Social Partnerships in Learning: Understanding the Identities of Disenfranchised Regional Learners

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Developing innovative and successful approaches to engage disenfranchised regional learners in training necessitates effective partnership and the recognition of diverse knowledge systems as they relate to the worlds of work, community engagement and learning. This paper reports on the outcomes of a study of regional learners identities and the transformative processes that facilitated their successful involvement in vocational education. Social partnerships in learning were found to be key, they are the interagency and interdisciplinary relationships that enable effective learning in different disciplines, workplaces and training sites. Social partnerships in learning frameworks are used to; examine diverse knowledge systems, develop capacity building processes and understand the underlying relationships that facilitate connections, engagement and decision making between government, non-government, enterprise, community, stakeholders and individuals (Wallace 2008:7). These frameworks operate at and across all levels i.e. involving individuals, organizations and learning systems. This paper will examine the role of learning partnerships in developing strong learner identity and reengaging regional learners.


Keywords: Identity, Partnership, Vocational Education and Training, Regional learners
Stream: Adult, Vocational, Tertiary and Professional Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Social Partnerships in Learning


Assoc. Prof. Ruth Wallace

Educational researcher/Senior Lecturer, Social Partnerships in Learning Research Consortium
School of Education, Charles Darwin University

Darwin, NT, Australia

Ruth Wallace has extensive experience in innovative delivery of vocational education and training (VET) programs in regional and remote areas across Northern Australia. She’s a Senior VET Lecturer and researcher, with particular expertise in VET practice development, learning communities, literacies and flexible learning. She an educational researcher with the Social Parternships in Learning Research Group, Charles Darwin University, and has undertaken research into the links between identity and involvement in post-compulsory schooling. Ruth has also undertaken research into flexible learning, action learning and developing effective materials and assessment for marginalized students. She is currently undertaking a series of projects that examine enterprise based training and elearning and establishing a VET practice development learning community.

Ref: L08P0824