IER Research Projects plus past projects of IER director, which have been presented in journal articles, as conference papers and reports, can be downloaded or accessed from this page as pdfs.
In-text and final Reference List citations for each pdf have been added in APA 6 for those who wish to refer to and cite downloaded material. This is a condition of use to avoid plagiarism and breach of copyright.
Research documents are listed in time order. Author original manuscripts are noted: (AOM) and available from this site. Published articles have links to journal sites.
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Livock, C. (2016, July). Re-humanising the Educational Sphere in Australia – a critical history of workplace and vocational education in Australia from 1828. Paper presented at Critical Realism and de-humanization International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) 19th Annual Conference, Critical Realism and de-humanization. Cardiff, Wales.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2016)
SUMMARY: A Critical history from 1828 of technical and vocational education in Australia with a view to its re-humanisation.
ABSTRACT: In the Australian sphere of schooling and vocational education and training (VET) 1990 was a watershed year. This was the international year of literacy which prompted a slew of educational research and resultant educational reform programs, programs based on concepts of social responsibility. However, at the same time, there was an emerging political impetus to reframe education, both schooling and VET, in terms of cost/benefit, with students reframed as customers, education as product purchased, and educational outcomes tied to benefit to the national economy. Australian researchers have termed this the marketized approach, that is the financialisation of education. The result has been at first a slide and then a free fall towards the dehumanisation and mechanisation of education. This paper employs Bhaskar’s Transformational Model of Social Activity and an explanatory critique to uncover the restricting mechanisms of financialisation in the Australian educational sphere (schooling and VET) in academic, social and administrative domains. To show how elements of individuality (including face-to-face relations of individuals), compassion, and civility as necessary to re-humanise the educational sphere of social life can be activated by individuals, in spite of a dehumanising technicist, functional and bureaucratic approach to educational excellence proffered by political exigencies.
Keywords: vocational education and training (VET), technical education, VET history Australia, marketization, financialisation, critical realism, competency based learning, training packages, structures and mechanisms of society, individual agency, human emancipation, flourishing.
Livock, C. (2016, July). Rehumanising the Educational Sphere in Australia - an explanatory critique to uncover the restricting mechanisms of marketization in the Australian sphere of VET & schooling. Delivered at International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) 19th Annual Conference, Critical Realism and de-humanization. Cardiff, Wales.
Livock, C. (2016, July). Handout 1: Critical Review of the Historical Development of Technical and Vocational Education in Australia, 1828-1996 [Table]. Delivered at International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) 19th Annual Conference, Critical Realism and de-humanization. Cardiff, Wales.
Livock, C. (2016, July). Handout 2: Individual and Structural emergent causal components in technical and vocational education in Australia, from a Critical Realist standpoint. Delivered at International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) 19th Annual Conference, Critical Realism and de-humanization. Cardiff, Wales.
Livock, C. (2016). Walking the tightrope: Market drivers versus social responsibility with implications for language, literacy and numeracy, and inclusive teaching. International Journal of Training Research, 14(1), 35-48.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2016)
ABSTRACT: For the past two years TAFE Queensland Brisbane and one of its amalgamated branches, Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, have been conducting a collaborative action research project investigating how best to support their very diverse vocational students to successfully complete their studies. This is in a climate of devaluing vocational education, reflected in drastically diminishing funding, with spending per VET student plummeting over a 10-year span (1999–2011) by 25%, with public vocational providers such as TAFE receiving even more severe funding cuts in the past three years, losing thousands of highly qualified teaching staff. This paper therefore addresses how, in this difficult, marketised VET environment, successful language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) and inclusive teaching practices can be effectively delivered to maintain the engagement of an increasingly diverse student cohort and how ongoing, follow-up learning support needs to be funded adequately and provided flexibly for continued student engagement.
Keywords: Vocational Education and Training (VET), Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN), Foundation Skills, Funding, Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF), Learning Support.
PRE-PRINT (AOM) VERSION with extra explanatory tables
Livock, C. (2015). Walking the tightrope: Market drivers versus social responsibility with implications for language, literacy and numeracy, and inclusive teaching [AOM]. Brisbane:: the Author.
