Overview of topics
New job-skills
EL + PT
Summary/ Workshop
New job-skills 

Stamatis Paleocrassas

Summary of the topic study prepared by the Portuguese-Greek partnership - October 1999
(Original topic study of 1999 in DUOQUAL folder)

Context
Approach
Findings
Follow-up

Reference to national case studies on dual qualifications in Greece and Portugal


Context

Integrating academic and vocational skills in the upper secondary education curriculum for a dual preparation of students, i.e. transition to higher education and transition to work, raises a number of collateral issues for curriculum designers, which link to both the academic and vocational components of the learning strategy.  An issue which links to both of these components is the “new job-skills” concept, as it emerges from new labour market changes in work organization and in job qualifications, which defines new skill requirements for the curriculum.  As it turns out these are key skills for performing contemporary job tasks, which are not necessarily vocational and in an integrated curriculum are developed using integrated learning methodologies.  Communication skills, ability to work in teams, organizational and managerial skills, cost assessment skills and others, are new job-skills which are equally important with process skills in modern work environments.

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Approach

The Portuguese-Greek partnership, in the framework of the DUOQUAL program,  chose to explore the new job-skills concept in the context of undergoing national surveys on graduates of integrated upper secondary school schemes: The Portuguese Professional school and the Hellenic Integrated Multivalent Lyceum.  These are both schools which apply integrated curricula.  The cohorts being surveyed were the 1995-97 graduates of the professional school and the 1989 graduates of the IML.  The graduates of the former were in the chool-to-work transition phase while the graduates of the latter were well settled in the labour market.  The Portuguese survey used mailed questionnaire while the Greek survey used the method of structured interview. The questions were twofold: from the labour market perspective assess the importance of  some pre-specified new job-skills;  from the school perspective assess the role of the school in developing these skills. A three grade assessment scale was used.

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Findings

The findings were tabulated for comparison and, forewarning for methodological and context differences (e.g. the cohorts had a difference of 6-8 years for time of graduation; the IML is a fully integrated school while the Professional school is a vocational school with an integrated curriculum; the IML sample was drawn randomly from 127 graduates out of a larger sample of about 1000 youth, who were interviewed 10 years after their graduation while the sample of the Professional school was 31 recent graduates), showed distinct differences in the assessment of new job-skills by Portuguese and Greek youth from both perspectives (labour market and school).  The results showed that the Greek graduates placed smaller importance of new job-skills in performing their job tasks than what did the Portuguese youth.  Also the Greek youth assessed their school’s role in developing these skills less positively than their Portuguese counterparts.  The latter, however, felt that there was some room for improvements.  Generally the assessment of new job-skills was positive for both cohorts.  It was less positive for the Greek cohort. 
    The Portuguese side of the partnership complemented its study by examining the demand for new job-skills as manifested in the Portuguese print media with the form of daily wanted ads by employers.  This demand was classified according to the three basic sectors of economic activity and in turn was related to the supply of such skills by the school system.

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Follow-up

As summarized above, the Portugese-Greek partnership studied in the framework of the DUOQUAL project the joint topic «New Job-skills».  This study identified indirectly through empirical findings labour market demand in the two respective countries for higher order technical and generic skills.  One follow-up research question which arises from this development could be stated as follows:

Which curricular models and which pedagogical strategies are required to
engage students in the acquisition and use of higher order learning skills?
We propose that this question be explored primarily through literature review and exchanging national experimental results (e.g. pilot results in Austria and Bavaria) by an expanded partnership, which besides the Greek and Portuguese members will include the Austrian, Bavarian and Scottish colleagues.

The more specific questions, which we propose for further exploration by the new expanded partnership, are the following:

  • What theoretical and experimental support may provide the foundation on which to structure a learning environment, which achieves integration and facilitates the acquisition of higher order skills?
  • How do you structure an effective learning environment, through which higher order learning skills can be acquired?
  • Is the integration of higher order skill development a problem of content selection or instructional design?

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 First set up 08/12/1999
Latest update: 08/12/1999
 Contact: Sabine Manning
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