During the renovation of educational programs after 2005 here in Slovenia, we have emphasized the importance of modernization and renovation of traditional teacher’s pedagogical work:
- we highlighted the need to develop key and professional competences
- we have introduced new active methods based on constructivist theory,
- we have encouraged the use of problem-based approach methods by incorporating authentic examples of occupational situations in teaching,
- we have developed a method of learning situations with examples
- we have promoted interdisciplinary cooperation and teamwork
- we have promoted the exchange of teaching materials among teachers (e.g.the preparations for the learning situations), etc.
Most of what we have learned on the first day, was familiar to me, but unfortunately it did not “stuck” enough in our practice and I think that we were not sufficiently successful with the implementation of all those skills in our schools,
- Activity description (Summary of what was done that day)
Vocational training at the OSZ IMT_ introduction; techer training/qualifications; teaching Practice; Evaluation/feedback.
Visit to Clasroom (dual Training, 1. Year); Action oriented teaching, problem solving, self learning introduction to a new learning sequence.
- What did I learn from this activity? What insights did this new knowledge give to me in relation to school/organisation, learner and employer?
The dual system in Germany has a long tradition and it is very well developed. Vocational and technical education are also a responsibility of the companies who in the scope of the employer, associations also provide a list of competences of individual professions. The companies also enable the candidates in the dual system and the candidates in the school organization acquisition of work experiences as well as development of key and professional competences.
The ratio between the number of candidates in the dual system and in the school form of education is about 50-50%. Pupils or rather students (hereinafter candidates) are obliged to ask the companies for alearning place themeselves, as the school offers them just a list of employers. To secure a learning place, sometimes more than 60 applications have to be sent.
The dual system allows for acquiring competences at different levels of complexity. The companies are aware of the importance of simplifying vocational and technical skills as well as academic skills (for solving complex problems), for quality work, either in production or in the service industry.
Candidates who have completed primary school (6 years) and secondary school (3 years of general education or 4 year high school) are included in the dual system, as well as the older ones, who have interrupted their studies at the University. Thus candidates of different ages, from 16 to 22 or even 26 years can be found in the same class or group, in the employer training center or in the school.
Large companies have organized educational (training) learning centers for education and training for their future employees and they are fully responsible for their career development. They advertise a lot of training places, train many candidates, butat the end of the training, they select and employ only the most promising ones, while the others must find employment elsewhere. Even if the candidate is in the dual system, there is no guaranteethat the same employer will also employ him.. Usually they thank to each other at the end of training and part their ways The Company employsonly one or two candidates or a certain percentage of the best among them, depending of the size and needs of the company. Depending on the quality of skills acquired in the dual system the candidates mostly find employment. Unemployment among young people amounts to only 5%.
The Training centers of larger companies like, Siemens for example are like private schools where the practical training of the candidates in the dual system is organized.The candidates spend one week per month in a school. The companies select the school they consider of the most quality. Schools and teachers take care to keep their knowledge and equipment up to date, to take the individualisation and the needs of individuals into account and use the modern teaching methods. They are emphasizng that they are training the candidates for profession and not for work position.. Professional theory is there to support the profession.
School and companies are focused on developing professional competences, especially on developing key competences, personal competences and not so much on acquiring theoretical knowledge. Important to them is a candidate’s personal development.
In the school the curriculum is formed by every teacher for himself in accordance with the framework national program and requirements of a a specific programme for a certificate, for example. CISCO, Java, etc.
The school system of vocational training is open and offers many possibilities of horizontal and vertical transitions for different age groups and those who want acquire education school organization work closely with employers and the local environment. Candidates in the scope of education complete certain courses at different levels and .obtain acertificate. Afterwardsthey cancontinue in other courses or choose another path in their career (sometimes get a temporary job , continue at the University or obtain other certifications elsewhere, etc. ).
Theschool adapts teaching methods to the needs of the work process, solve concrete problems from practice in the teaching-working situations in which they work out technical explanation of the theory. Working in small teams the Candidates solve problems, find solutions and then disseminate their knowledge among others. Classic, fully frontal type of lessons withlectures is gone. Several times per year teachers and candidates join together and evaluate teaching and learning and then adapt the methods and forms of work for a more effective teaching and thus allowing candidates to achieve greater satisfaction about their learning and progress. The school climate and novelties to increase the effectiveness of educational work are constant subjects of discussion with the heads of the school at the teacher’s conferences.
- How did I feel about what was presented to me? What did I find innovative?
What did I find difficult or challenging to do or understand and why?
