Report on Work based / Life place learning research and activities in Germany 1. Work place / Life Place Learning 1.1. in Germany 1.2. in the region of Wismar 1.3. at Wismar University 1. SUMMARY Since long time German universities have been facing the challenge to make their contribution in sustainable development to society. This does not only mean the promotion of research but also to integrate technical competences and problem oriented specialized systemic viewpoints in teaching. The United Nation Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) created an action plan that should encourage the member states to integrate education for sustainable development into their formal education systems, into all relevant subjects as well as into the non formal and informal education. The specification of this strategy was done by the World Decade of the United Nations “Education for sustainable Development (2005-2014)”. 1.1. WORK PLACE / LIFE PLACE LEARNING IN GERMANY The German universities faced the challenges of the World Decade of the United Nations in different way. However, it should be pointed out that there is no systematic discussion about the challenge of sustainable development at German HEI until now. Even on the political level the model of sustainability and strategic adjustment of the federal as well as of the country-specific policy does not play a significant role in the efforts to be successful in HE Area in Germany at all. The German National committee of the World Decade “Education for Sustainable Development” that was established in May 2005 in Berlin created an action plan for the next ten years. In the frame of this intention even working groups were brought into life in order to lay emphasises on special target groups. So the working group “University – research, teaching and service” pointed out the need of intensification of research activities in order to promote sustainable development in education. There were given some examples of research topics or corresponding programmes as follows: - Which didactic teaching and learning methods do promote the awareness of responsibility for people within training and further training and education? ( comparative evaluations about front instructions and project work) - The opportunity of integration of foreigner through specific project work ( e.g. studies about fostering of the language learning process) - The dependence of the subject “Education for sustainable development” and unemployment - Which kind of marketing measures are necessary in order to transfer such complex subject as “Education for sustainable development” into society? (German National Committee UN-Decade; 2004, „Basis script for further development of the tasks of the HEI in the frame of the UN-Deacade „Education for sustainable development“) On regional level a „Lübecker explanation“ was compiled by the conference of the Nordic partnership of HEI. This sets new standards for the realization of the intention in northern Germany. Within this orientation the universities should engaged to foster a deep self investigation process that will evaluate afterwards. Until 2010 all northern German universities should have integrated aspects of sustainable development in their study programmes. The cross-linking of humanities, economic and social sciences with nature and engineering sciences is to be supported by inter and transdisciplinary pilot programmes. The sustainability is to be obtained as key skill, not only additive, but integrated in the science disciplines. The regional and cross border co- operation with industry, policy and society is to be promoted. The management of the HEI are demanded to integrate sustainable development and education explicitly into their development plans. (Lübecker Explanation „Universities and Sustainability“; 23./24.11.2005) Strategy for Lifelong Learning in Germany Both the country-specific policy and the federal policy are supporting the joint development of the strategy of LLL and sustainable development of education. Even both federal (Learning regions – providing support for networks) as well as joint programmes ( e.g. pilot programme LLL) and connected projects (e.g. Further training certification for certification of informal learning) have been facing the subject. Also the department of research of the federation in the general further training and in vocational training sets specific accents regarding the promotion of lifelong learning (e.g. “New teaching and learning culture”, “development of competences”, “Learning authorities”, “Self controlled learning”). The federal institute for vocational training is also dealing with aspects of LLL in order to integrate it into perspective intentions. Special emphasis will be layed on target groups that are disadvantaged in the way of education. Even other departments such as family education and political education take also part in this process and contribute to the strategic debate on LLL. (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, paper 115 „BLK- Materials for education planning and research promotion, 2004, http://www.blkbonn. de/papers/heft115.pdf.) In Germany, educational policy is primarily the task of the Bundesländer. But questions of co-financing lifelong learning are of cross-country significance. The right of every individual to participate in education must apply in Bavaria just as much as in Brandenburg. The Federal Government and the Bundesländer share responsibility for ensuring equal educational opportunities for all, throughout Germany. Employers and unions have recognized that education is a key resource of the future. They are not only investing in the qualifications of their staff, but increasingly they are also incorporating in-company continuing education in employees' rights. In Germany many people experience the consequences of structural change as frightening; they feel the effects of social, economic and political changes at their place of work, in their profession, in their leisure time and in their families. It is therefore a particular challenge to reach out to those people who have had little access to learning and further education in the past. Nowadays, life, work and learning will be even more closely linked because the importance of informal learning in the work process for lifelong learning is increasing. That‟s why topics as follows are discussed at the ministry stage: - Improvement of the transparency of the further education market by setting up country-wide information centres providing effective educational counselling and development