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Dually oriented Qualifications
A knowledge base related to the LEONARDO projects INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL

Key message to practitioners


Learning is both individual and social; that is, the learner and the community are inherently related in formal learning. Knowledge remains an anticipated and valued outcome of formal education and a critical component in any model of training. The articulation of models of academic development with a dual orientation, encompassing hypothesised patterns in learning outcomes as related to schooling and working, implies systemic inquiry and evaluation of formal education and training. Our understanding of the relationship between academic and professional knowledge will undeniably remain constrained and, regrettably, fragmented. Among possible reasons for this are the extreme complexity of learning and competence development, the dynamic nature of human existence and the dramatic range of contextual and sociocultural variability as well the rapid change of work demands.

The dual training model which treats knowledge in a pivotal way makes possible configurations with cognitive, emotional, and sociocultural dimensions. It is extensive and allows for a remarkable range of creativity for educational practitioners. For human resources the concept of dual qualification has created a new possibility of access to the job market, resulting from a combination of school training and professional qualification (level III), while offering the possibility of pursuing higher studies. The relevant theory and research that already exist offer a guide to subsequent inquiry. Some research findings of the DUOQUAL project could be presented to practitioners as follows:

The School as an Educational and Training Community

  • To implement learning methods oriented towards discovery and research in real situations involving a work-based curriculum;
  • To improve the project area as an interdisciplinary articulation of theoretical and practical content and of processual knowledge which favours the development of both project-based and, alternatively, school-based knowledge;
  • To promote the improvement of individual competencies, learning activities based on multiple techniques and methods that increase the transferable skills required for different jobs and for success in higher education;
  • To encourage the development of extra-curricular activities linked to the community;
  • To promote closer co-operation between scientific and technical areas, highlighting cognitive, emotional, sociocultural and professional competencies, allowing the students to construct, integrate and reflect on their own learning;
  • To constitute interdisciplinary teams of researchers and practitioners who are strongly committed to the dual qualification model. Their findings could be one route towards gaining recognition of VET and increasing its social status;
  • To establish partnerships as means of facilitating access to the labour market and improving links with vocational higher education in order to combat social exclusion. 

The School - Company/Higher Education Relationship

  • To organise workshops in the educational community with the participation of the enterprises and institutions of higher education;
  • To organise study visits to companies and institutions of higher education;
  • To improve training in a job situation, working together with the students' tutors (planning, implementing and evaluating activities);
  • To create a climate of mutual trust and co-operation between schools, companies and higher education institutions;
  • To contribute to policies aimed at encouraging employers to facilitate initial job training and a curricular articulation between vocational secondary education and vocational higher education.

Evidence and discussion on these approaches can be found in several topic studies, including the one on integrated learning processes, and in the lessons of mutual learning.

Lourenço Frazão, Teresa Oliveira & Fátima Santos on behalf of the DUOQUAL partnership, May 2000

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 First set up: 20/05/2000
Latest update: 22/05/2000
 Contact: Sabine Manning