (RIPE). In addition to this the presentation will highlight the importance of establishing learner-centred approaches to teaching and learning. Integrated curriculum and positive relationships with teachers will also be examined. The key findings resonate across all education sectors where there is concern for social implications of alienation and disengagement for young people.

Keywords: VCAL Program, University Pathways, Innovative Teaching and Learning Practices, Re-engaging Disengaged Young Learners

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.207-216. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 705.030KB).

Rowena Bailey

VCAL Co-ordinator, Broadmeadows Secondary College, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Rowena has recently graduated with her Masters in Schools’ Leadership from the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Her study investigated vocational educational programs as an intervention to antisocial behaviour in her school. She is currently employed as the V.C.A.L ( Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) coordinator at Broadmeadows Secondary College with the Victorian Department of education for years 10-12 students who seek a vocational pathway through an applied learning program. She teaches across a range of disciplines from food technology to international studies and has spent twelve years in overseas educational settings, teaching English and Sociology. Her teaching experience, professional and personal development have contributed to her commitment to equity and social empowerment for all young people regardless of their setting, background or socio -economic status. Through working in a secondary school context she hopes to assist in tackling entrenched disadvantage through encouraging others towards a voyage of lifelong learning, resilience and hope .

Greg Williams

Principal, Broadmeadows Secondary College, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Greg Williams is a teacher with 30 years experience and is currently the Principal at Broadmeadows Secondary College. Prior to moving into the Principal class, Greg was a teacher of English, Humanities and Politics. He has co-authored English textbooks and has a Masters degree in education where his thesis topic was in the application of curriculum theories. As a principal in the Broadmeadows area, Greg is currently involved in a major project of regeneration and reorganization of primary and secondary schools in order to improve educational outcomes for young people in a highly culturally diverse yet socio-economically disadvantaged community.

Irem Sahin

Teacher, Hume Valley Special School, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Irem Sahin is a graduate teacher who has completed a four year tertiary education degree. This has included three years of a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a major in (Youth Work). Irem has also recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education at Victoria University. She is currently working in a Special School for students with mild intellectual disabilities and her interests are in supporting and creating safe and secure environments for students during their schooling.

Dr. Marcelle Cacciattolo

Coordinator, Partnerships, School of Education, Victoria university, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr Marcelle Cacciattolo is a sociologist and an experienced lecturer in the School of Education. She teaches ina diverse range of pre-service teacher education courses, conducts a range of research projects and supervises a variety of postgraduate research students. Marcelle’s other major responsibility involves the coordination of the School of Education’s community partnership program. Marcelle’s particular research interests are cross-disciplinary involving health sciences and education-based research. Her research focuses are linked to the following themes- well being, inclusive education, social justice and a desire to address community issues.


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