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Improving outcomes for hairdressing students in pre-apprenticeship training: A collaborative account of three stages in an action research project


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In this study, we collaborated, as a research team whose members were drawn from Foundation Studies and the hairdressing vocation, to describe how we used a multi-method approach to plan, implement and make sense of a module improvement project.

The project, intended to improve outcomes for students in pre-apprenticeship training, was initiated by three of the authors who are hairdressing tutors in the tertiary sector in New Zealand. They invited the literacy-embedding team (i.e. the two remaining authors) at the institute to participate in the project as critical friends and co-researchers.

The project evolved in three stages: first, the hairdressing tutors embarked upon the re-design of a level-3 hairdressing module on contagious and non-contagious conditions of the hair and scalp, notorious for its technical terms, lengthy explanations, limited visuals, teacher-centred delivery and negative student perceptions.

This first stage was an elaborate process of re-designing, trialling, and tweaking the module before implementation.

The second stage involved implementing and tracking how their pedagogical strategy, based on a blended learning model, would yield a more learner-centred approach, find an appropriate balance between individual and group contributions, as well as use various technologies and web tools in the module, in improving outcomes for students.

The third stage followed on the positive outcomes in course completions and student feedback, which prompted the literacy-embedding team to raise and consolidate the hairdressing trainers’ awareness of the shifts in role definitions, teaching strategies and learning practices they had adopted.

Using laddering up and pyramiding (Fransella, Bell & Bannister, 2004), we mapped the key constructs in their pedagogical thinking and action, showing their individuality and the commonalities in their pedagogical meaning-making.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: We have logged this report as an institutional report. We have registered a project to convert the content into a peer-reviewed publication.
Uncontrolled Keywords: action research, blended learning, student outcomes improvement
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Schools > School of International Tourism, Hospitality and Events
Depositing User: Willfred Greyling
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2013 21:04
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:18

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