The Integrated Multivalent Lyceum (IML) in Greece
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Issue The Integrated Multivalent Lyceum (IML) was introduced in the upper secondary education cycle in 1985 as an experiment, in order to explore ways to: 
(a) improve the relationship between general education and vocational education in the framework of a bi-partite model of 15+ secondary education;
(b) integrate academic and vocational education components in the curriculum;
(c) provide the pupils with dual qualifications, such that they are prepared upon graduation to compete for entrance in higher education or seek a first job. (S.M. ed. 14/09/99 - based on Paleocrassas et al. 1999a)
Measure The IML scheme featured an integrated social context, an effective pedagogic framework and a challenging organisational and administrative environment. Traditionally, school-based vocational education was isolated from general education and generally attracted low achievers who were from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition it had inherited from general education an academic pedagogic culture, which emphasised theory lectures segregated from the corresponding laboratory instruction. Finally, organisation and management of the instruction was deficient, resulting in marginal internal educational efficiencies. All these problems were targeted by the designers of the IML with solutions which viewed general education and vocational education as integral components of a comprehensive and unified educational concept.
    The underlying educational concepts of the IML were manifested in its curricular structure. The first year of studies was designed as a general academic education with few elective subjects. The second year was designed as an integrated comprehensive education with options of following broader knowledge domains. The third year was bi-partite (facilitating higher education preparation or preparation for employment) and multivalent, with the vocational streams designed according to the ‘flexible specialisation‘ concept and leading to a leaving certificate rather than to a vocational qualification. An optional fourth year was available for those who opted for a vocational stream that led to formal vocational qualification.
    The complex multivalent nature of this large-scale school concept created many administrative and organisational problems, which proved to be beyond the limited management skills of the IML administrators, who were experienced teachers but with inadequate school management training. This problem was approached with training, which included both management skills acquisition and sensitisation workshops for assimilating the new school culture. (S.M. ed. 14/09/99 - based on Paleocrassas et al. 1999a)
Impact The evidence of success following a 15 year implementation of the IML concept is very encouraging. Formal evaluation studies showed three major findings. 
    First, the establishment of parity between general education and vocational education choices resulted in much stronger recruitment to the vocational lyceums than previously. It is interesting that in the first years of implementation the national trend of favouring general education was reflected in the IML third year pupil choices. As the years went by the number choosing the vocational route steadily grew compared to the number choosing the higher education route, and in the year 1997-98 the former marginally surpassed the latter. 
    Second, the success rate for entering higher education (in a numerus clausus framework) for those pupils who opted for higher education preparation streams was equal to the national average rate, i.e. one out of three. Thirdly, the employment status of the graduates (especially of those who opted for the fourth specialisation year) was much better than the corresponding employment rate of the graduates of the non-integrated vocational schools, i.e. the Technical Vocational Lyceums. (S.M. ed. 14/09/99 - based on Paleocrassas et al. 1999a)
Reference The analysis of the IML, including the summary reproduced above, has been  prepared for the DUOQUAL project by Paleocrassas et al. 1999a. A related study on new skills for the labour market, comparing Greek and Portuguese evidence, is in preparation. (S.M. 14/09/99)  
Author Stamatis Paleocrassas/ Sabine Manning (ed)  

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  First set up: 14/09/1999
Latest update: 04/12/1999
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