Ryan, M., Gwinner, K., Mallan, K., & Livock, C. (2016, July). Juggling priorities: balancing economic and social drivers to address the language, literacy and numeracy needs of students in the VET sector. International Journal of Training Research , 14(2), 145-160.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Ryan, Gwinner, Mallan & Livock, 2016)
ABSTRACT: Economic success and commitment to the social benefits of inclusive training opportunities are important goals for public Vocational Education and Training (VET). Currently in Australia, VET policy is a shared responsibility between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories. Priorities for investment are juggled between improving efficiency and responsiveness, and providing societal prosperity. 15 Amid recent VET educational reforms and policy directives, the authors undertook a pilot study examining language, literacy and numeracy support and inclusive teaching and learning practices in a Diploma of Nursing course. The data highlighted implications arising from new, market-driven education reforms. This article reports on identified factors that influenced inclusive learning opportunities, noticeably associated with two recent policy developments: the release of the FSK Foundation Skills Training Package and Queensland’s Higher Skills Program Policy 2014–15.
Keywords: language literacy and numeracy; VET; nursing; contestable markets; social benefits; education reform.
Livock, C. (2016). What can VET learn from teaching and learning experiences in Alternative Education Centres? Paper presented at AVETRA 19th National Conference, St Leonards Sydney 20-22 April.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2016)
ABSTRACT: This paper examines successful teaching and learning experiences at three Alternative Education Centres (schools) in Queensland where young people labelled “at risk” have been engaged with positive educational results. Then drawing on vocational research it considers how such teaching, learning and supportive student practices evident in alternative schooling can be applied in a vocational education environment to keep students engaged, learning and successfully developing employability skills. The paper shows how some principles of adult learning ‘andragogy’ have been vital to the successful engagement of not only youth in a schooling context but also for youth and mature aged students in the VET environment. The basis for the analysis has been a critical realist framework or meta-theory with key elements of: social scientific investigations in open systems, systems which are acknowledged as being real and having a stratified structural depth, with a plurality of causal mechanism, where an emancipatory explanation is an essential element. Critical realism also provided a methodological framework to determine causality, seeking causal mechanisms both within the social structures and within individuals as they impact on each other, thus fulfilling the purpose of a critical realist social research, namely underlabouring for human emancipation and the promotion of flourishing.
Keywords: Alternative education centres, student support, critical realism, vocational education and training (VET), student engagement, pedagogy, andragogy, 6 stages of explanatory research, transcendental questioning, human emancipation, flourishing.
Livock, C. (2016). What can VET learn from teaching and learning experiences in Alternative Education Centres? Delivered at AVETRA 19th National Conference, St Leonards Sydney 20-22 April.
Ryan, ME., Mallan, K.M., Gwinner, K., & Livock, C.A. (2015) Language Literacy and Numeracy in TAFE Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled/Division 2 Nursing). Brisbane, Queensland Australia: Children and Youth Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Ryan, Mallan, Gwinner & Livock, 2015)
ABSTRACT: This project aimed to identify current Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) and Inclusive Teaching and Learning Practices in a TAFE Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled/Division 2 Nursing). The key purpose of the study was to make recommendations for improving inclusive teaching practice and learning outcomes of students and for reducing student attrition, thereby increasing the employability of graduates in the health industry subsequent to course completion.
Keywords: Language literacy and numeracy (LLN), nursing teaching, diploma, Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF), student support, Vocation Education and Training (VET), inclusive teaching and learning, student retention.
CONFERENCE PRESENTATION SLIDES
Livock, C., (2015, Oct.). Dollar, Dunce, Defend - increasing retention of students in the VET sector. Presentation delivered at AUSTAFE National Conference 2015, 28-30 Oct.. Canberra, Australia.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2015)
SUMMARY: Presentation summarised findings and outcomes of a 2 1/2 year action research study plus an allied research project initiated by Dr Livock at an Australian vocational college.
