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Reference Integrated Multivalent Lyceum (IML) in Greece
What works well in this scheme? The scheme studied and reviewed by the Greek partner, in the context of the DUOQUAL project, was the IML, an integrated upper secondary education pilot school which operated in Greece from 1985 until 1997, when it was 
abolished in the framework of implementing a non-diversified upper secondary education reform.
    The findings of the study showed that three aspects of this scheme worked well. The integration aspect (at least for the first two years of studies); The career pathway (occupational orientation) aspect; and the higher education accessibility aspect.
    The integration aspect was reflected in a fully integrated curriculum for the first two years of studies, with both, integrated learning activities present and a balanced mix of general and pre-vocational subjects, as well as a balanced mix of compulsory and elective subjects.
    The career pathway aspect was manifested through a more effective occupational orientation in an integrated learning environment, where there was parity of status of general and vocational education.  Evidence for this is the overturning of the national preference ratio for General vs. Vocational education at the upper secondary education cycle.
    The higher education accessibility aspect was reflected in the success rate of the IML graduates in entering higher education institutions, following national competitive examinations.  This rate was equal to the national average (35-36%), compared to less than 20% for graduates of the traditional technical-vocational lyceum.
What are the problems with this scheme? The problems which were evident from the study, and which have left some open questions for further exploration, were two.  The limited integration-covering only 2/3 of the programme of studies; and the absence of any improvement in the matched employment rate of the graduates who elected the vocational learning pathway in the third year of studies.
    The disruption of the integration in the third year, with the return to a bipartite educational scheme, i.e. two distinct paths: a higher education preparation pathway and a labour market preparation pathway, displayed the traditional social disparity for the two pathways;  the former pathway was selected by students with higher social strata characteristics, and the latter attracted students of lower social backgrounds.
    Why did the majority of socially disadvantaged students follow the vocational path in the third year of the IML studies?  The integration in the first two years did not have an impact on the social aspect of learning path selection?
    The IML concept did not improve the matched employment rate for its graduates when comparing to the national vocational education norm.  One reason was that as a result of integration the occupation specific component of the curriculum was rather limited.  The graduates of the fourth optional year which is strictly vocational training were not a target group of the study.  Because the employment target of the DUOQUAL concept is fulfilled for the IML with this optional year, this open question remains to be explored with a further study.
What can be learned from other schemes? The IML program was a pilot project with pre-specified design.  Consideration of other approaches which would better accomplish the DUOQUAL scope can only be justified in follow up investigation and research.  Looking back to the evidence accumulated from this study one could identify two other approaches could be explored.  Using an integrated instructional design for both general and vocational subjects, and the use of an apprenticeship scheme in the third year of studies for those who elect the vocational pathway.
Further reading > Analysis of scheme > topic study > National conclusions
Author Stamatis Paleocrassas (October 1999)

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