Vocational teachers are at the centre of complex social ecosystems, albeit often without adequate resources and recognition. The skills ecosystem literature to date does not engage with the concept of vocational teachers and their role, positionality and agency within the skills ecosystem. Vocational teachers should be playing a broader mediating role within the skills ecosystem and are central to any reimagining of vocational education and training (VET). The chapter reviews typical narratives about low-quality vocational teaching and the challenges vocational teachers often face in contexts such as South Africa and Uganda. It shows how subsequent trends undermined the notion of the vocational teacher, drawing on more recent work to argue for a broader version of this notion. The case examples then provide the basis for the discussion of the possibilities (or otherwise) for vocational teachers as mediators. The chapter argues that an expanded notion of vocational teachers needs to be reimagined and embedded horizontally and vertically within the skills ecosystem to facilitate learning that aligns with the broader aims of VET Africa 4.0.
Russon, J., & Wedekind, V. (2023). Vocational Teachers as Mediators in Complex Ecosystems. In Transitioning Vocational Education and Training in Africa: A Social Skills Ecosystem Perspective (97-117). Bristol: Bristol University Press. https://doi.org/10.51952/9781529224658.ch006