Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Arts

School

School of Arts and Humanities

First Advisor

Dr Stuart Medley

Second Advisor

Dr Christopher Kueh

Abstract

This research has demonstrated that design thinking (DT) could be used as a professional development (PD) methodology for Vocational Education and Training (VET) trainers in understanding and applying reasonable adjustment (RA). The use of design thinking has the further benefit of raising the trainer’s empathy and understanding of the impact of injury and disability upon a person’s life and the significance of RA outside of the training context.

A workshop (PD session) was designed and conducted to explorer the relevance and success of the PD framework and the use of design thinking in developing an understanding and applying RA. The structure of the PD, the methods and the tools used supported the development of empathy, which facilitated new learning in RA through action and experience, and assisted in the transformation of the trainer’s point of view and assumptions. The PD increased the trainers’ confidence by utilising the existing skills and knowledge of the VET trainers and the inclusion of individual work and group work. The RA problem posed by the PD assisted in creating motivation for learning as it provided expectancy, instrumentality and valence. The outcomes of the workshop identified the relationship between the participant’s willingness to participate and the development of new ways of thinking. These new ways of thinking assisted in the development of empathy, which allowed for new learning The use of design thinking as part of the PD enhanced the development of empathy, facilitated learning including the ability to understand and apply RA.

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