Leanne Hanson is a former TAFE Queensland, language, literacy and numeracy teacher. When working at the Gold Coast campus, Leanne worked with disengaged youth, early school leavers and long-term unemployed individuals.
‘I respect vocational education and training (VET) for its strength in upskilling and retraining,’ says Leanne.
During her time at TAFE, Leanne delivered a unique learning system that produced substantial results, recognising that traditional workbook teaching methods don’t always work, but inclusive learning for students experiencing exclusion every day is effective.
At TAFE Queensland Gold Coast, students used computerised tablets and intuitive apps to build foundation literacy and numeracy skills. A pioneering ‘iTunes U project’ moved course content to an online environment so it was accessible at all times.
Leanne’s innovative teaching methods led to a 300 per cent increase of TAFE Queensland Gold Coast students completing Skills for Education and Employment programs.
Leanne was a finalist in the Excellence in Language, Literacy, Numeracy Practice Award at the 2015 Australian Training Awards.
‘It was a confidence boost to be acknowledged as excellent in my field and it’s fantastic to talk to experts [who are] just as passionate about VET,’ says Leanne.
Family experience has also validated VET for Leanne. ‘In Year 11, my son, who was going to go to university, lost interest in school. He entered TAFE and went from strength to strength,’ says Leanne. ‘The system helps students understand they’re responsible for their own learning.’
‘Literacy and numeracy skills are the first stepping stone,’ says Leanne. ‘It’s not that people with low skills aren’t capable. Some just need different training.’
One of Leanne’s students hadn’t been to school since Year 7. ‘She turned 16 and realised that sitting around wasn’t productive. She was bright but had no formal learning skills,’ says Leanne. ‘Through VET, she completed a Certificate III in Child Care and moved on to work in child care and study her Diploma.’
In 2018, Leanne took on the role of Educator Community Lead with innovative careers education provider Become Education, working to promote employability skills for students in primary and early high school. Leanne is also a Launch Team Specialist for international education and industry community Future-U. She presents the Edunauts podcast on VoicEd Radio Canada, engaging with experts on the skills youth will need to thrive.
As an Australian VET Alumni, member Leanne promotes, including through conferences and workshops, how VET leads to real careers. ‘It’s a first-class option that leads to valuable, desirable and valued qualifications,’ she says. ‘It gives greater job security and equips students for their futures.’