Formal vocational education of young people is usually disconnected from their engagement in extracurricular activities. Schools and out-of-school learning environments rarely come together to develop a programme that would cross their borders. This results from different agendas pursued by the formal and non-formal education sectors. School programmes are driven by national curricula giving teachers little time to go beyond the particular content of their course and its predefined schedule. On the other side of the scene there are non-formal education providers offering a range of courses which can be adapted to needs and interests of learners in a particular context and time. The key question of this project is how to bridge this gap and develop approaches which would open fields of cooperation between teachers and trainers for the benefit of young people preparing for their vocational careers.
The project aims at bridging formal and non-formal education environments to support young people to develop digital competences relevant for their vocational careers.
- Strengthen partners’ cooperation with other organisations across the formal and non-formal VET sectors
- Provide opportunities for students to extend their learning of vocational subjects beyond school
- Design flexible learning pathways focusing on competent use of digital technologies used in their future professions
- Validate the approaches through piloting them during the project lifetime
- Elaborate the findings from the pilots and publish them
- Propagate the methodology widely to encourage growth of similar initiatives
MAIN TARGET GROUPS
Young people in initial VET
- Preparing for occupations in which competent use of digital technologies is important
- Having limited opportunities to participate in extracurricular enrichment programmes due to their distant location, price, etc.
- In need of support to develop competences essential for employment
VET teachers and trainers
- Seeking opportunities to extend/improve their programmes
- Working in schools or non-formal education organisations open to innovation at the interface of initial VET, lifelong learning and youth work
Decision makers in the VET field
- Headmasters and managers of the above in charge of planning courses
- Local/regional authorities deciding on financial support to non-formal learning programmes
- Learning pathways involving students preparing for vocational careers in a range of learning experiences that enrich their school curriculum. Each partner team will design and implement at least 3 such scenarios in close cooperation of formal and non-formal education providers. The learning outcomes will be thoroughly evaluated to gather data for the main project publication.
- Publication: Digitally enriched curriculum bridging formal and non-formal VET. Describing 3 different models developed by the partners. The content will include outreach strategies, exemplary learning scenarios in different areas of VET curriculum and validated outcomes. Issue in 4 languages (GR, IT, PL and EN), around 80 pages; distributed in digital version to reach an audience of at least 600 readers.
OUTCOMES AND IMPACT
- Students preparing for vocational careers: improve their learning outcomes in the area of digital skills, further develop their transversal competences, in particular teamwork and creativity, develop more positive attitudes both to school and out-of-school environments as a result of the above. These outcomes will result from the students’ participation in learning activities organised by the partners and further in external education establishments reached through dissemination and exploitation campaign. The key outputs presented above will facilitate this process.
- VET school teachers: improve pedagogies through linking their curricula to continuing learning pathways, enriching their classes with focus on digital technologies, create more inclusive learning environment taking into account the varied students’ competences, experiences and interests, better understand young people’s learning lives in the digital age that leads to better relations with them, gain new opportunities for networked learning in a European dimension thus raising appreciation of EU educational projects.
- Trainers from non-formal VET sector: better focus their training programmes for young people on knowledge, skills and competences relevant for their vocational careers, reinforce their capacity for European cooperation and networked learning, increase their willingness to integrate good practices/methods from other contexts.
- At systemic level: new input to the vocational education reform debate, especially to the ongoing VET curriculum reform in Poland, strengthened argumentation for flexible learning pathways across the borders of formal and non-formal VET in the area of digital skills.