Livock, C. (2014). Credible Credentialing: importance for Trainers & Support Programs & the role of foundation skills, understanding LLN and using the ACSF. Delivered at The TELLS 2014 Professional Development Conference "Refresh Refocus", Brisbane.
ABSTRACT: This conference workshop enables participants to easily identify students' Language Literacy and Numceracy (LLN) levels and explains how to connect needed LLN levels to the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) certificates. It does this by utilizing the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) to identify LLN levels. Finally via groupwork and disucssions participants' feedback will be gained on the impact of poor LLN skills levels for 'credible credentialing' in their faculty areas.
CONFERENCE PRESENTATION SLIDES
Livock, C., & Nutt, R. (2013). Building VET Capacity: are practical applications of Australian Core Skills Framework THE Key to improving training, workplace performance and engagement? Paper presented at EYEQ (End of Year Event Queensland) 2013 Annual Conference of Queensland VET Development Centre, Brisbane. 24-25 October.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock & Nutt, 2013)
EXTENDED ABSTRACT: Poor student retention in all VET sectors has been a long term issue facing VET educators. The Australian Industry Group in 2006 noted that more than 50,000 apprentices in Vic/NSW would not complete their courses. More recently, at MSIT in some courses over 40% of students have dropped out or failed their courses. Pertinently this cross sector poor completion rate has been linked by several studies to inadequate Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) student levels (Stewart, 1975; Hannan & Learmont, 1982; Thor, 1997; Edwards & Smith, 2005; Nicholas, Fletcher & Davis, 2012). This same figure is borne out by the Australian Industry Council (AIG a, 2012) which reported a 55.4% completion rate for apprentices Australia wide, with 75% of employers reporting their businesses were affected by poor literacy rates. Consequently for VET practitioners and workplaces, full knowledge of LLN is a key element for student success and for increased productivity.
This presentation will assist VET practitioners: industry partners, managers, teachers and support staff to identify crucial skills gaps in LLN linked to VET qualifications. In doing so it will increase the capacity of VET practitioners and workplace Managers to better serve their client base to increase student retention and improve workplace performance.
The key to unpacking the complexities of LLN in any context is a practical understanding of the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). As noted in When Words Fail, National Workforce Literacy Project (AIG b, 2012) although the ACSF is primarily a tool for literacy specialists, it is also useful for building an understanding of literacy. Thus participants will be shown how to link the results of LLN diagnostic data to real ACSF tasks, and then shown how to target critical skills to maximise positive results for employment and training. It will be demonstrated how identifying ACSF levels can be relevant for VET educators in their specific fields; how they can develop a multiliteracies (Cope & Kalantzis, 1996) approach in developing strategies and design elements, to match delivery practice to identified LLN needs of each VET qualification.
Finally snapshots will be provided of the benefits of organisation wide consistent LLN diagnostic analysis for both workplace and training. These are consistent LLN practices driven by organis-ational leaders and managers, which diagnose literacy/numeracy levels, identify the skills gaps, and implement innovative teaching strategies, with resultant improved student and industry outcomes.
Crane, P.R., & Livock, C.A. (2012) Joined-up practice : five areas of exemplary practice for social workers and educators to re-engage homeless youth. Youth Studies Australia, 31(2), pp. 44-52.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Crane & Livock, 2012)
ABSTRACT: Young people seen as ‘at risk’ are a substantial focus across a wide range of policy and practice fields in national and international contexts. This article addresses two of those fields, youth homelessness and youth failing to obtain a basic education that will give them access to employment and full community participation as active citizens. By comparing solutions to the problems of youth homelessness and youth educationally at risk, the article distils key meta-characteristics useful for both social workers and educators in mutually supporting some of the most at risk young people in our communities today. This is what the authors term ‘a joined-up practice’.
Keywords: youth at risk, youth homelessness, partnering social workers and educators, re-egaging homeless youth, alternative schooling, literacy learning, literacy standards, joined-up practice.