During the renovation of educational programs after 2005 here in Slovenia, we have emphasized the importance of modernization and renovation of traditional teacher’s pedagogical work:we highlighted the need to develop key and professional competences,
we have introduced new active methods based on constructivist theory,
we have encouraged the use of problem-based approach methods by incorporating authentic examples of occupational situations in teaching,
we have developed a method of learning situations with examples,
we have promoted interdisciplinary cooperation and teamwork
we have promoted the exchange of teaching materials among teachers (e.g.the preparations for the learning situations), etc.Most of what we have learned on the first day, was familiar to me, but unfortunately it did not “stuck” enough in our practice and I think that we were not sufficiently successful with the implementation of all those skills in our schools,
We learned a lot, but at the same time, I find very important to raise awareness and improve discussion among the teachers, on what is a quality teaching and also self-evaluation and self-reflection of the teacher, “what is my situation, how do I feel, how do the students feel in my class, what and how would I change in my teaching practice.”
Reflection with the candidates: “on the learned the content, one’s actions, one’s feelings.” Candidates suggest proposals for optimizing the learning process and synchronizing the learning content.
- What is working well and could be applied in my organisation and why? How would you go about doing this?
Candidates who have been presented to us are motivated, responsible regarding work and school, calm, relaxed and confident. They find learning place at the employer by themselves. They spend one week per month in a school, the rest of the time they are in the company. It is important that companies take great care, training and investing in their young generation, their new employee, not so much outside the borders.At school, from whatwe have seen, the candidates work in projects, in the groups as a team and always on authentic cases based on the needs of practice. Collaborative learning calls for greater accountability. The classes are held in the block for 90 minutes or more, for example 3 hours or a whole day, or several days in the same room when working on a project. Between teachers and candidates there is a lot of mutual trust and respectful attitude. Teachers encourage the candidates and believe that they will meet their goals.The highest dropout rate is in the first 6 months of training, after that dropout is rare. Candidates are satisfied with how they are treated. They are trying to improve the atmosphere at the school using the results of a questionnaire about the process of teaching. Teachers are aware that teaching is not just a transfer of knowledge in the classroom may not be enough and that outside the classroom there is high expectations to them. Young people need information and support.
Even in SLO exist a tendency that candidates (and students) find learning place at employers by themselves. At school, many teachers work on authentic tasks from the professional field, but such teachers are (in my opinion) still rare. We would also (in my opinion) have to work less traditionally, less using the classical methods and more active methods with the method of solving authentic problems in team work, project work and in the form of learning/work situations.
Again, we should find a way to get teachers to think about improving the quality of their teaching and learning and that they also implement that. Maybe we could move forwards a bit with discussions and training in study groups or thematic teacher conferences at schools or in the context of thematic guided projects of CPI with a few schools, which would then impart achievements to other schools, etc.
- What definitely would not work in my organisation and why?
It is not possible to reintroduct dual system in such a form as it has been and is currently in Germany where it is still beneficial.
Dual system in Germany works with with the strong support of the Chamber of employers’ associations in the background Currently Slovene economy is not very strong and there is also no strong Chamber of Commerce, which would encourage employers for the quality PUD,organize and implement external verification, etc. With the weakening of major companies and decline in employment one of the first measures is the demise of their Educational centers. Our companies are not in any way obliged to offer learning places, while schools are obliged to perform part of the educational program in the company.
In Slovenia, there is no tradition of the dual system, which, in the eyes of the public, has a deeply rooted bad connotation that employers exploit candidates as cheap labor. I believe that we should work to change this negative public opinion and introduce a different model of the dual system. The candidates use learning place in a company as a place to train, acquire the knowledge, skills competences and experience, which are essential in finding a job and start working.
Educational programmes in Slovenia are based on professional theoretical and practical lessons in school. A certain part of the education programme (practical job training) is carried out mainly through collective learning contracts, and only a little part through individual learning contracts (this allows an increased number of practical training with an employer), carried out by the employer in business.
In Slovenia there is currently no support for such form of the dual system, as mentioned above,. There is no support in the economy, because they expect to get an excellent and experienced worker out of school already. There is no support in the schools because they have a lot of teachers and there would be some dismissal of employees. And lastly, dual system is no accepted well by students because they find it easier to spend the time in upper secondary education in the schools, among classmates, taken care of by schools and teachers.Any additional comments
To offer training places in the dual system in Germany theemployers have to be licensed/verified regarding training places (human and material terms). The company is fully responsible for the career (professional and personal) development of its candidate and he getsa monthly financial reward for his work. These are mainly large companies who have set up their own training training centres which have even their own stuff with pedagogical andragogical education to manage, monitor and train the candidates in their educational process.No conditions are requred for mentoring the candidates in the school form. From enterprises are not expected and does not require any conditions.