A study of design education in the Australian vocational education and training context

  • Christopher Ludwik Klimek

    Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


    In this thesis, the TAFE design education system, within the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) context, has been investigated with reference to the views, concerns and aspirations of teachers, as one of the important groups of stakeholders influencing the quality of the design programs and their outcomes for graduates. From a critical review of the literature on recent developments in VET, and TAFE design education practices, it is found that there is a clear need for conducting an empirical investigation into the views of TAFE design teachers, especially with respect to their influence on the current, and future, design and operation of TAFE design education. The purpose of this investigation is to identify, from experimental research, the parameters and related variables, which may affect the design and operation of the noted system. With respect to design thinking and processes, it is found that a number of models of the design process exist, and that it is possible to adapt a selected model and use this, at least in general terms, to describe typical developmental phases of a TAFE design education system, all in the context of a systems design/engineering context. This research has developed a novel parametric model and related constituent variables, and carried out a pragmatic experimental program to collect data using one-on-one and focus group interviews. These data have been analysed using NVivo and Leximancer qualitative data analysis software combined with recursive parsing techniques. These software tools have been used to develop a systematic method for classifying, organising and analysing empirical data. From the analysis of these data, it is found that an enhanced parametric model of the noted system can be proposed that is populated with important parameters, and their constituent variables, and informed by the views of the design teachers serving in the participating TAFE institutes. The findings of this research show that the parametric model and pragmatic approach used in this study provide a useful framework for analysing the TAFE design education system, which may also be adapted to study the views of other stakeholders of similar systems. A substantial database of original, empirical information about the noted TAFE design education system has been compiled, which may be applied to inform the current and future design and operation of such systems. Finally, recommendations are made for future research.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorElivio Bonollo (Supervisor), Don Carson (Supervisor) & Craig Bremner (Supervisor)

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