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The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?. A discussion of developments in Germany. Hubert Ertl, University of Oxford Hugo Kremer, University of Paderborn. Overview. The research base Vocational schools in Germany The Dual System and the ‘Transition System’

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The school sector as an engine for innovation in vet l.jpg

The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?

A discussion of developments in Germany

Hubert Ertl, University of Oxford

Hugo Kremer, University of Paderborn


Overview l.jpg

Overview

  • The research base

  • Vocational schools in Germany

  • The Dual System and the ‘Transition System’

  • The ‘Transition System’

    • Functions

    • Challenges

    • Developments

  • Conclusions

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


Our research skope l.jpg

Our research - SKOPE

  • Phase 1: Innovative competence of teachers at vocational colleges in Germany – an exploratory study

    • Interviews with teachers at vocational schools, representatives of responsible Laender Institutes, teacher educators

  • Phase 2: Innovation and reform in the FE sector in England

    • Interviews with lecturers at FE Colleges in England

  • Phase 3: Teachers’ perspectives on pedagogical innovation in response to top-down change processes

    • Interviews with teachers and administrators at vocational schools in England, Austria, and Germany

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


Our research university of paderborn l.jpg

Our research – University of Paderborn

  • Research on implementing individualisedlearning (individuelle Förderung) in the transition system

  • Research and development programme over three years (from February 2009 to February 2012)

  • 11 Berufskollegs (vocational schools) in North Rhine Westphalia

  • Involves a range of qualifications

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


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Some background on vocational schools in Germany

  • More differences than similarities to FE Colleges in England

  • Long-established part of education and training provision

    • Industrial revolution: ‘further education schools’ provide more theoretically-oriented vocational education and continuation of general education

    • 1920s: Big industrial companies develop craft apprenticeship model further to structure work-based training; vocational schools provide school-based element of training

    • 1960s: Formalised structures of the dual system, combining training in companies and at vocational schools

  • Vocational schools underpinned by theoretical and philosophical thinking (Kerschensteiner, Fischer, Schlieper, Blankertz, …)

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


Education and training in germany an overview l.jpg

Education and training in Germany – an overview

private business

and private law

Workplace

Universities and

Polytechnics

Further

Education

‘School-based VET’

VET in the

Dual System

Secondary School

public governance

and public law

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


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Vocational schools as part of the Dual System

  • Relatively high-status, long established part of the education system

  • Clearly defined role in dual set up of initial training, ‘junior partners’

  • Pressure from training companies to make a ‘relevant’ contribution to training

  • Reforms of the dual system often start in the school sector:

    • ‘Areas of learning’ curriculum

    • Initiatives to strengthen collaboration with training companies

    • Pedagogic changes: orientation of learning towards comprehensive work tasks, use of IT, individualised learning

    • Focus on social and communicative competences

  • Reforms supported by long-standing tradition of publicly-funded ‘pilot projects’ fostering incremental improvements of teaching at vocational schools

  • Role of teachers as innovators of learning and teaching in vocational schools

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


School based vet l.jpg

School-based VET

  • VET in specialised Colleges

  • Colleges for health services

  • Specialised training Colleges (providing full qualification) (Berufsfachschulen)

     Established alternative to VET in DS

  • ‘Transition System’

  • Vocational preparation

  • Vocational foundation year (Berufsgrundbildungsjahr)

  • Short training courses (without full qualification) (Berufsfachschulen)

  • Government-funded programmes and initiatives for particular target groups

     Low status VET entry programmes

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


Changing transition patterns l.jpg

Changing transition patterns

‘School-based VET’

VET in the

Dual System

(Source: BMBF, 2011)

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


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The transition system: The unwanted and neglected part of VET provision

  • Reasons for expansion:

  • Shortage of training places in the DS

  • Increasing gap between demands of entry level training and skills provided by secondary education

  • Increase in proportion of students with ‘migration background’

  • No reliable research on social background of participants in different parts of Transition System

  • Notions of ‘waiting room’ provision and ‘programme careers’

  • Evaluation of programmes on vocational preparation: less than one third of participants transfer to DS or full College-based training

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


Pathways into the transition system l.jpg

Pathways into the Transition System

Transition System

Insufficient skills for

vocational education and training

Positions for vocational education and training

Transition System as a (second) chance

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


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Reasons for entering the ‘Transition System’

yes

no

(Source: Inlab, 2009)

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


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The Transition System: Functions and challenges

Skills and competence of young people required for starting an apprenticeship

Crisis of the dual system – supply of apprenticeships

Vocational foundation

Parking and waiting

Pre-vocational

(basic) qualification

Occupational orientation

Individual competence development & personalised vocational orientation


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Problems of the Transition System

  • Dominance of the dual system (with no real alternatives)

  • Jungle of qualifications

  • Need for individualised learning environments


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The Transition System – a temporary phenomenon(?)

Discussion about demographic change and skills shortages

Missing integration function of the Dual System for certain groups of young people

Aim:

Establish an efficient sector between general education and vocational education!


Pathways to work the dual system as gold standard l.jpg

Pathways to Work – The Dual System as ‘gold standard’

General education system

Barrier I

Vocational education and training

  • Market-driven barrier

  • (Standard ‘trainability’ (Ausbildungsfähigkeit) in Dual System)

  • Insufficiently defined concept

  • Regional differences

  • Differences between different types of vocational training

  • Perception of deficits of young people

  • Illusion of vocational / career orientation as a product

  • - Vocational orientation in general education

  • Changes to vocational orientation

  • Complexity of the world of work and different pathways to employment

Transition System as consequence of problems in general education and training

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


Conclusions new transition pathways from school to work l.jpg

Conclusions: New transition pathways from school to work

Basic problems

  • Handling of the jungle of qualifications

  • Handling of the role of the Dual System

  • Handling the heterogeneity of students

    Key points for further development

  • Orientation on competences (strengths) and not on deficits

  • Occupational orientation as a common challenge for all students

  • Vocational education and training as second educational chance

  • Need for individual orientation and development

ESRC Festival of Science, London: Ertl & Kremer “The school sector as an engine for innovation in VET?”


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Thank you for your interest

  • [email protected]

  • [email protected]


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