The good School – the journey from good to excellent
Leonardo da Vinci – Transfer of Innovation
2007 – 2009
In all member states the quality of education and training is considered to be a concern of the highest political priority. High levels of knowledge, competencies and skills are considered to be the very basic conditions for active citizenship, employment and social cohesion.
Lifelong learning is an important means of shaping one’s future on a professional and personal level, and high-quality education is essential in the light of labour market policies, and the free movement of workers within the European Union.
The role of European training and education in both the societal and economic development implies that education has to be treated in economic terms as an investment. In these perspectives, education has an impact on all sectors and it also complements personal development and its cultural dimension.
The need to prepare citizens to live and work in knowledge based society, i.e. the learning society, calls for lifelong learning as a strategy, ensuring learning opportunities for different target groups. This strategy implies that VET training institutions must be prepared to serve different groups (all ages, all levels of education and training, etc.) and to associate themselves with other actors (training centres, enterprises, local authorities, associations’ networks, etc).
However many VET projects focus on the wrong variables in their efforts to develop quality. The typical focus on teaching and learning is necessary, but it is also an insufficient condition for real improvement. Projects which deals with principles of best practice related to teaching and learning have difficulty taking root in the European VET training institutions essentially for two reasons: They require content knowledge and pedagogical skills that few teachers have, and they challenge certain basic patterns in the organisation. Neither problem can be solved independently of the other.
A changing workplace
The European economy is characterized by change, variety, and uncertainty. Global competition demands flexibility, continuous innovation, and fast response to market shifts – all driven by consumers and markets. The traditional way of organizing production is combined with systems of management and supervision so that companies can respond only very slowly to competitive threats.
The workplace of Europe is changing, and training and education as traditionally delivered is more and more unconnected to the world of work and performance in the work places.
In some cases, our VET institutions violate what we know about how people learn most effectively and naturally. Learning situations can be ineffective because they reflect mistaken assumptions about how people learn. Some education and training is structured around the assumptions that
• learners are passive receivers of knowledge
• what is learned is atomized
• producing the right answers is the purpose of learning
• skills and knowledge are produced independently of their context
The typical focus on teaching and learning is necessary, but it is also an insufficient condition for real improvement. It is difficult for projects which deals with principles of best practice related to teaching and learning to take root in the European VET training institutions.
The project “The good school – the journey from good to excellent” represents a holistic approach to the educational challenge that is mentioned in the Lisbon strategy. It focuses on the need of an inclusive society, better organisational conditions of the training institution as well as the way teaching and learning is organised.
Aims and goals
It is the overall aim of the project to adopt a systemic perspective. Six educational experts from Spain, Lithuania, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain and UK focuses on classroom training but through a whole system perspective. EfVET is the leading part in organising the European dissemination. The two dimensions represent both ‘system wide’ and ‘system deep’ approach. In concrete terms it is the objectives of the project to produce new strategies of best practise in five areas:
• New pedagogical strategies to strengthen the learning process
• New teaching strategies for teachers, new roles and tasks
• New strategies to build relations with the students
• New strategies to create/develop an attractive learning environment
• New strategies to develop a learning organisation and strong professional leadership
The above mentioned areas will be put into a holistic framework – named “the good school” representing a European based strategy to meet the needs of a competitive economy and an inclusive society.
The project will conduct six work seminars under the above mentioned themes. In between the seminars the national partners will identify and describe national examples of best practice. At the end of each seminar the European work group will form a synthesis that will represent a set of mutual European quality standards of the area in question. Those standards will reflect a best practise strategy.
The project targets directly European teachers, educational planners and members of the training institutions management.
To the teachers and educational planners the project will deliver a pedagogical strategy based on a set of teaching standards that relates to the changing workplaces of Europe.
The project represents an important contribution to support improvements in quality and innovation in vocational education and training systems, institutions and practices.
The partnership behind the project seek a new approach to develop standards of quality, that targets “the whole learning organisation” containing a variety of approaches to assist the students in their pursuit of knowledge.
CPH WEST, Education Centre Copenhagen West
Senior manager Louise Rosthøj
Tel: ++45 3388 0738
Contact: Project coordinator Mr. Ole Holst, tel: ++45 3940 2264O,