TVET@Asia Issue 5: Approaches and achievements in TVET personnel professional development

Vocational teacher education is a relevant field of continuous development in Asia and in other world regions. Concepts, initiatives and declarations on the professional development of TVET personnel have frequently been issued by relevant stakeholders at a number of signifi­cant international meetings. Among them are the following:

  • Ten years ago the UNESCO International Meeting on Innovation and Excellence in TVET Teacher/Trainer Education was held in Hangzhou, China. This meeting recom­mended developing TVET into an internationally acknowledged scientific community in order to professionalize TVET teacher/trainer education and to integrate TVET as sustainable, reproductive and innovative scientific systems in national approaches to innovation. To implement TVET Teacher Education study programs at the Masters level were considered one of the necessary steps.
  • The First World Congress on Teacher Education for Technical and Vocational Educa­tion and Training held in 2008 in Bandung, Indonesia reaffirmed this request by recommending that TVET teacher/trainer education should encompass “studies in the analysis, design and evaluation of (a) vocational learning, educational and qualifica­tion processes, (b) occupational work and business processes, (c) technology as an object of work and learning processes, and (d) critical pedagogy for social change”. The Bandung declaration in addition asked for the establishment of “frameworks for promoting the continuing professional development of TVET practitioners”, a request implicitly included in the Hangzhou declaration.
  • The UNESCO Third International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, held in May 2012 in Shanghai, China, in its “Shanghai Consensus”, more generally recommended to “... specifically, develop policies and frameworks for professionalizing TVET staff”.
  • The core of the “Thanyaburi Statement”, an outcome of the ASEAN International Forum held in January 2013 in Thanyaburi, Thailand, suggested developing TVET research at teacher training institutions as the basis for improving vocational teacher education, as a call to develop the scientific basis of TVET for the sake of TVET personnel professional development.

The statements and declarations illustrate the high demand for an international discussion and knowledge exchange on approaches for TVET teacher/trainer professionalization. The 5th issue of TVET@Asia presents a variety of different approaches in initial and further voca­tional teacher education from Asia and beyond.

PARYONO provides an overview on current approaches to educate and train TVET teachers and instructors in ASEAN member countries, discussing current policies and practices, chal­lenges and issues, as well as development strategies. His analysis is based on a number of discursive processes he had access to as Deputy Director of the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education and Training in Brunei.

Several articles address TVET teacher education issues in the narrower sense. PHOUMILAY et al. report on a concept of further education and training of in-service vocational instructors to reduce the theory-practice-gap in Lao PDR. HASSAN et al. analyse the contribution of networking and internationalization to competence development of TVET teacher educators in general and in Malaysia specifically. DWI FOSA et al. show in a very action-oriented project, how bilateral cooperation between Myanmar and Indonesia in TVET furthers the training benefits to all involved parties and can achieve a radical change in teaching and learning.

MALLOCH and HELMY compare the trends in TVET teacher education in Indonesia and Australia, and find converging as well as diverging tendencies. Indonesia consequently strives for a professionalization of TVET staff, while Australia seemingly develops in another direction. The contribution of SMITH et al. advocate University-based education of TVET teachers while criticising the recent political developments in Australia which led and will lead to further de-skilling (or de-professionalization) of vocational teaching staff. BOUND and STACK present pedagogical tools for continuous professional development of TVET teachers and instructors, and discuss their impact, focusing on Australia too. Considering the problematic political settings mentioned in the two previous articles, the reader may get an idea why such an approach currently important for this country.

DUGGAN analyses recent development cooperation donors' activities for TVET develop­ment in Mongolia and concludes that the extreme imbalance between enormous financial support for building up and equipping TVET schools and virtually inexistent activities for TVET teacher competence development has put the impact and sustainability of hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in danger.

FLYNN et al. finally address the always and everywhere virulent topic of industry-school-partnerships as a means for developing the quality of many aspects of TVET, drawing on a number of existing examples in Australia. This, at the time of writing, last article of TVET@Asia issue 5 leaves the somehow narrow focus on TVET teacher professional devel­opment by addressing another aspect of TVET quality, which might be discussed in more detail in one of the future issues.

We wish you enlightening insights, and enjoy reading.


The editors of Issue 5

Joachim Dittrich, Agus Setiawan, Len Cairns, and Thomas Schröder


Dittrich, J., Setiawan, A., Cairns, L., & Schroeder, T. (2015). Editorial Issue 5: Approaches achievements in TVET personnel professional development. In: TVET @ Asia, issue 5, 1-3. Online: http://www.tvet-online.asia/issue5/editorial_tvet5.pdf (retrieved 23.7.2015).


Joachim Dittrich
University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven
Len Cairns
Monash University Australia
Agus Setiawan
Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
Thomas Schröder
TU Dortmund University, Germany