of local and regional further education networks. - Further development of quality assurance in further education by employing recognised testing agencies and suitable certification procedures, - Completion of the supply-oriented support of further education facilities by strengthening the support of the demand-oriented further education users. This paper was adopted on 5 July 2004. First activities can be received by the attachment 5 of the paper. (Barbara Dietsche, Klaus Pehl (2005) Description of some programmes on national level There is a programme by the Federal Ministry of education and research (BMBF) entitled “School- Industry-Working Life” that strengthens the career orientation of young people. This should reduce the rate of people dropping out of vocational training due to insufficient consideration when selecting their vocation. This rate is currently still far too high. This programme aims to strengthen the interaction between schools, enterprises, unions and municipality in the frame of the transfer from school to business. This aim is very important if we face the fact that every fourth vocational training contract is early terminated. Since early 2001, there is a programme entitled “Lifelong Learning for Everyone”. This programme promotes future-oriented projects aiming at the inducement of a change in learning culture. Meanwhile, the nation-wide programme “Learning Regions – Providing Support for Networks”, is supporting more than 70 regional networks which help to set up innovative structures ranging across different educational sectors. The European Social Fund supports this policy. It even serves to support regional education networks, which encompass various education sectors and maintaining bodies, by co-operating with as many participants as possible (e.g. education institutions, enterprises, social partners, youth welfare offices and employment offices etc.). Usually linked to the main project are several sub-projects, which are concerned with offering services relating to specific subjects and business fields that promote Lifelong Learning. An average of four to six persons per network are usually responsible for carrying out the necessary expert and organisational work; other persons are also involved on a temporary basis. (Federal Ministry of Education and Research; 2001; “Informal Learning”) The Dual System in Germany German Dual apprenticeship system In this structure where the structured teaching/learning alternates between workplace and vocational school, supported situated learning best describes the apprentices‟ experience. If the learning at vocational school is suitably connected with the workplace learning, (which is not always the case) opportunities for reflective forms of problem solving are strengthened. The German apprenticeship system may be viewed as a system of training rather than a system of employment. As the apprenticeship system is seen to be neither part of the school or education system nor a normal sphere of work the „system reference ‟ is clearly training and recruitment for skilled work. The consequences of such a clear separation of pathways or subsystems of course implies that lots of expectations rest on the Dual System and frictions on the training market can hardly be compensated without additional activities on the side of the state. Among these, activities to promote either external training options or give incentives to employers are paramount. In Germany, in particular, both vocational pedagogy and social pedagogy are well-developed fields of theory and practice. German Dual study courses This system aims to combine the practical training and the academic study in a way that allow the students to achieve a degree and a profession in a same time. This even means that this kind of learning is specially labour and time intensive. Until now this dual study course has no recognition or credits for practical modules (vocational training phase), apart from lab projects in conjunction with professors. The reason for this circumstance is that until now only less or no co-operation between vocational and academic education does exist. There is an urgently need on political stage to change this unsatisfactory conditions. Further education in Germany Further education pass The project “Further training certificate with recognition of informal learning”, which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)and the European Social Fund (ESF) is coordinated by the Ministry for education, culture and science of the Bundesland Saarland. The first phase of the project was a feasibility study, in which all so-called education and further training certifications (Weiterbildungspass) in Germany, the neighbourhood and all the other European countries were examined. Afterwards suggestions for a reference model of a joint education-range-spreading further training certificate were developed. The published study that was released in October 2003 got to the result that the abundance of the initiatives developed from practice in Germany as well as the dynamics of its development signal a clear need to test a reference model. BMBF project “The recognition of occupational competences to higher education study courses” It is a national and European request to promote lifelong learning. That means in particular to create new ways for further education within both one education area and between the vocational and higher education area. In close connection with it is the recognition of already existing knowledge, talents and abilities in order to use it for further training. This opportunity that was formulated within the Bologna explanation of the European Secretaries of Education from 19 June 1999 and confirmed in the Kommuniqué of Bergen on 19. /20. May 2005, was taken up already several times, finally by a common recommendation to of BMBF and the HRK in the frame of assignment of credits in vocational training that could be recognised in higher education study courses. The BMBF programme “Recognition of vocational competences to higher education courses” is dealing with the realization of the development process. The development from procedures in how to determine and to evaluate the qualifications and competences that were acquired in vocational further training as well as the recognition of relevant higher education offers are in the focus of the research. At present eleven regional projects that are focused on technical, commercial and in the IT- range as well as in health care and social matters, and a scientific accompany were funded by the federal ministry. In this frame experts of vocational training and representatives of the universities have been comparing qualifications and competences of approximately 60 high quality advanced training degrees and their access conditions, like e.g. relevant professional training and the following professional experience, with technically wider comparable study contents. 