Livock, C. (2011). Is the Rush to Improve Standards also Pushing Our Most At Risk Young People out of Education? Queensland State Youth Affairs Conference, Brisbane, 20-21 July
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2011)
Livock, C. (2011). The power of historical causal components involved in engaging at risk youth at three alternative schools. Journal of Critical Realism. 10(1) 36-59.Equinox Publishing Ltd., London, UK.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2011)
ABSTRACT: This article addresses the causal powers associated with the social phenomena of alternative schooling for youth at risk. It stems from a doctoral thesis, Alternative Schooling Programs for At Risk Youth: Three Case Studies, which addresses wider issues integral to alternative schooling: youth at risk, alternative schooling models, and literacy. This article explores one aspect of alternative schooling: the historical causal factors involved in the establishment and continuance of three alternative case-study models in Queensland, Australia. By adhering to Bhaskar's transformational model of social activity (TMSA), social structures and individuals will be analytically distinguished to uncover their separate causal powers and how these have effected the establishment and continuance of three alternative schools.
Key Words: agency, alternative schooling, causal powers, critical realism, structures and mechanisms, youth at risk.
PRE-PRINT (AOM) VERSION
Livock, C. (2011). The power of historical causal components involved in engaging at risk youth at three alternative schools. [AOM]. Brisbane, Australia: the Author.
CONFERENCE PAPER & POSTER
Livock, C. (2010). Life Raft Australia? PAPER presented at 2010 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development: The Agenda, Hong Kong, China. June 10-14.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2010)
ABSTRACT: In the helter skelter of people legally and illegally seeking refuge in Australia, often overlooked are the realities of how to obtain that hoped for better life. One of the avenues chosen to achieve their dream is higher education; however, once enrolled in higher education many such students [termed Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)] find they are ill equipped to achieve academic success; they become overwhelmed by the pressures of study/family/work; and ultimately lose heart and their place at university. Life raft Australia has just become another disillusioning vehicle to a depressing future. This paper discusses how universities across Australia are now putting processes in place that will enable CALD students to confront and overcome academic and social barriers, and thus realise their dream of a better life. Exemplars from the University of Tasmania provide practical models of how higher education institutions, not only in Australia but globally can assist immigrant students to self actualize; to be empowered to become integral and successful members of the Australian community.
Livock, C. (2010). Life Raft Australia? POSTER presented at 2010 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development: The Agenda, Hong Kong, China. June 10-14.
Key Words: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD )students, CALD linguistic and cultural needs, academic writing, academic study skills, tertiary education, tertiary learning support, first in family at university.
Livock, C., & Crane, P. (2010). Characteristics of Effective Practice with ‘at risk’ youth – a Comparative Analysis of Alternative Education and Early Intervention into Youth Homelessness. Paper presented at 2010 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development: The Agenda, Hong Kong, China. June 10-14.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock & Crane, 2010).
ABSTRACT: Young people seen “at risk” are a substantial focus across a wide range of policy and practice fields. This paper compares insights generated from research in two such fields, alternative education and early intervention into youth homelessness, in an effort to distil key meta-characteristics for effective practice.
Intervention strategies need to intertwine the individual and relational within an institutional context which allows for and supports a collaborative, flexible, exploratory and responsive approach by front line staff. The fine grained lived experience of each young person requires recognition for this to occur, as well as attention to fostering supportive relationships at a number of levels: with young people, and between young people and significant others including peers, parents/ family, other services and community.
In the context of schooling, this is a “different” approach to the technicist and functional approach of many mainstream schooling organisations; “different” to a mainstream approach which focuses on the product not the person, and utilises pre-determined intervention approaches. In the context of human services for young people this points to a nuanced approach, to “person in environment” practice, particularly in locations where policy and institutional priorities translate into narrow constructions of outcomes or methods.
Keywords: youth work, homelessness, youth at risk, school engagement, individualisation, flexible practice, reconnect.
Livock, C., & Crane, P. (2010). Characteristics of effective practice with ‘at risk’ youth – a comparative analysis of alternative education and early intervention into youth homelessness. Delivered at 2010 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development: The Agenda, Hong Kong, China. June 10-14.
