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Outdated Traditions and Sacred Cows

Think about the context of the team you are working in and the system of education you are a part of. What are the things that once made sense but no longer do?


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Paris Petelevitch
4 months ago

We are a team that is constantly changing, however sometimes it makes no sense to change it to the extent that we do. Sometimes it feels like we are constantly evolving with what needs to change, however, we do it so quickly, so often, that we just make busy work. We forget what did work, why we need to change it, and what we did in the past. Too often the new way of doing it now, was the original way we did it many years ago. What was old is now new again. So, it made sense to change it because there was a need to respond to feedback requesting change was needed, however, there never seems to be enough thought, time, feedback, consultation and/ or training opportunities for the changes to be meaningful.
Covid has taught us a lot about how we can now do things differently.
Meetings, they can be online with more flexibility and occasionally in person. Rather than always in person.
Working on site, 9-5 all the time, flexibility and opportunities to have individuals work more flexibly.

Helen
6 months ago

Being only new I have asked a lot of questions about how we do things and it has brought about a lot of discussion. I think its been great (as there are few of us that are new) and we are generating new ideas and ways to do things! Fresh sets eyes really helps!

Jo Hartley
7 months ago

I think a lot of areas can not make sense quickly however it is a juggling act to be innovative within your means (if that makes sense!) e.g. don’t change something for the sake of changing it however always be looking for new innovative ideas to help progression

Irina Castellano
7 months ago

We have cover sheets and feedback forms that ask questions which are already ticked off by getting into the online assessment. We can’t seem to keep up with updating things. Our slides all need redoing, but most casuals don’t have the time for it as we all have several jobs and it is not really paid either.
Doing things because they have always been done like this is an issue in many companies and it needs to change if we want to look innovative and professional.

Helen
6 months ago

Hi Irina, very good point – we do a lot of things for the sake of it but finding the time to update is challenging. Also fresh eyes and thoughts is also so important!

sharryn
8 months ago

Rules about no use of mobile phones. I often ask students to search for content on their phones.
assessments based on memory as opposed to project based assessment that assess knowledge across different context.
Our initial interview questionnaire asked questions no longer relevant to this era. It needs revamping.

Time constraint again come into play ad inhibit change for the better. Who has the time to look at these ‘sacred cows’? Institutions are not willing to expend any $$ towards these types of improvements

Jo Hartley
7 months ago
Reply to  sharryn

Agree and agree more!

Lyn Hynds
1 year ago

At Tafe NSW so much paperwork. recording details, making inane comments on students. It takes so much time but we can’t ignore it incase we get audited

sharryn
8 months ago
Reply to  Lyn Hynds

Absoltely Lyn. There is no time for innovative change or revisiting the ‘sacred cows’ that exist. Most of us are completing courses like this in our own time as over 70% of us are employed casually.

Monique
1 year ago

Assessment coversheets. The amount of paper wasted in the printing of coversheets is just unfathomable. It is time consuming and in most cases absolutely unnecessary.

Lyn Hynds
1 year ago
Reply to  Monique

Someone paid a lot more money than teachers spends their time designing these forms and coversheets

Wade Azmy
1 year ago

Curiosity is crucial for a teacher to dive deep into hypothesis and assumptions behind the rules

Helen
6 months ago
Reply to  Wade Azmy

100% this is so true!

Bhavna
1 year ago

Printing out and posting learning material when all things are available online just cause one is comfortable with the old style of learning. One must gradually adapt to changing times unless there is a specific reason.

Penelope
1 year ago

The TAFE has numerous sacred cows however the one that comes to mind is asking students to sign paperwork for every assessment when one paper to cover all 29 units would have been more efficient

Irina Castellano
7 months ago
Reply to  Penelope

At least a lot has gone online and students are now taught how to sign online, so a few things have improved, but more needs to be done.

Amy
1 year ago

Standardised tests and levels of bureaucracy

Peter Seabrook
1 year ago

Developing assessments without speaking to teachers who deliver the materials is paramount. They have the under-pinning knowledge. Its driven by compliance not questioning the reasons of why we are setting assessments . So who benefits?

Wade Azmy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Seabrook

True, but that require system change

Lyn Hynds
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Seabrook

The assessments that have been developed I have seen are totally miss the point of what the assessment aims to achieve. One assessment asked for 3 page essay from certificate 3 student (ESL) students

Leanne Lockrey
1 year ago

I am constantly amazed by the systems in the organisation that I work in. So many levels! My question is always…..so what is his/her role?

