Personalised Learning in transition from school to work – a new kid on the (vocational education) block.
Professor Hugo Kremer of the University of Paderborn
Historically, the German dual system of part-time vocational schooling combined with in-company training has opened a pathway for 60% of young people of an age cohort into the workforce. Accordingly, it has become the focal point in order to understand and interprete the vocational education in Germany as a whole. However, in recent years serious problems have emerged. These problems occurred simultaneously to the appearance of the various types of vocational education and training which led to a broad range of full-time schooling measures and intermediate educational offers; the so-called “transition system”. The expansion and stabilisation of this system underline the difficulties for young people in transition from general schools into the vocational education system (VET system) and the world of work.
Teachers at vocational schools and especially in the transition system are challenged to promote personalised learning and competence development. The five basic problems of the transition system are (1) clarifying how it can facilitate the integration of vocational orientation, (2) handling the huge number of qualifications, (3) dealing with the dominant and overpowering dual system, (4) coping with the challenge of heterogeneous student groups, and (5) the necessity of personalised learning environments (cf. Kremer et al. 2012).
The seminar provides a platform for discussion of how to handle challenges in German vocational education as well as the changing of the understanding of vocational education with a new element in the vocational education system.