1.2. WORK PLACE / LIFE PLACE LEARNING IN MECKLENBURG WESTERN POMERANIA There are a lot of examples that pursue the examination and implementation of work base and life place learning. This chapter describes only a few activities that stand for many small projects. Until now we do not have a source where all these activities are bundled under the topic informal learning. That‟s why it was quite difficult for us to make a sample. (Barbara Dietsche, Klaus Pehl; 2005; Documentation of activities of promotion of LLL) Project1: Service for SME with elder staff Objectives: - To recognize deficiencies and to support both the SME and each individual staff member to reduce or eliminate them - To optimize the individual as a business factor within advice consultation, accompany and education - To set up a service for SME that supports time and task restricted establishment of a learning environment at the working place - The knowledge that is within the company through staff know-how, experiences, tacic knowledge should be noted and make purposefully. Target group: - SME and it‟s staff members, in particular elder members Project content: - E.g. sensibility of the management for setting up an infrastructure for knowledge transfer, further training and effective using of new media, - Course offers in the field of foreign languages, ergonomics, memory training, relaxing … . Working methods: - Coaching (individual in centre of the consideration) - Training (knowledge and method are in centre of the consideration) - Development of competences - The concrete need has to be noted within the company in cooperation with the staff members. Depends on this individual and small working groups are the basis of learning. In one group are not more than 10 people. Even individual achievement agreements e.g. to specific tasks are possible. This kind of further training should be made possible during the working time and at the working place. Project 2: SeniorTrainer Objective: - to learn from the experiences of the elder generation - the promotion of public recognition of age and the position of seniors within the society Project content: - training of elder people to SeniorTrainer that strengthen the activity and engagement of old people and let them feel integrated into the society - integration of the SeniorTrainer into associations, clubs, projects in order to enrich with knowledge and experience 1.3. WORK PLACE / LIFE PLACE LEARNING AT HSW Dual Bachelor Study course in Mechanical Engineering The aim of the dual bachelor course is to counteract the shortage of qualified staff in the industrial field of plastic and metal process engineering. Within this study course students will be trained and educated to tailor made engineers with working experiences that is demanded by industry. In the same time the students get the chance of getting a high qualified workplace. The dual bachelor course in mechanical engineering combines the bachelor of Engineering and the vocational training that gains to the profession of: - process mechanics for plastic and rubber technic or - general mechanic or - construction mechanic or - technical draughtsman or - metal constructor. The program is a combination of vocational training in a company (1st year), a regular Bachelor programme at the university (2nd – 4th years) with vocational and professional training in the lecture free time at company. The academic part of the programme combines through expertise in mathematics and science with a broad knowledge in technical disciplines relevant for mechanical engineers and key qualifications (such as ability to co-operate in teams, presentation techniques, technical English). Throughout the programme these skills are applied to practical engineering problems in order to develop problem-solving capability. Integrated practical work (industrial placement) is required. Distance learning at HSW Since over 60 years HSW has been dealing with scientific further training and has been offering course to working society already since 1998. Over 1.000 students have been studying at one of the 10 locations in Germany. The basis of distance learning is to set up new learning environments in order to create more space for other activities of the learners. The aim of the distance learning institut of HSW is to enable students to be more flexible in their learning regarding the time and space investment. Through using new media new kinds of teaching and communication are possible that make learning more individual and versatile. Even the interaction between students is possible within this learning environment. The accompany of student by the teachers will be precise, faster and easier for both parties. Essential criterion Information und communication Flexible accompany offers (individ. consultancies, forums, web based support) Technical and didactic competence of the teachers Working and learning groups Self control and task that can be send to the teacher for checking Transparence of the achievements and conditions of the examinations Topical play technical and contentwise support Project EGOS The network EGOS „Effective Using of the training potential of the Baltic Sea Region” is settled in the region Wismar - Schwerin - Rostock. The majority of the participants come from the region around Wismar. Wismar University is lead the network. The network is coordinated by the HWS university Wismar service GmbH. A goal is the closer connection of the vocational and the academic training. In the fame of creating solution for the transition management permeability, employability, quality assurance and transparency play a significant role. Some products of the project: - series of literature (A task collection „money puzzles “from approx. 100 mathematical tasks from the everyday life around the subject money is to arouse the interest in mathematics for youth and older generation too. - The development of “Bridge course” in the field of mathematics. This course are on-line courses, which regenerate mathematical subranges and are provided with test, so that the learner is able to determine whether he/she has already achieved the learning goal within the self study.
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