PhD DOCTORAL DISSERTATION
Livock, C. (2009). Alternative schooling programs for at risk youth - three case studies [Doctoral dissertation] Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2009)
ABSTRACT: This thesis develops a critical realist explanatory critique of alternative schooling programs for youth at risk taking place at three case study sites. Throughout the thesis the author pursues the question, "Are alternative provisions of schooling working academically and socially for youth at risk?" The academic lens targets literacy learning and associated pedagogies. Social outcomes are posited as positive social behaviours and continued engagement in learning. A four phased analysis, drawing on critical realism, interpretive and subject specific theories is used to elicit explanations for the research question. An overall framework is a critical realist methodology as set out by Danermark, Ekstrom, Jakobsen and Karlsson (2002, p.129). Consequently phase one describes the phenomena of alternative schooling programs taking place at three case study sites. This is reported first as staff narratives that are resolved into imaginable historical causal components of "generative events", "prior schooling structures", "models of alternative schooling", "purpose", "individual agency" and "relations with linked community organisations". Then transcendental questions are posed about each component using retroduction to uncover structures, underlying mechanisms and powers, and individual agency. In the second phase the researcher uses modified grounded theory methodology to theoretically redescribe causal categories related to a "needed different teaching and administrative approach" that emerged from the previous critique. A transcendental question is then applied to this redescription. The research phenomena are again theoretically redescribed in the third phase, this time using three theoretically based constructs associated with literacy and literacy pedagogies; the NRS, the 4 Resources Model, and Productive Pedagogies. This redescription is again questioned in terms of its core or "necessary" components. The fourth phase makes an explanatory critique by comparing and critiquing all previous explanations, recontextualising them in a wider macro reality of alternative schooling. Through this critical realist explanatory critiquing process, a response emerges not only to whether alternative provisions of schooling are working, but also how they are working, and how they are not working, with realistically based implications for future improvement.
Key Words: at risk, youth, alternative schooling, alternative education programs, national reporting system, productive pedagogies, literacy, critical literacy, 4 resources model, critical realism, case study.
Livock, C. (2008, July). A Critical Realist Methodology for Examining Alternative Schooling Programs for Youth At Risk. Paper presented at International Association for Critical Realism Annual Conference, Kings College University of London. July 11-13 .
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2008)
ABSTRACT: This paper develops a critical realist explanatory critique of alternative schooling programs for youth at risk, taking place at three case study sites. Through this critique the author pursues the question, “Are alternative provisions of schooling working for youth at risk? Are they working academically? Are they working socially?” Academics here is viewed through the lens of literacy learning and associated pedagogies. Social outcomes are posited as positive social behaviours and continued engagement in learning.
A four phased analysis, drawing not only on critical realism but also on interpretive and subject specific theories is used to elicit an explanatory answer to the above question. An overall framework is a critical realist methodology as set out in Explaining Society (Danermark, Ekstrom, Jakobsen, & Karlsson, 2002). Consequently in phase one: the author firstly, describes the phenomena of alternative schooling programs taking place at three case study sites through staff narratives; secondly, resolves staff narratives into imaginable historical causal components of ‘generative events’, ‘prior schooling structures’, ‘models of alternative schooling’, ‘purpose’, ‘individual agency’, and ‘relations with linked community organisations’; and thirdly, by posing transcendental questions about each component uses retroduction to uncover structures, underlying mechanisms and powers, and individual agency. In the second phase the researcher uses grounded theory to theoretically redescribe causal categories. A transcendental question is then applied to this redescription. In the third phase, the research phenomena are again theoretically redescribed this time using three theories associated with literacy and literacy pedagogies. This redescription is again questioned as to the necessary components. The final phase makes an explanatory critique by comparing and critiquing all previous explanations, recontextualising them in a wider macro reality of alternative schooling.
Through this critical realist explanatory critiquing process, an answer emerges not only to whether alternative provisions of schooling are working, but also how and why they are not working, with realistically based implications for improvement.
