From apprentice to performer: using vodcasts to bring English teaching into the tertiary classroom

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This showcase and paper is part of a wider ‘work integrated learning’ project, conducted within the QUT Faculty of Education. The project focuses on two complementary approaches. The first involves apprenticeship. As apprentices, student learners gradually gain access to a community of practice and take on roles around the performances of experts, participating ever more fully, to the point where they exhibit mature practice. During this apprenticeship, learners are involved in “legitimate peripheral participation” (Lave & Wenger, 1991): observing and absorbing the performance of experts. The streamed video resources and associated materials are designed precisely to capture such expert knowledge in action (Schon, 1983, 1987; Ethell & McMeniman, 2000). QUT students are therefore enabled to participate peripherally in a virtual community with professionals and experts in the field. The form which such peripheral participation takes in the project is problem-based learning (Savery & Duffy, 2001) – the second complementary approach on which the project is founded. Here students will be defining their own particular cognitive problematics, investigating the issues, and engaging in technologically enhanced, work-integrated learning within the complex social worlds of classrooms. Thus, as apprentices engaged in a form of problem-based learning which utilizes online resources, the students will therefore be projecting themselves into the identities and performances of the experts they observe (Gee, 2003). This will have a direct impact on the students’ own learning. Observing and interacting with experienced teachers as reflective practitioners will contribute development of their own pedagogy by demonstrating a culture of reflective scholarship of teaching in the workplace, to which those ‘experts’ contribute.