Penelope
1 year ago
Reply to  Leanne Lockrey

I can relate to your observation

Wade Azmy
1 year ago
Reply to  Leanne Lockrey

Probably there is a clear role definition and value created by the role in the value chain, the question is how the role supports the required change

Anoush Fanaeian
1 year ago

Talking in the class with an extreme monologue style or constant distribution of the worksheets without getting the students involved in the relevant activities can be used as examples of sacred cows in education.

Irina Castellano
7 months ago

True, the more we get them to speak, the better; but often we have to cover content and it does not leave as much time for interactions as we would like.

Julie Barkman
1 year ago

Paperless – all learning content, activities and assessments delivered by LMS. Access to e-books and databases for research.

Michelle Wein
1 year ago

Too many pieces of paper all basically saying and achieving the same thing over and over.

Anoush Fanaeian
1 year ago
Reply to  Michelle Wein

An exact correct example of sacred cows.

Penelope
1 year ago
Reply to  Michelle Wein

I can relate as the same at the TAFE

Nicole
1 year ago

Using paper and electronic systems to record the exact same data!

Leanne Lockrey
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicole

I can relate to this one! It can be so confusing & time consuming &…..how do the students benefit from this?

Paris Petelevitch
4 months ago
Reply to  Leanne Lockrey

Duplication is needed, however to the extent that we have at times is crazy. This is starting to change. Our systems are starting to talk more to each other. Finally.

ian
1 year ago

In my context some of the curriculum needs to be updated to be more in tune with today`s industry needs

Anoush Fanaeian
1 year ago
Reply to  ian

This is a very good statement but it would be much better if you could add some examples to make the facts clearer.

sharryn
8 months ago
Reply to  ian

yes Ian and also the infrastructure that supports many of our trades need updating as well. It needs to be made easier for teachers to return to the workplace to ensure they are constantly being exposed to the latest trends

Fiona
1 year ago

In my context it would be outdated work spaces and classroom set-up. Some staff are so tied to desks in rows and quiet classrooms – things need to change.

Michelle Wein
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona

A game changer.

Tayce Grosser
1 year ago

Staff meetings that could have been an email. It seems ridiculous to me that we attend hours worth of staff meetings where the speaker recognises how busy we are and how valuable our time is, while subsequently wasting this time. I 100% recognise the value of meetings and collaborative practise, but unfortunately this is not often the goal of these meetings and I think that often this time could have been spent much more effectively elsewhere.

Fiona
1 year ago
Reply to  Tayce Grosser

I agree Tayce. This is an outdated practice that can be converted into valuable collaboration time and an email will suffice for all the other stuff we need to know, but don’t need to discuss

Michelle Wein
1 year ago
Reply to  Tayce Grosser

Emails are often sooo much more time efficient.

Monique
1 year ago
Reply to  Tayce Grosser

Very true. But then when we are too busy to have meetings, we are rarely together in a team and can lose touch with the value of joining together, reconnecting and collaborating. It is a really tricky balance to achieve,

Casey
1 year ago

Meetings for the sake of meetings – I feel like many managers feel the need to have meetings to keep everyone informed, but so many lack this purpose and outcome.

Michelle Wein
1 year ago
Reply to  Casey

Emails are faster and easier

Colleen Gaudron
1 year ago

We do this because this is the way we have always done it does often bring that challenge as to why. Hence for me one of the things that has made me enjoy teaching in the vocational world is having those come from outside of industry and ask the why question. It does make you stop and think what is the real reason for this.

Fiona C
1 year ago

The sheer amount of assessment / volume of learning for both practical and theoretical components that students need to complete to gain their qualifications , endorsed by external bodies, often impractical and quickly outdated

Colleen Gaudron
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona C

So true and we see it time and time again. Compliance auditors who do not necessarily know the industry always are difficult to convince that we need to know what the person is actually doing and doing the job well rather than meeting all of the criteria that has been established.

Casey
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona C

I agree, Fiona. As educators, our hands are tied when it comes to the volume of learning, but we are also able to see how irrelevant much of this is in the real world.

Tayce Grosser
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona C

Particularly when this is not actually meeting industry need.

Fiona
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona C

This is an issue at our school too. The needless desire to summatively assess everything. It leads to disengaged students and staff and a lack of capability building

Nicole
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona C

I agree. The volume of marking/ assessments/ recording of data is overwhelming at times, not only for teachers but students.

Julie Barkman
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona C

Definitely difficult trying to ‘fit’ all into the time provided.

Peter Seabrook
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona C

Yes-these assessments are a nightmare for both students and teachers/assessors. But beautifully mapped to the obsolete natioanl units!

Monique
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona C

In my experience, in adult education, assessments are the biggest barrier to teaching.

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