Key Words: critical realist explanatory research, umbrella theory, methodology, case studies, transcendental questions, Bhaskar, transitive and intransitive objects of knowledge, emergent properties, structures, mechanisms.
Livock, C. (2006, July). Non formal education provision in Australia for youth at risk. Paper presented at 15th National Vocational Education and Training Research conference, Mooloolaba, Queensland, 12 -14 July.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2006)
Key Words: literacy, critical literacy, National Reporting System (NRS), productive pedagogies, andragogy, student engagement, choice theory, critical realist methodology.
Livock, C. (2006, July). Non formal education provision in Australia for youth at risk. Delivered at 15th National Vocational Education and Training Research conference, Mooloolaba, Queensland, 12 -14 July.
Livock, C. (2005, Aug.). Which Literacy Practices and Pedagogies Engage and Empower At Risk Adolescent Students? Paper presented at United Nation’s International Conference on Engaging Communities, Brisbane Australia.
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2005)
ABSTRACT: This paper reports on preliminary findings from an ongoing one year doctoral study of literacy programs provided at four alternative education settings in Queensland, Australia, and a comparative site in Texas. The research question being: “What are the literacy practices utilized for at risk adolescents across several alternative education sites?”
In the developing world the concern is for delivering basic literacy education programs to large at risk segments of the population. In Australia, although these segments of the population are smaller, there nevertheless is some concern that in spite of nearly 200 years of mass education significant numbers of the population, approximately 10% have failed to attain basic literacy levels (Wickert, 1989). Of particular interest to legislators and educators are the number of at risk adolescents who have disconnected from school and community life, and are at risk of failing to attain basic literacy skills needed to function in the current knowledge based society (Belanger, Winter, & Sutton, 1992; Falk, 2001). In an effort to reconnect these adolescents a multiplicity of alternative education settings have emerged.
However, finding a space where at risk adolescents can successfully engage in literacy education can prove difficult for both the students and teachers alike. Problems that caused at risk adolescents to disengage from their education in mainstream high schools can also cause disengagement in the alternative setting. This paper examines how the five alternative education sites meet the challenge of grappling with these difficulties; how and whether students maintain their engagement and increase their literacy levels; and whether these young people are being empowered with the literacy skills that enable them to look forward to a better future.
Key Words: Disengaged, adolescents, alternative education, literacy.
Livock, C. (2005, Aug.). Which Literacy Practices and Pedagogies Engage and Empower At Risk Adolescent Students? Delivered at United Nation’s International Conference on Engaging Communities, Brisbane Australia.
Livock, C. (2005, May-June.). Creative Pedagogies for At Risk Adolescents in Alternative Education Settings. Paper presented at Redesigning Pedagogy: Research, Policy, Practice Conference, NIE Singapore, 30 May-1 June .
IN TEXT REFERENCE: (Livock, 2005)
ABSTRACT: It has been said in the invitation to this conference that “schools face new contexts and conditions for pedagogy”. This statement is especially applicable to a growing number of alternative schools targeting at risk adolescents. These are students who are at risk of failing to attain basic literacy skills, have dropped out of the mainstream school system, and have disconnected from community life. In the alternative education context teachers are endeavouring to develop pedagogies that will re-engage these adolescents. To do this they are having to creatively draw on a multiplicity of pedagogic practices.
This paper examines the creative programs and pedagogic practices at several alternative education sites participating in a doctoral study. There are four participating sites in Queensland, Australia, with a comparative site in Texas. Each site represents a unique type of alternative schooling. Additionally each site is implementing a distinctive type of literacy programming. How each of the alternative schools meet the challenge of redesigning their literacy pedagogies to re-engage at risk adolescents should prove informative to educators in both the alternative and mainstream sectors.
Key Words: flexible programs, language models, pedagogical models, at risk students, engagement, disengagement, literacy.
Livock, C. (2005, May-June.). Creative Pedagogies for At Risk Adolescents in Alternative Education Settings. Delivered at Redesigning Pedagogy: Research, Policy, Practice Conference, NIE Singapore, 30 May-1 June .