Lessons of mutual learning
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Reference Pilot projects in Germany (Bavaria)
What works well in this scheme? The following factors contributed considerably to the project’s success: the fact that only intellectually able and highly motivated students were allowed to participate; the curriculum integrating vocational and general learning objectives; and the close cooperation with industry, the partner of the schools in the dual system.
    The fact that our young people gain both the qualification to enter a university of applied sciences and to be skilled workers means that all three aspects discussed within the DUOQUAL-project (educational mobility, competence and occupational mobility) are re-alised in our project.
What are the problems with this scheme? There are not enough pilot projects of our kind yet and, what’s more, they have so far only attracted large businesses as participants. Smaller German trades are more interested in a longer lasting period of vocational qualification of the young people – for understandable economic reasons – rather than in the trainees’ own desire to acquire, at the same time as vocational training, the qualifications needed to enter university. The smaller trades tend to fear that the trainees will inevitably leave the company again.
What can be learned from other schemes? The Bavarian pilot project supports the same common findings of the DUOQUAL partners, for instance:
- The combination of general and vocational syllabus items gives learners more clearly-illustrated ideas and thus serves to improve their retention capacity in new learning situa-tions (increase in the effectiveness of learning; shortening of learning time).
- Such learning situations allow the learners to acquire knowledge experientially and to make better use of their knowledge.
- The learners’ motivation increases, if they experience the applicability of general syllabus items and know their concrete application situations.
- The integration of general and vocational syllabus items automatically leads to the learner acquiring key qualifications as vocationally-oriented learning often goes together with new teaching methods or the application of new technologies.
    I’m impressed by the fact that Norway – in the so-called “two-plus-modell” where two years of basic vocational training are followed either by an apprenticeship or by a school-based job training – has also managed to make the university entrance qualification an integral part of vocational training courses.
Further reading > Analysis of scheme > topic study  > National conclusions
Author Werner Kusch (October 1999)

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 First set up 14/12/1999
Latest update: 14/12/1999
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