An investigation into the current environment for technical vocational education and training leadership development in New Zealand polytechnics
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Citation:Baglow, L. (2016). An investigation into the current environment for technical vocational education and training leadership development in New Zealand polytechnics. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial requirement for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management at Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4224
This thesis examines the professional development needs and leadership development opportunities for New Zealand technical vocational education and training (TVET) leaders. It also considers the significant responsibilities placed on the shoulders of vocational trades leaders as they respond to the demands of their institutions, the external funding agency, industry training organisations and government policy makers. Whether in the public or private sector, it is assumed that the current state of technical vocational education and training (TVET) leadership development in New Zealand polytechnic institutions has been found to be wanting. The drive for efficiency has contributed to the development of a business focused middle management infrastructure. The gap between senior management and technical vocational education and training (TVET) leaders has widened. This gap effectively limits those leaders with potential to gain the experience of on the job training and career advancement into full management positions. This qualitative study investigated the perceptions of TVET leaders in relation to their professional development needs and leadership development opportunities in two New Zealand polytechnic institutions. Two focus groups of TVET lecturers were conducted to identity their perceptions with regards to their role, opportunities, challenges and barriers. Both groups were questioned for their professional development needs in relation to leadership progression in the future. Two data gathering methods were employed as six middle leaders and one senior leader were interviewed and two groups of TVET lectures were interviewed in focus groups. The findings of this research showed a number of difficulties faced by TVET leaders as they struggle to come to terms with the complexities of their roles. The research also indicated a number of inconsistencies in the vocational trades leader’s role, even though their contributions are becoming increasingly important. The study highlighted that vocational trades leaders were generally ill prepared and require support in order to fulfil their roles as managers, leaders and in many cases, educators. Hence, there is a need for institutions to organise leadership and prepare TVET leaders with the provision of opportunities for leadership development. Research Aims and Questions The overall objective of this research is to investigate the vocational trades professional development needs and leadership development opportunities for TVET leaders in two in New Zealand polytechnic institutions. This study aims to identify challenges faced by New Zealand TVET leaders and their professional development needs. This research should provide an insight into the work of vocational trades leaders and contribute to gaining a better understanding of their role,institutional requirements and development opportunities.